When worlds collide: Naja, the King of snakes


Having some friends that are great fan of reptilians and snakes I decided to dedicate some posts to these animals. They might be less cudly than the average animal they are among the most beautiful creatures God put on this world (yes the irony is not lost on me here)

For Americans the rattler is probably the most well known snake, for most of the other people this will be “the Cobra”  and many people will wrongly asume that “the cobra” is “a snake”. This of course is, just as with many other species,  not the case. The cobra is a family of snakes with several sub species, a few of them I will highlight.

Naja is a genus of venomous elapid snakes known as cobras. Several other genera include species commonly called cobras (for example the rinkhals, or ring-necked spitting cobra [Hemachatus haemachatus]), but of all the snakes known by that name, members of the genus Naja are the most widespread and the most widely recognized as cobras. Various species occur in regions throughout Africa, Southwest Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia.

Until recently the genus Naja had 20 to 22 species, but it has undergone several taxonomic revisions in recent years, so sources vary greatly. There is however wide support for a 2009 revision that synonymised the genera Boulengerina and Paranaja with Naja. According to that revision the genus Naja now includes 28 species.

I guess we all heard about the “spitting Cobra”. Again we tend to think of it as one species but did you know the spitting cobra cosists of no less than 11 subspecies?

  1. Ashe’s spitting cobra (giant spitting cobra)
  2. Mali cobra (Katian spitting cobra)
  3. Mandalay spitting cobra (Burmese spitting cobra)
  4. Mozambique spitting cobra
  5. Zebra spitting cobra
  6. Black-necked spitting cobra
  7. Nubian spitting cobra
  8. Red spitting cobra
  9. Indochinese spitting cobra
  10. Javan spitting cobra
  11. Equatorial spitting cobra

Naja nigricincta and Naja nigricollis

 

Naja Nigricillis or Zebra Spitting Cobra

 

N. n. woodi

Naja nigricincta is a species of spitting cobra in the genus Naja; it is native to parts of southern Africa. This species had long been considered to be a subspecies of the black-necked spitting cobra (Naja nigricollis), but morphological and genetic differences have led to its recognition as a separate species.[2]

Two subspecies are currently recognized under Naja nigricincta. The nominate subspecies N. n. nigricincta, commonly known as the zebra spitting cobra or western barred spitting cobra, is given its name because of the dark crossbars that run the length of the snake’s body. The subspecies N. n. woodi, commonly known as the black spitting cobra, is solid black and is found only in the desert areas of southern Africa. Both subspecies are smaller than N. nigricollis; with average adult lengths of less than 1.5 metres (4.9 ft)

Naja naja (Indian or Spectacled Cobra)

The Indian cobra (Naja naja) also known as the Spectacled cobra, Asian cobra or Binocellate cobra is a species of the genus Naja found in the Indian subcontinent and a member of the “big four”, the four species which inflict the most snakebites on humans in India. This snake is revered in Indian mythology and culture, and is often seen with snake charmers. It is now protected in India under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act (1972).

The Indian cobra is a moderately sized, heavy bodied species. This cobra species can easily be identified by its relatively large and quite impressive hood, which it expands when threatened. This species has a head, which is elliptical, depressed, and very slightly distinct from neck. The snout is short and rounded with large nostrils. The eyes are medium in size and the pupils are round.[12] The majority of adult specimens range from 1 to 1.5 metres (3.3 to 4.9 ft) in length. Some specimens, particularly those from Sri Lanka, may grow to lengths of 2.1 to 2.2 metres (6.9 to 7.2 ft), but this is relatively uncommon.

Naja Kaouthia or monocled cobra

The monocled cobra has an O-shaped, or monocellate hood pattern, unlike that of the Indian cobra. Coloration in the young is more constant. The dorsal surface may be yellow, brown, gray, or blackish, with or without ragged or clearly defined cross bands. It can be olivaceous or brownish to black above with or without a yellow or orange-colored, O-shaped mark on the hood. It has a black spot on the lower surface of the hood on either side, and one or two black cross-bars on the belly behind it. The rest of the belly is usually of the same color as the back, but paler. As age advances, it becomes paler, when the adult is brownish or olivaceous. The elongated nuchal ribs enable a cobra to expand the anterior of the neck into a “hood”. A pair of fixed anterior fangs is present. The largest fang recorded measured 6.78 mm (0.678 cm). Fangs are moderately adapted for spitting. Adult monocled cobras reach a length of 1.35 to 1.5 m (4.4 to 4.9 ft) with a tail length of 23 cm (9.1 in). Many larger specimens have been recorded, but they are rare. Adults can reach a maximum of 2.3 m (7.5 ft) in length.

So that is a little about cobras. There are more subspecies but that is for another time

It’s Official, the wolf has returned to the Netherlands


Although the news is already a bit older I have waited to report this to make sure that it isn’t a hoax, prank or urban myth. But luckily it isn’t so I am happy to report that the wolf has officially come back to the Netherlands. I so wished I was the one that made the following picture

The wolf has been spotted near Emmen in the Dutch province of Drenthe which is on the border with Germany. The wolf showed some a-typical behaviour since it didn’t really show “fear” for humans. This can be due to it being fed by individuals in Germany but it is not sure. .Prior to it’s appearance in Drenthe the (most likely)  same wolf had been spotted in Germany going in the direction of Holland.

Of course nature organisations in the Netherlands are overjoyed however on the internet there are a lot of (ignorant)  people claiming that we now are in need of “protecting our herbivores since there are already so much predators in the Netherlands (the fox is the biggest predator over here)..

A small bit of advice for the reading Dutchies. If you encounter a wolf you are welcome of course to jump with joy and make some great pictures but do not approach it. A cornered wolf can attack and it will be your own doing if you get hurt. However if YOU get hurt due to YOUR stupidity it is most likely that people and certain politicians will say “it attacked someone we need to shoot it” and your stupidity will then be the cause that we have to wait another 2 centuries to see the return of this awesome creature in our woods and fields.

a video (in Dutch) can be found at http://www.hartvannederland.nl/algemeen/2015/hij-nu-echt-terug-nederland-de-wolf/# with some live footage of the wolf. I wasn’t able to rip it so you have to watch it from the link provided. If a countrylock is in place I suggest you try https://www.tunnelbear.com/ where you can download a proxy application with a setting for the Netherlands. 500Mb data is free and an additional 1gig if you send out a tweet. install, set to Netherlands, browse to page, watch video, exit tunnelbear.

MCM: SPOT Save & Protect Our Treasures


So since I am back at blogging I thought I start up the MCM again and again I am going the animal way. This time the Cause of the Month is SPOT.

Why a foundation for wild cats?

At the end of 2006/beginning of 2007 the number of wild cat species was set on 36. Many of them are endangered and of those a lot are threatened with extinction.

Some figures

  • Cheetah: less than 10,000.
  • Snow leopards: estimated 6,500.
  • Lion: estimated 32,000.
  • Fishing cat: less than 10,000.
  • Tiger: less than 3,500.

In the Netherlands there was no NGO specifically aiming at the protection of wild cats. This led to the start of Foundation SPOTS in 2004.

It is impossible to actually do something for all 36 species. Hence the focus of Foundation SPOTS currently lies in the protection of the cheetah, the lion and the leopard. But, through our Dutch website we are also giving a lot of education about all cat species and we name projects that are busy protecting those specific felids. In this way we hope to put the spots on all cats worldwide.

What are the objectives of Foundation SPOTS?

Many wild felids are threatened with extinction. Foundation SPOTS focuses on protecting these felids. SPOTS is active in the Netherlands and does not have own felid projects. She supports local partners in fe Africa and Iran. SPOTS operates in the Netherlands – major goals of SPOTS are educating, creating a network for several cat projects and raise funds for our supported projects in Africa and Iran. Read here which projects are supported by SPOTS.

Our vision
Many wild cat species live outside protected areas such as National Parks. They thus come into conflict with humans, who often kill predators pre-emptive. Although there are National Parks or Reserves where these animals are protected, SPOTS believes that predators should not only to be tolerated in National Parks but outside these protected areas as well. Otherwise, animals will be closed in and are no longer able to migrate, which makes them very vulnerable. This is reinforced by the fact that in a closed area it is difficult to keep a good population of genes, which is important for a healthy animal population. It makes the animals also vulnerable because there could be lack of food if there are too many animals in the same area. This means that National Parks and Reserves always need to be regulated by humans. If the fences are not maintained, there is an immediate problem with outbreaking animals on farmers land.

Corridors, linking parks and reserves, are important. But we also hope that nature outside these areas, can survive. Very much needed cause like said, many predators like cheetahs and leopards live outside protected areas and there will always be outbreaking animals.

Practical solutions, small organizations
This is easy said but the people outside these national parks, often experience the disadvantage of predators on their land. Therefore SPOTS believes we need to help local communities. Therefore we support organizations that are in direct contact with the local communities and who come up with practical solutions. It is one thing to want local people to accept predators on their land. But let’s be real: these people also suffer due to predators and think of them often as a nuisance, because they prey on their cattle which provide their income. So, the organizations supported by SPOTS help the population effectively. For example: our supported lion project builds corrals (see picture) for the farmers. This allows the cattle to be locked in in the evening, making them less likely to fall prey to lions roaming free. Our supported cheetah projects Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia (CCF) and Cheetah Conservation Botswana (CCB) place special trained dogs (see picture 4) to chase predators like cheetahs away from cattle. This increases the acceptance limit of farmers to accept lions and cheetahs on their land. Education is also a key pillar for all of our supported projects. Education focuses on the farmers but also the youth. They are the future of tomorrow.

SPOTS is not supporting breeding programmes or shelters for wild animals. We do believe that we should protect the animals in the wild itself. And although some projects we support, do give shelter to (orphaned) animals, this is not our focus point. Again, we believe we should be aiming at wild populations. All money and awareness should be focused on this topic.

Responsible volunteering and tourism
Another major target for SPOTS in the Netherlands is educating people about “petting” tourism or volunteering. There are a lot of organizations in Southern Africa where you can pet a small animal as volunteer or tourist. Although we do believe that ambassador animals can be of value cause they can inspire people, we don’t believe in a breeding programme which enables a programme to always have young animals to pet with. This has nothing to do with nature conservation and in fact, it may in fact support the canned hunting industry.

We also do not believe in walking with lions – we believe the focus should be on lions in the wild and not in breeding lions letting them interact with people first to let them “go wild” again later on. We fully support the IUCN Cat Specialist Group who is also rejecting these kinds of excursions. For their article, click here. Foundation SPOTS therefore is very active in the Netherlands to warn people for these kind of excursions and volunteering places.

SPOT as you can see might be targetting the Dutch audiance but is speaking and working for the big cats in areas where you can find Lions, Cheetahs and Leopards and as you can imagine, they are not walking around in Holland. Therefor I think it deserves a place and your donations regardless of where you are based. Please go to their site and help them help the Lion, Cheetah and Leopard. you can find the Dutch site at http://www.stichtingspots.nl/ and for English you can click the English flag on the top right of the site.

Mavadelos Cause of the Month


Cause of the month

Cause of the Month logo

Spring is in the air on this side of the globe and this means a lot of young animals and plants are being born and sprouted. This is a good time to highlight a Canadian founded but Dutch based cause.

Greenpeace is known for its direct actionsand has been described as the most visible environmental organization in the world. Greenpeace has raised environmental issues to public knowledge, and influenced both the private and the public sector. Greenpeace has also been a source of controversy; its motives and methods have received criticism and the organization’s direct actions have sparked legal actions against Greenpeace activists, such as fines and suspended sentences for destroying a test plot of GMO wheat.

Greenpeace might be controversial but the work they do is absolutely needed, who else has the willpower, the organization and the amount of people to defend out globe and all it’s beauty that this group of people.

Writing down the history of Greenpeace would take up way to much space and frankly, if you hit the Greenpeace banner above you will goto the wiki page that has the complete history with references. I can promise you a long but interesting read.

Current project involve Indonesia, the Amazon and the Congo Basin

You can read more about Greenpeace on their own websites. I link the international site and from there you can choose a localized version using the little world map displayed next to Greenpeace International on the top left of the page

When Worlds Collide: Hybrid animals


Did you know there are a multitude of hybrid animals. These animals are born of two different species, either by way of natural conception in the wild or by human interference. One example was blogged about by my good friend Horty (Dr Rex) on her blog right here http://hrexach.wordpress.com/2014/04/26/zomg-what-the-heck-is-a-zonkey/

Besides the Zonky (which also can go by the name Zebroid

  • Zebroids
    • Zeedonk or Zonkey, a zebra/donkey cross.
    • Zorse, a zebra/horse cross
    • Zony or Zetland, a zebra/pony cross (“zony” is a generic term; “zetland” is specifically a hybrid of the Shetland pony breed with a zebra)

There are numerous hybrids, I will list a few

First there is the most well-known hybrid that I think many people don’t know it actually is a hybrid, I am talking about the Mule and Hinny

A Grey Mule

Hinny

 

mule is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. Horses and donkeys are different species, with different numbers of chromosomes. Of the two F1 hybrids between these two species, a mule is easier to obtain than a hinny (the offspring of a male horse and a female donkey). The size of a mule and work to which it is put depends largely on the breeding of the mule’s dam. Mules can be lightweight, medium weight, or even, when produced from draught horse mares, of moderately heavy weight.

It has been claimed that mules are “more patient, sure-footed, hardy and long-lived than horses, and they are considered less obstinate, faster, and more intelligent than donkeys.”

A female mule that has estrus cycles and thus, in theory, could carry a fetus, is called a “molly” or “Molly mule,” though the term is sometimes used to refer to female mules in general. Pregnancy is rare, but can occasionally occur naturally as well as through embryo transfer. One of several terms for a gelded mule is a “John mule.”

Geep

Geep / Gaapje (we Dutch use je behind a word to denounce something small or very young)

Scoat (?) / Scheitje

In English there seems no difference between a sheep/goat hybrid (mother/father) and a Goat/Sheep hybrid, well I couldn’t find it anyways. In Dutch however these are two different animals. The Dutch word for sheep is Schaap and the Dutch word for Goat is Geit. A Schaap/Geit Hybrid is called a Gaap and a Goat/Sheep hybrid is called a scheit. Fun fact. Gaap also means Yawn in Dutch and Scheit is also Dutch slang for poo. You can imagine the laughs we have talking about these animals. As you can hopefully see in the posted pictures they do have some differences

Wholphin

Wholphin

wholphin or wolphin is an extremely rare hybrid born from a mating of a femalebottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) with a male false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens). The name implies a hybrid of whale and dolphin, althoughtaxonomically, both are within the “oceanic dolphin” family, which is within the “toothed whale” suborder. The first recorded wholphin was born in a Tokyo SeaWorld, but he died after 200 days. The first wholphin in the United States and the first to survive was Kekaimalu, born at Sea Life Park in Hawaii on May 15, 1986; her name means “from the peaceful ocean”. Although they have been reported to exist in the wild, only one is currently in captivity, at Sea Life Park in Hawaii.

Kekaimalu proved fertile when she gave birth at a very young age. The calf died after a few days. However, in 1991, Kekaimalu gave birth once again, to daughter Pohaikealoha. For two years, she cared for the calf, but did not nurse it; it was hand-reared by trainers. Pohaikealoha died at age 9. On December 23, 2004, Kekaimalu had her third calf, daughter Kawili Kai, sired by a male bottlenose. This calf did nurse and was very playful. Only months after birth, it was the size of a one-year-old bottlenose dolphin. All three calves were three-quarters bottlenose dolphin and one-quarter false killer whale. Both Kekaimalu and Kawili Kai remain in captivity, and are now part of the normal tour at Sea Life Park.

In one episode of the show The Million Pound Drop Live, a team was asked which hybrid did not exist: a wholphin, a zorse, aliger, and a sheepig; they bet £550,000 on the wholphin and £150,000 on the sheepig. As the wholphin was real, they lost £550k of their money but later said that Mangalitsas are commonly referred to as sheepigs.

The other Mule

the other Mule

During the Victorian era, it was found that if a British finch, e.g. a Goldfinch, was crossed with a Canary, the result was an attractive looking, good singing bird. The resulting birds were sterile, but continue to be bred to this day under the name of Mules. Many clubs specialise in Mules.

Also around this time a few people began to experiment crossing British finches. The resulting birds, including Siskin x Goldfinch and even such beauties as Crossbill x Eurasian Bullfinch also remain to this day, often winning prizes at prestigious shows. The breeding of such hybrids can, however be notoriously difficult.[4] When writing about hybrid pairs, the cock always comes first, e.g. greenfinch x goldfinch is a greenfinch cock over a goldfinch hen.

Making Hybrid animals in a “lab” to me is clearly a case of Colliding Worlds. I don’t even want to talk about the Wolfdog hybrid. As a big fan of Wolves I dislike the wolfdog very much (not the actual animals, they can’t help it, those that thought they needed to make this hybrid though……well… let me just shut up)

Shades of gray: can Wolves and Humans live together


Gray wolves once ranged across North America. But by the 1930s, they were nearly extinct — trapped, poisoned and hunted by ranchers, farmers, and government agents. With protection under the 1973 Endangered Species Act, the wolf population rebounded. But wolves lost federal protection in 2011.

 

Now, with hunting permitted in many Western states, the future of this once endangered species may again be in question. Can we live with wolves? Earth Focus travels to Montana and Wyoming to find out.

So one of the reasons that people are afraid of wolves is because the fear for attacks on livestock and/or Humans. How well founded is this fear? let’s take a look at the facts, shall we?

I guess many Americans will be familiar with Politifact and the Oregon section had the following on fatal wolf attacks on Humans in the Rocky Mountain states

In a recent article in The Oregonian, Michelle Dennehy, a spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife, spoke some about those risks.

“Wolves have attacked and killed people in Canada and Alaska,” Dennehy told The Oregonian. “It is extremely rare and has never happened in the Rocky Mountain states, but we advise people to keep your distance from wolves and any wild animals.”

Oregon is home to an estimated 24 wolves, a small population. But a 2010 reportby the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service puts the number of wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountain population (which includes Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and the eastern one-third of Washington and Oregon) at more than 1,650.

This got us wondering whether it could be true that there have been no documented cases of run-ins with wolves in that fairly large area. Plus, we’re always looking for a change of pace.

We started where we always start: the source. Dennehy pointed us to a 2002 report from the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research called “The fear of wolves: A review of wolf attacks on humans.”

Because “the vast majority” of global wolf research happens in North America, the report says, wolf attacks in Canada and the U.S. have been extremely well documented. That documentation — and the fact that attacks are so rare — allowed the authors to detail every attack in the past century.

All told, the study’s authors found 18 wolf attacks in North America — 12 in Canada and six in the U.S. Of the attacks in the U.S., four occurred in Alaska (as did an unspecified number of small incidents along a road where truckers had taken to feeding the wolves) and two in Minnesota, in which the victims weren’t injured. Two of the attacks in Alaska left the victim dead of rabies. Both of those happened in the 1940s.

Dennehy also sent us a news clip from a paper up in Saskatchewan that detailed the 2005deathof a young Ontario student who was on a walk near a Saskatchewan mining camp when he was attacked and killed. A sad story to be sure, but one that happened a ways away from the Rocky Mountains.

We try to be thorough, so we also placed a call to the International Wolf Center, an organization that tries to advance the survival of wolves through education.

We spoke to Jess Edberg, who is based in Ely, Minnesota. Minnesota has the most robust wolf population outside of Alaska.

“Overall, in North America and around the world, a wolf attack on humans is very rare,” Edberg said. “In the lower 48, we haven’t had any attacks on humans.”
She added that many of the attacks that do occur often involve sick animals or animals who had been fed or allowed to become accustomed to humans.

Edberg did point out the Alaska Department of Fish and Game had recently concluded that a woman found dead in 2010 on the Alaska Peninsula was killed by wolves.

Finally, she sent us looking for two studies on wolves. One report, which shared an author with the first Norwegian report, looked at Scandinavia and found that over the past 300 years, 94 people have been killed by wolves. All of those cases, the report found, were before 1882 and most were children under the age of 12.

The second, more pertinent report, done in 2002, by Mark E McNay for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game looked at wolf attacks in Alaska and Canada and found that “despite (a) large and widely distributed wolf population, no human deaths have been attributed to wild, healthy wolves since at least 1900, and biting incidents or bluff charges are rare enough to warrant publication in scientific journals.”

Of course, that report was published before the two deaths we mentioned above.

History and perception of wolf attacks worldwide

Europe

Map showing the number of wolf attacks in France by département from 1400 to 1918.

Map of Eurasia showing the distribution of wolf attacks, with blue indicating areas where both rabid and predatory attacks occurred, purple for purely predatory attacks and green for purely rabid ones.

Chart showing the hypothetical stages leading up to wolf attacks on humans in 15th-19th century Italy. While these factors are now largely absent in modern-day Europe, they are still present in rural India, where many attacks took place during the late 20th century.

In France, historical records compiled by rural historian Jean-Marc Moriceau indicate that during the period 1362–1918, nearly 7,600 people were killed by wolves, of whom 4,600 were killed by non-rabid wolves. Numerous attacks occurred in Germany during the 17th century after the thirty years war, though the majority probably involved rabid wolves. Although Italy has no records of wolf attacks after WWII and the eradication of rabies in the 1960s, historians examining church and administrative records from northern Italy’s central Po Valley region (which includes a part of modern daySwitzerland) found 440 cases of wolves attacking people between the 15th and 19th centuries. The 19th century records show that between 1801-1825, there were 112 attacks, 77 of which resulted in death. Of these cases, only five were attributed to rabid animals. In Latvia, records of rabid wolf attacks go back two centuries. At least 72 people were bitten between 1992-2000. Similarly, in Lithuania, attacks by rabid wolves have continued to the present day, with 22 people having been bitten between 1989-2001. Around 82 people were bitten by rabid wolves in Estonia during the 18th to 19th centuries, with a further 136 people being killed in the same period by non-rabid wolves, though it is likely that the animals involved in the latter cases were a combination of wolf-dog hybrids and escaped captive wolves.

Russia and the Soviet Union

As with North American scientists later on (see below), several Russian zoologists after the October Revolution cast doubt on the veracity of records involving wolf-caused deaths. Prominent among them was zoologist Petr Aleksandrovich Manteifel, who initially regarded all cases as either fiction or the work of rabid animals. His writings were widely accepted among Russian zoological circles, though he subsequently changed his stance when he was tasked with heading a special commission after WWII investigating wolf attacks throughout the Soviet Union, which had increased during the war years. A report was presented in November 1947 describing numerous attacks, including ones perpetrated by apparently healthy animals, and gave recommendations on how to better defend against them. The Soviet authorities prevented the document from reaching both the public and those who would otherwise be assigned to deal with the problem. All mention of wolf attacks was subsequently censored.

Asian Hakurou by WildSpiritWolf

Asia

In Iran, 98 attacks were recorded in 1981] and 329 people were given treatment for rabid wolf bites in 1996. Records of wolf attacks in India began to be kept during the British colonial administration in the 19th century. In 1875, more people were killed by wolves than tigers, with the worst affected areas being the North West Provinces and Bihar. In the former area, 721 people were killed by wolves in 1876, while in Bihar, the majority of the 185 recorded deaths at the time occurred mostly in the Patna and Bghalpur Divisions. In the United Provinces, 624 people were killed by wolves in 1878, with 14 being killed during the same period in Bengal. In Hazaribagh, Bihar, 115 children were killed between 1910-1915, with 122 killed and 100 injured in the same area between 1980-1986. Between April 1989 to March 1995, wolves killed 92 people in southern Bihar, accounting for 23% of 390 large mammal attacks on humans in the area at that time. Police records collected from Korean mining communities during Japanese ruleindicate that wolves attacked 48 people in 1928, more than those claimed by boars, bears, leopards and tigers combined.

North America

There were no written records of wolf attacks on humans prior to the European colonization of the Americas, though the oral history of some Native American tribes confirms that wolves occasionally did kill humans. Tribes living in woodlands feared wolves more than their tundra-dwelling counterparts, as they could encounter wolves suddenly and at close quarters.Skepticism among North American scientists over the alleged ferocity of wolves began when Canadian biologist Doug Clark investigated historical wolf attacks in Europe and, based on his own experiences with the relatively timid wolves of the Canadian wilderness, concluded that all historical attacks were perpetrated by rabid animals, and that healthy wolves posed no threat to humans. Although his findings were later criticized for failing to distinguish between rabid and predatory attacks, and the fact that the historical literature contained instances of people surviving the attacks at a time when there was no rabies vaccine, his conclusions were nonetheless adopted by other North American biologists. This view subsequently gained popularity among laypeople with the publication of Farley Mowat‘s semi-fictional 1963 book Never Cry Wolf, with the language barrier hindering the collection of further data on wolf attacks elsewhere. Although some North American biologists were aware of wolf attacks in Eurasia, they dismissed them as irrelevant to North American wolves.

By the 1970s, the fear of wolves was largely counteracted by the emergence of a pro-wolf lobby aiming to change public attitudes towards wolves, with the phrase “there has never been a documented case of a healthy wild wolf attacking a human in North America” (or variations thereof) becoming the mantra of people trying to create a more positive image of the wolf. Although several non fatal attacks had been reported since 1985, it wasn’t until April 26, 2000 when a 6-year-old boy survived an attack by a wolf in Icy Bay, Alaska that the assumption that healthy wild wolves were harmless became seriously challenged. The event was considered so unusual that it was reported in newspapers throughout the entire United States. Following the Icy Bay incident, biologist Mark E. McNay compiled a record in 2002 of wolf-human encounters in Canada and Alaska from 1915-2001. Of the 80 described encounters, 39 involved aggressive behavior from apparently healthy wolves and 12 from animals confirmed to be rabid.The first fatal attack in the 21st century occurred in 2005, when a man was killed in SaskatchewanCanada by wolves that had been habituated to humans, while in 2010, a woman was killed whilst jogging near Chignik Lake in Alaska.

basically….. there is no reason to fear a wolf attack however when in wolf country always be cautious. We all need to protest against this delisting and start protecting the wolf. One way of doing this is by supporting Wolf Haven International (and if you want more wolfhaven you might visit this blog done by one of their caretakers )

NH_Logo_BlackOutline

Wolf Haven International

MCM: Ending the Wolf Haven International Month #Loboweek


 

Cause of the month

Cause of the Month logo

So it is always the end of March 2014 and with that we are approaching the end of the Wolf Haven International cause

Coincidentally this week is Loboweek so I thought it a good idea to have some attention for this.. I learned about this when I visited the WHI Facebook page which took me to The Wolf Conservation Centre at http://nywolf.org/ which provided the following information.

#LoboWeek – Join the Movement!

On March 29, 1998, 11 captive-reared Mexican gray wolves (Canis lupus baileyi) were released to the wild for the first time in the Blue Range Recovery Area of Arizona and New Mexico. Missing from the landscape for more than 30 years, the howl of the rarest and most unique subspecies of gray wolf, was once again greeted by the mountains of the southwest. This March, marks the 16th anniversary of this historic event, a significant milestone for the lobo and wildlife conservation. In recognition of the anniversary, the WCC is among the rapidly growing group of partners participating #LoboWeek, an international movement to educate people about the Mexican wolf or “lobo” and our efforts to successfully restore this critically endangered wolf to its ancestral home in the wild.

Become a Partner!

Starting March 23rd, we’re enlisting Wildlife Organizations, Zoos, Advocacy Groups, Businesses, and individuals like you to come together with one common purpose – to raise awareness for the most genetically distinct subspecies of gray wolf in North America, the Mexican gray wolf.

#LoboWeek is harnessing the power of social media to broaden our reach to and create a national moment.  All week (March 23rd-29th)  #LoboWeek partners are dedicating time to the lobo on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and other social media; offering information, fun facts, special events, contests and more.

How to become a partner

It’s up to you how you choose to celebrate, but by following the simple steps below, our united efforts can help #LoboWeek take its place on the calendar and help make history!

Please follow the steps below and also email maggie@nywolf.org so we can track how large our #LoboWeek pack is growing!

FACEBOOK during March 23 – 29:

  1. Step One: Update your Facebook cover photo.  (the banner photo, not profile picture) to reflect something related to Lobo.  People can use their own photo or one of ours (See below *)
  2. Step Two: Overlay the #LoboWeek badge (it has a transparent background) on your cover photo. CLICK HERE to download the badge.

    CLICK HERE to download a cover with badge (lots of options).

  1. Step Three:  A commitment help raise awareness for the lobo by posting, sharing, and educating on your Facebook page.

TWITTER during March 23 – 29:

  1. We connect on Twitter by using #LoboWeek on all lobo related tweets
  2. Retweeting partner’s tweets is a great way to show that our mission to educate people is united effort.

Double Your Donation to the Wolf Conservation Center on March 26th!

In honor of this significant milestone for the lobo and wildlife conservation, Wolf Conservation Center supporters Amy Wendel and Dan Meisel are providing a matching grant up to $5,000 for all donations received on Wednesday March 26th to help support the WCC’s efforts to save the lobo!

Save the date! Your support will help the WCC continue its commitment to the lobo and the recovery efforts necessary for this critically endangered species to sustain itself in the future.

Donate HERE

This Organization will be the subject of the MCM in a few months since I do not want two similar causes back to back but Loboweek seems to me a perfect ending for this months cause.

lobo_1998-2014_badge

Once again here is some info on WHI

http://www.wolfhaven.org/

Wolf Haven International (WHI) is a 501(c)(3) organization that has worked
for wolf conservation since 1982. The mission of WHI is to conserve and
protect wolves and their habitat. We do this by:
• Providing sanctuary for captive born wolves
• Educating the public on the value of all wildlife
• Promoting wolf restoration
• Protecting our remaining wild wolves and their habitat

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For 30 years, WHI has rescued and provided lifetime sanctuary to over 170
animals. We are participants in two Species Survival Plan (SSP) programs
for endangered species: 1) Mexican grey and 2) red wolf. These are
partnerships between captive facilities, the Association of Zoos and
Aquariums (AZA) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. As an SSP member,
WHI has successfully bred both red wolves and Mexican wolves. We have
also had eleven of our SSP Mexican grey wolves released into the
wilderness of the Southwest.

Our sanctuary and education department welcome over 12,000 visitors
each year. Guided walking tours, eco-scavenger hunts, interpretive games,
camping and prairie walks inspire our visitors to observe, interact, and
appreciate wildlife of all kinds.

WHI owns 82 acres of pristine Mima Mound prairie, wetlands and
woodlands. We partner with The Center for Natural Lands Management,
state and federal Fish and Wildlife, the Audubon Society and other
environmental organizations to preserve and restore native plants,
butterflies and mammals to the prairie.

Travelers from other countries, out-of-state, local residents, school
children, youth groups, seniors, and families all come here to experience
the magic of Wolf Haven International.

WCC-Lobo Week-Day 7-M1141

 

On a side note. The people of Wolf Haven have seen my MCM blog and have send me a nice email thanking me for this which of course is greatly appreciated and I have done so with pleasure. If (or as soon as) they have added more (non credit card) payment options I will be adopting a wolf myself and I urge all of my readers to either do the same or to donate in another way. Donation/adoption info can be found at the donation pages at WHI. WolfHavenInternational has been “adopted” by this blog as ongoing Cause. A logo will be placed in my sidebar and their info can always be found in the MCM area of this blog

WolfThankYou