Compassionate Conservation—Saving The Lives of Wild Carnavore and Livestock

Real world solutions to using non lethal wolf management for people and wild Carnavore.

I’ve been a volunteer for Wisconsin’s wolf recovery since 1998. There were only 66 wolf packs in the state at that time. Today there are roughly 232 wolf packs spread through the northern and central forests. Thankfully wolf and livestock conflicts are at a minimum, and there are many non lethal solutions available for livestock producers to employ. There are many factors involved, and employing them as soon ass possible is being proactive. There are several abatements available, such as; Foxlights a nighttime predator deterrent, flandry, and guard animals. These solutions need to be put in place before wolf depredation occurs to any livestock. Also producers need to burry any livestock so the carcasses don’t attract wolves.

One very important step to coexistence for people & gray wolves is to educate and advocate by helping & guiding those living in wolf country. The objective is to save the lives of Gray wolves and livestock. Whether we live in the city or urban areas, in or out of wolf range, it’s all about solving how we live alongside wolves! Wisconsin’s wild wolf is now living on the landscape and has been since the late 1970s. Wisconsin is fortunate to have gray wolves back in the forests. The Gray wolf is an essential part of the ecosystem. Let’s work together to save Gray wolves and livestock!

I’m a distributor of Foxlights a nighttime predator deterrent.

The following is a short video I filmed of Brad Khole WDNR Wildlife Damages Specialist.

Click here for more reading about ways to reduce conflicts between wolves and Livestock owners.

In celebration of Wisconsin Wolf Awareness Week: A Wisconsin Premiere of “Gray Area: Wolves of the Southwest” screens in Madison 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.  The Humane Society of the United States, Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin, Foxlights International PTY LTD, Wolf Education & Research Center, and Plan B Foundation present – WORT 89.9 FM welcomes-

The Wisconsin Premiere of the award winning documentary film

“Gray Area: Wolves of the Southwest”

Produced by Alan Lacy

Trailer: 

After the screening there will be a panel discussion and Q&A with:
Gray Area: Wolves of the Southwest Producer Alan Lacy; HSUS Wisconsin State Director Melissa Tedrowe; Robert Mann – Ho-Chunk Nation Elder; Foxlights Inventor & Owner Ian Whalan; Randy Jurewicz, retired WI DNR Wolf Program Administrator, and emcee Rachel Tilseth.

Tickets: $10.00 Advance/$12.00 Day Of Show

Advance tickets only available on-line at http://www.barrymorelive.com
and by phone at (608) 241-8633, with $1.00 convenience charge
http://www.wolvesofdouglascountywisconsin.com

Facebook Event site click HERE

– “BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY” –ALBUQUERQUE FILM & MUSIC EXPERIENCE, 2017

A FILM ON THE CRITICALLY ENDANGERED MEXICAN GRAY WOLF

In the American Southwest, a unique species of wolf unlike any other is making a comeback. Considered extinct nearly 40 years ago, the little known Mexican gray wolf has slowly pulled back from the very brink — against all odds. From a founding population of just seven animals, this species has slowly grown to a current wild population of approximately 100, only to face a new threat from within: its own genetics. As part of a bold recovery mission, one lone wolf is given a chance to offer new hope for the survival of her species. In telling this story, narrated by Chris Morgan, “Gray Area” explores whether there can be a balanced and sustainable future where ranchers, conservationists, locals, and biologists alike can coexist with this apex predator. www.grayareathefilm.com

Wolf Awareness Week OCT 15 – 21, 2017, In 1990, Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson signed the proclamation of Wisconsin Wolf Awareness Week, a time to celebrate these important animals, by highlighting the threats to their survival, spread the word about what you can do to help wolves stay protected, and help humans learn to live alongside them.
our sponsors: www.planb.foundation,  www.foxlights.com, www.wolvesofdouglascountywisconsin.com, www.humanesociety.org,  www.wolfcenter.org, and www.wortfm.org.


Our commemorative poster design by Ned Gannon and will be available at the night of the screening. 

Commemorative poster design by Ned Gannon

Our panel members

Opinion Editorial: Proposal to delist wolves will lead to problems

Source: Journal Sentinel  by Mary Falk , February 15, 2017
We sure don’t need our state’s U.S. senators signing off on bills allowing wolves to be indiscriminately killed.

I raise cattle, sheep and goats on 200 acres in Burnett County, where my family runs a small cheese plant. Since our farm connects to a wildlife corridor, our land is host to a multitude of wildlife which, in turn, attracts various predators including coyotes, plenty of bears, an odd cougar and gray wolves. Compared to the coyotes and bears, the wolves are pretty rare.
Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson recently joined other lawmakers in introducing legislation to remove Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Wyoming. This is a short-sighted proposal that would open the door to trophy hunting and trapping of gray wolves, and it shouldn’t be allowed to move forward.
Leaving aside for a moment how much has been invested into preventing wolves from vanishing altogether, this proposal has the potential to create big headaches for small farmers. The consequences of allowing wolf hunts in my neck of the woods are predictable: It’s going to disrupt the delicate balance we’ve spent years working out to keep predators at bay.
We’re a hunting family, but in 30 years, we’ve never had to shoot a predator to defend our livestock. I give all the credit to my livestock guardian dogs. Last year, for example, as my son was bow hunting he watched a wolf trot through our property and head toward our farm. He then heard our dogs go ballistic, barking up a storm as they ran the wolf off the property. Because of the defense put up by our livestock guard dogs, our livestock were never endangered.

Once predators such as wolves and coyotes become accustomed to the barriers set down by guard dogs, they will train their pups to respect those same boundaries. A pack that respects the guard dog boundaries also helps to keep out other packs by utilizing similar territorial techniques that dogs use.

Sanction the non-prescription killing of wolves, however, and you’re bound to upset this balance and trigger more problems. If hunters take aim at wolves in one place, the wolves will just flee to new territory, possibly catching farmers off guard with unwanted visitors they’ve never before had to confront.
I’ve received quite a few phone calls from farmers in search of guard dogs in central Minnesota, who were being visited by wolves and had not seen them previous to the last sanctioned wolf hunt.
Meanwhile, suppressing wolves — which are already listed as federally endangered because they’re so rare — can bring a host of unforeseen consequences. For instance, scientists tell us that a healthy wolf population can be important to keep populations of wild deer in check. Deer overpopulation can introduce unwanted pests, weeds, disease and overgrazing on natural flora and farm crops.
There are many available tools for protecting livestock from predators. Some farmers utilize permanent electric fencing, portable fencing or night penning to safeguard herds when it isn’t possible to keep watch over them. All of these nonlethal options for dealing with predators can be employed without disrupting the natural balance.
We sure don’t need our state’s U.S. senators signing off on bills allowing wolves to be indiscriminately killed. I hope that Baldwin and Johnson will rethink their position on this short-sighted legislation.
Mary Falk is co-owner of LoveTree Farmstead Cheese in Grantsburg.

~~~

Foxlights, a nighttime predator deterrent, are saving lives with lights all over the world. 

Available in Wisconsin. Contact rachelfoxlights@gmail.com 

~~~

Foxlights are just one tool farmers can use to coexist with wolves

~~~

Featured image by: 

John E Marriott

New evidence proves that proactive use of nonlethal techniques can help reduce depredation on large open-range operations.

Foxlights a nighttime predator deterrent developed by Ian Whalan, an Australian sheep farmer was a part of this seven year case study, “Adaptive use of nonlethal strategies for minimizing wolf–sheep conflict in Idaho”  published in the Journal of Mammalogy   

Suzanne A. Stone Stewart W. Breck Jesse Timberlake Peter M. Haswell Fernando Najera Brian S. Bean Daniel J. Thornhill

The following is a brief summary of the research article:

Worldwide, native predators are killed to protect livestock, an action that can undermine wildlife conservation efforts and create conflicts among stakeholders. An ongoing example is occurring in the western United States, where wolves (Canis lupus) were eradicated by the 1930s but are again present in parts of their historic range. While livestock losses to wolves represent a small fraction of overall livestock mortality, the response to these depredations has resulted in widespread conflicts including significant efforts at lethal wolf control to reduce impacts on livestock producers, especially those with large-scale grazing operations on public lands. 

A variety of nonlethal methods have proven effective in reducing livestock losses to wolves in small-scale operations but in large-scale, open-range grazing operations, nonlethal management strategies are often presumed ineffective or infeasible. To demonstrate that nonlethal techniques can be effective at large scales, we report a 7-year case study where we strategically applied nonlethal predator deterrents and animal husbandry techniques on an adaptive basis (i.e., based on terrain, proximity to den or rendezvous sites, avoiding overexposure to techniques such as certain lights or sound devices that could result in wolves losing their fear of that device, etc.) to protect sheep (Ovis aries) and wolves on public grazing lands in Idaho. 

We collected data on sheep depredation mortalities in the protected demonstration study area and compared these data to an adjacent wolf-occupied area where sheep were grazed without the added nonlethal protection measures. Over the 7-year period, sheep depredation losses to wolves were 3.5 times higher in the Nonprotected Area (NPA) than in the Protected Area (PA). 

Furthermore, no wolves were lethally controlled within the PA and sheep depredation losses to wolves were just 0.02% of the total number of sheep present, the lowest loss rate among sheep-grazing areas in wolf range statewide, whereas wolves were lethally controlled in the NPA. Our demonstration project provides evidence that proactive use of a variety of nonlethal techniques applied conditionally can help reduce depredation on large open-range operations.

~~~

We are breaking down old barriers and creating new paradigms of wildlife coexistence. ~ Suzanne Asha Stone 

“For the last decade, we’ve been working to determine if wolves and livestock can coexist across large landscapes using only nonlethal methods, which we were told was impossible and impractical. The results of the peer-reviewed paper? Far fewer livestock losses and no wolves killed by livestock protection agencies in our national forest Wood River Wolf Project area where 10,000 to 22,000 sheep graze all summer long annually. Over the 7 year field trial, we lost only 30 sheep total to wolves – far fewer than adjacent areas where wolves are killed to protect livestock. Huge thanks to the Journal of Mammalogy, my coauthors, project partners and mentors, field techs, volunteers, readers, and all our supporters. We are breaking down old barriers and creating new paradigms of wildlife coexistence.

Thanks especially to Carol and Rick Williamson, Lawrence Schoen, Carter Niemeyer, Doug Smith, Daniel Stahler, Jeremy Bruskotter, Ian Whalan, Brad Bergstrom, Brad Purcell, Kurt Holtzen, Mayor N. Jonas, the City Council of Ketchum, Idaho, the staff of the USDA Forest Service and Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, USDA Idaho Wildlife Services, the Idaho Office of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Idaho Nature Conservancy, M. D. Duda, Responsive Management, and Project LightHawk and Foxlight inventor I. Whalan. Funding was provided by Defenders of Wildlife, The Golden Eagle Chapter of the Audubon Society and Toyota/ForeverGreen grant program, Blaine County, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, the Wolf Recovery Foundation, the Wolf Education and Research Center, The National Wolf Watchers Association, and private donors.”  ~ Suzanne Asha Stone – Defenders of Wildlife 
For information on Foxlights click HERE

~~~

In Wisconsin Foxlights are saving lives with lights. Click the blue highlighted words to get the story.

Foxlights is just be more tool in the non lethal…

Wisconsin politicians are pushing for state management of wolves… 

If the people want the state to manage wolves then there must be full transparency of that process. Until then we must work to keep wolves listed on the Endangered Species Act. 

The state has a law on the books that calls for a mandatory wolf hunt if they are delisted.  Wisconsin is the only state that allows the barbaric use of dogs to hunt wolves with no regulations in place; The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, charged with overseeing the wolf hunt, has no rules in place that require hound handlers to report dogs injured or killed in the pursuit of wolves during a hunt. In fact, there is no monitoring or certification program whatsoever in place for the use of dogs in the wolf hunt; thus the state has little ability to hold hound hunters accountable for training or hunting violations or to prevent deadly and inhumane wolf-dog confrontations (e.g., hunters allowing dogs to overtake and kill rifle-shot wolves). These circumstances explain why Wisconsin stands alone: using dogs to hunt wolves is no better than state-sponsored dog fighting. Source

Several politicians want state control of wolves.  Two Wisconsin state republican legislators are in favor of state management of wolves; Rep Adam Jarchow and senator Tom Tiffany along with US republican Senators Reid Ribble and Ron Johnson are pushing to delist wolves. Senator Tiffany stated in a recent news strory: 

“A state Senator is renewing his focus on delisting the wolf from the endangered species classification. State Senator Tom Tiffany wants U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin to advocate for the change, and end what he calls “ping ponging” litigation over the issue.” Source

 State senator Tom Tiffany stated in a news story: 

“Tiffany and state Representative Representative Adam Jarchow – both Republicans – think Baldwin, a Democrat, could make a difference. “If some of her colleagues saw a Democrat like she is taking the lead on this issue, they would probably follow along,” Tiffany said.” Source

US senator Tammy Baldwin a democrat is in agreement of delisting wolves and in a recent statement said: 

“I have heard the voices of Wisconsinites who have real concerns about the increasing threat of our state’s growing wolf population. Farmers have found livestock injured and killed by wolves that are straying closer to their herds than in previous years. Families have lost pets. Parents have decided it’s no longer safe to let their kids play where they normally do.  These concerns, and the expertise of wildlife science, tell us we should take on the gray wolf problem in our state by acting again to delist the wolf from the Endangered Species List and pass management of the wolf back to the State of Wisconsin.”  Source

If the people want the state to manage wolves then there must be full transparency of that process. 

The push for state management comes after 37 hunting dogs were killed by wolves while in pursuit of bear. These politicians believe that Wisconsins growing wolf population is the cause of these conflicts. Yet there are some that question if wolves are the cause of bear hunting dog deaths. 
Adrian Wydeven, retired WI DNR wolf biologist, wrote in an opinion editorial:

“Do wolf numbers correlate with wolves killing hounds? The evidence suggests this might not necessarily be the case. In 2012, only seven dogs were killed and yet there were nearly as many wolves in 2012 as there were in 2016 (815 wolves in late winter 2012).  In other words, the wolf populations in 2012 and 2016 were similar, yet these two years represent the highest and the lowest numbers of hounds killed by wolves in the last 13 years. Obviously, there is more to this story than just more wolves killing more hounds.” Source

What could be the cause behind all the wolf depredations of hound hunting dogs if it is not due to an increases in wolf population?

Every summer hound hunting dogs lose there lives in pursuit of bear. This decades old conflict between  bear hunters and wolves continues today with no end in sight. Watch the following Wisconsin Public Television show that aired in 2010:

Wolves are a part of Wisconsin’s wild legacy. Recovery of wolves in the state began in the late 1970s. 

In 2015 there was a change made in bear hunting regulations and could this be the cause of the increase in wolf depredations of dogs in pursuit of bear?  In his recent opinion editorial Wydeven states:

“Could a change in bear hunting policy be a factor? Wisconsin is a major destination for bear hunting and training — with some of the highest bear densities and bear harvest success rates in the nation.  Prior to July 2015, people putting out bait and handling hounds used to train on bears were required to buy a Class B Bear Permit. The permit cost residents $14 and nonresidents $110. The permit and fees were eliminated in 2015 and now anyone can freely bait for bears, and train their dogs on bears. This may have increased baiting and training of dogs on bears in Wisconsin, putting more bear hunters and hounds in the hunt, especially from out-of-state residents with the license fee no longer a barrier. ” Source

 It’s no secret that there has been a few instances of wolf depredations on livestock, pets and bear hunting dogs. Wisconsin has a wolf depredation compensation program in place to compensate for these loses. For instance; there is a $2500.00 compensation payment to bear hunters that lose dogs to wolves while pursuing bears.  There are programs in place to aide livestock owners as well.  Watch the following video from the WI DNR wildlife depredations specialist:

In the west wolf advocates and ranchers have been coming together to work for non lethal ways to manage wolf depredation. 

“The group’s nonlethal experiment, known as the Wood River Wolf Project, is a collaboration with Blaine County officials in central Idaho, the United States Forest Service, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and some local partners who support alternative ways of protecting wolves in historic sheep-grazing country. The project covers 1,200 square miles, or around half of Blaine County, up from 120 at the program’s inception in 2008.” Source

I believe we must help Wisconsin livestock producers learn how to live with wolves and so I am working with Ian Whalan, inventor and Fauna Tomlinson, distributer of Foxlights a nighttime predator deterrent that is making news all over the world, “Saving Lives with Lights.” Foxlights donated Five solar lights to the Red Cliff Reservation in northern Wisconsin, and I delivered the lights to the Red Cliff Biologist Jeremy St.Arnold. To learn more about Foxlights click HERE.

The recent national and state elections have tipped the scales of power towards one party control. What’s next for Wisconsin’s wild wolves?

US Senator Ron Johnson is preparing to introduce a wolf delisting bill in congress with democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin on board; could mean that other senate democrats will follow her lead, and sign onto Senator Johnson’s wolf delisting bill.  Please keep calling your senate representatives and ask them not sign onto any wolf delisting bills or riders. 

And, everyone is awaiting the decision on The USFW had a hearing to challenge a Judge putting wolves back on ESL on U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell in Washington, D.C. Who ruled in 2014 that the removal “was arbitrary and capricious and violated the federal Endangered Species Act.”  That was held on October 18, 2016.  

“Led by the Humane Society of the United States, environmentalists challenged the rule, arguing that FWS couldn’t designate a population segment under the Endangered Species Act just to turn around and remove protections. They also charged that FWS couldn’t show that wolves would be adequately protected from disease and human harm across a “significant portion” of their range without federal protections.” Source: HSUS 

If management of wolves is returned back into the state’s hands things must change about how they manage them. 

Senator Tammy Baldwin said in her statement:

“Delisting the wolf should not mean removing it from the landscape, but restoring a greater balance in rural communities. Many Wisconsinites have deeply felt beliefs about how the wolf population should be managed, and the health of the wolf population is of unique significance to Native American Tribes. I believe those debates deserve thoughtful and careful consideration by state and tribal wildlife experts, following a federal delisting.” Source

Please keep up the “positive” calls to Senator Tammy Baldwin’s office. It’s not to late to change the Senator’s mind about delisting the wolf. 


If the people want the state to manage wolves then there must be full transparency of that process. Wisconsinites must work together in the wolf management process. First things first; The state has a law on the books that calls for a mandatory wolf hunt if they are delisted and this law must be removed. 

2011 Wisconsin Act 169 states: If the wolf is not listed on the federal endangered list and is not listed on the state endangered list, the department shall allow the hunting and trapping of wolves and shall regulate such hunting and trapping as provided in this section and shall implement a wolf management plan. In regulating wolf hunting and trapping, the department may limit the number of wolf hunters and trappers and the number of wolves that may be taken by issuing wolf harvesting licenses.

The Wisconsin public must be fully vested in the process of wolf management.  When wolves were delisted in 2011 the Wisconsin legislature rushed in to create a wolf hunt. It’s no secret that the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association’s hands were all over the wolf hunt legislation. 

After removing the wolf hunt bill, act 169, Wisconsinites can begin the discussion or debates as to how best to manage wolves. This means listening to scientific evidence and leaving political rhetoric out of the debate on wolf management. We must find ways to live with wolves. A wolf hunt is not a way to manage an endangered species such as the iconic wolf. 

First of all, stay positive & work to keep wolves listed on the Endangered Species Act. Stay in contact with your state and federal representatives. 

Wolves have a positive impact on Wisconsin’s landscape. During the Wisconsin premiere of the award winning documentary “Medicine of the Wolf” Q&A panel discussion panel member Randy Jurewicz answered an audience question about wolf’s impact on CWD, watch the following video:

For how to purchase a copy of the film Medicine of the Wolf click HERE 

 Stay positive & please continue taking action for wolves:

Keep writing letters to the editor, keep calling your state and federal legislators, and call President Obama and ask him to veto extinction and to stop the attacks on the Endangered Species Act. Click here for ways to contact the White House

~~~

Featured image by John E Marriott

Foxlights is a non lethal predator deterrent device that is saving lives around the world

Foxlights Night Predator Deterrent

 “It is my belief Foxlights have the potential of assisting in the saving of many endangered species around the world.” ~ Ian Whalan

Ian Whalan is a sheep farmer from Austrailia. He invented Foxlights so he could sleep through the night, because it was too bloody cold out there to check on the sheep.  Before he invented Foxlights, he had no choice but to go out to scare off the foxes using flashlights.  He noticed that the foxes would run away from the lights.  In other words, this was where Ian Whalan got the idea to invent Foxlights in 2008.

Watch the following  Foxlights introduction video 

Foxlights mimic a human patrolling crops or livestock at night to keep predators away. 

www.foxlights.com
Foxlights are helping livestock producers coexist with snow leopards 
“As these numbers indicate, snow leopards sometimes have a taste for domestic animals, which has led to killings of the big cats by herders. These endangered cats appear to be in dramatic decline because of such killings, and due to poaching driven by illegal trades in pelts and in body parts used for traditional Chinese medicine. Vanishing habitat and the decline of the cats’ large mammal prey are also contributing factors.”(Source: National Geographic)

Watch the following video of how Foxlights are being used for snow leopard conservancy in Nepal

Video Published on Jan 27, 2015! Shortened version of snow leopard conservancy video showing how Foxlights are being used in Nepal


Foxlights are saving lives in Africa

Foxlights has the possibility to protect endangered animals. This tool is an inventive way to keep animals such as elephants and lions away from crops and livestock. This type of protection is new to Africa and has the potential to change the way people protect this type of endangered predator.”  ~Ian Whalan 

Watch the following video on how Foxlights are helping farmers keep African elephant out of their crops




Foxlights in Ireland are saving lives
 
 
Foxlights are saving lives in The USA

In Wildlife and Wolves, A Guide to Nonlethal Tools and Methods to Reduce Conflict by Defenders of Wildlife discusses How Foxlights stops human-wary predators from approaching, read on:
“A new device called the “Foxlight” avoids easily detectable patterns so that night predators do not quickly become accustomed to it. The Foxlight uses an intermittent series of lights in varying, random flash patterns to simulate human activity, such as someone moving a torch around, which stops human-wary predators from approaching.
Foxlights are still being tested in the field, but their effectiveness for reducing livestock losses appears to be short-term (30 days or less). Like other deterrents, Foxlights and similar devices may work best as a temporary deterrent or in tandem with other deterrents. Evidence also suggests that they may be more effectively used proactively to prevent predation rather than reactively to deter an ongoing problem.”  (Source)

  

Foxlights saving lives in California 

In the workshop Ranching With Wildlife Building Sustainable Communities, Preserving our Heritage flier, Project Coyote discusses how Foxlights are used successfully around the world, read on:  

Project Coyote Photograph

  
“Foxlights deter nighttime attacks by mimicking the appearance of a person patrolling pastures with a flashlight. Their dusk-to- dawn solar-powered sensors randomly flash LED lights at 360 degrees and can be seen up to a half mile away. Foxlights have been used successfully around the globe to protect livestock and crops from a variety of species including snow leopards, wolves, elephants, foxes and coyotes. Foxlights attach easily to existing fencing and are best placed where livestock bed down at night.” (source)

Contact information for Foxlights

FOXLIGHTS INTERNATIONAL PTY LTD

Address : 7/22-24 Sarsfield Circuit

Bexley North, N.S.W. 2207, Australia

Phone : +61 29150-9509
ian@foxlights.com

www.foxlights.com
Foxlights Shopping & Retail on Facebook
Fauna Tomlinson believes in the bright idea of saving lives with lights so much that she is helping to distribute Foxlights around the world. You can reach Tomlinson faunahoop@hotmail.com or 530-386-3311 
 rachelfoxlights@gmail.com Let’s see what happens when Wisconsin begins using the 25 Foxlights they just purchased. I’ve been in contact with them and will keep track of how they are working to save the lives of wolves.  ~Rachel Tilseth 

USDA Experiments With New Tool To Deter Wolves Foxlights Latest Method To Keep Wolves Away From Livestock click the blue highlighted words to read full story.