Wolves and moose in Jackson Hole Wyoming

gillettehunter

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Ran across this on another forum and thought some here might find it interesting...... Bruce

Jackson Moose Decline

Moose in Jackson Hole, Wyoming are in serious trouble. Before wolves were introduced into Yellowstone, there were 3,000 to 5,000 moose in Jackson. Today, less than 20 years after the experimental wolf introduction, there are less than 500 moose left. This is a true American conservation nightmare.


As one of the most important and iconic Shiras Moose populations in world, protecting and restoring moose in Jackson is critical to their survival. In the early 1900’s, when moose became extinct in most areas across the American West, it was the Shiras Moose from Jackson that were used to restore extinct populations. Considering the importance of Jackson’s moose to saving the species in America, it is unacceptable what 20 years of wolf mismanagement has done to this vitally important moose population.

Why is this happening? Though wolf recovery objectives in Wyoming were reached 12 years ago, lawsuits by anti-sportsmen activists and animal rights groups have prevented Wyoming from having the legal authority to manage its wolves.

Five years ago, Congress acted to restore wolf management authority in Idaho and Montana. Wyoming was left off the list. At that time, there were still 1,000 moose left in Jackson. Since then, OVER 50% of moose in Jackson have disappeared. The Jackson moose viewing festival was cancelled several years ago. The Jackson moose hunt, which annually supported 500 permits, is now down to approximately 10 permits. This has not stopped the decline.

One scientific study shows just how dire the situation has become for moose populations in Jackson:

This population is 88% below its postseason management objective. Native moose populations naturally expanded and colonized the Jackson area in the late 19th century. The species’ arrival was followed by a classic exponential population increase, peaking at approximately 3,000-5,000 animals (depending on modeling techniques). For many years, the Jackson Herd served as a source for moose transplants in multiple states and supported nearly 500 hunting licenses. However, the population underwent a dramatic population crash beginning in the early 1990s. Despite drastic reductions in hunting licenses, the population has failed to recover and continues to decline.” (Houston 1968, Berger 2004, Becker 2008, Vartanian 2011)

Now is the time to protect and restore moose in America. Without responsible and timely predator management there will not be enough young moose to restore these populations to their former greatness.

Please watch for future emails and action alerts from BigGame Forever in the coming weeks. The time is approaching when we will ask for sportsmen to unite in an effort to recover America’s moose populations that have been so dramatically impacted by unmanaged and undermanaged wolves, grizzly bears, and other predators.

Thank you,
Ryan Benson
President and CEO
BigGame Forever


BigGame Forever (www.biggameforever.org) is a non-profit membership organization of conservation-minded sportsmen committed to protecting the future of our outdoor heritage. BigGame Forever allows hunters and fishermen from around the United States to speak with one united voice to promote the protection of abundant wild game and the right of sportsmen.
 

Roan

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But wolfs are sooo much cuter than a silly Moose.....

I wish greenies would just start thinking logically. Its not that difficult.
 

Shootist43

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Hopefully under the "new management" just recently elected, we will see the necessary changes made to allow scientific and fact based management of game and non-game animals. Good plans often go awry, when they do, they need to be adjusted. But I wonder if there might not be some other reason for the demise of the moose. Consider Isle Royal (a National Park in Michigan) where many years ago the moose population increased to a non-sustainable point. Sickness and starvation threatened the entire herd. A pack of wolves crossed the ice during the winter and went to work on the moose.
The thought at the time was that the wolves would kill off the entire moose population. History has proven that not to be the case. The wolves take care of their own population and the moose population has remained nearly constant at 600 plus animals.
 

Ridgewalker

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Interesting info. Wonder why the difference in Jackson Hole area and Isle Royal?
In Rocky Mountain National Park, I have heard the elk population was so high the Feds brought in shooters to take 600 out. Haven't seen this documented though.
 

BRICKBURN

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I laughed my ass off ass off at the rationale used in the original project to Yellowstone. The wolves , imported from Alberta, that had never seen nor hunted a Bison were supposed to help control Bison numbers.
Wolves that hunted Elk and Moose have continued to hunt Elk and Moose and without controls will eat every damned Moose you have. I assume a few Bison have been eaten over the years.

We can hunt wolves on public land in any big game season without a license and the Wolf population manages to survive and and grow just fine.

We even have enough we can export them to the US. I am sure if you want a few more we can oblige again.

I hope someone comes to their senses down there before it's to late.
 

CAustin

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CAustin

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It seems rather straight forward to me! A wolf bitch can have what 2,4,6 pups at a time? A moose cow one maybe sometimes two calfs a season? How many years before wolf packs over take an echo system? By this report it would clearly indicate about 25 years!

Where are the great senators from Wyoming on this issue? They need to step up and real fast!
 

Clayton

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...We even have enough we can export them to the US. I am sure if you want a few more we can oblige again...

Might want to start making plans to export some moose.
 

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Shootist43

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Guys, please take a look at what the effect of wolves had on the moose population of Isle Royal National Park. One pack of wolves came across the ice during the winter well over 50 years ago. Since that time the number of wolf packs has increased to two. The Alpha male and female kill off any lesser pair that try to mate. The number of moose on the island has stayed constant at around 600 animals. They simply are not wanton killers as some might suggest.
 

Foxi

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308-Winchester.jpg
 

BRICKBURN

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Guys, please take a look at what the effect of wolves had on the moose population of Isle Royal National Park. One pack of wolves came across the ice during the winter well over 50 years ago. Since that time the number of wolf packs has increased to two. The Alpha male and female kill off any lesser pair that try to mate. The number of moose on the island has stayed constant at around 600 animals. They simply are not wanton killers as some might suggest.

Those a baby wolves from Ontario, are not the big mean ones from Alberta that got exported to Yellowstone. :)

We are trying to save out local Caribou herd, that has been taking a beating from Wolves (but also encroachment from development.)
There is no hunting of Caribou in Alberta and they are moving toward extirpation due.
The Caribou are a little concerned about the local the Wolves unforgiving attitude toward their plight, so we help the Caribou out a little bit. As Foxi just suggested.
 

Shootist43

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Just finished a little research on Isle Royal's current moose and wolf populations. Because of inbreeding the wolf population has dwindled down to two, an alpha male and his daughter. The moose population is up to about 1300 and the moose's food supply is dwindling. The U.S> Park Service is contemplating the introduction of new wolves to the island. It needs to be noted that there is no hunting allowed on the island. The Biologists that have been studying the relationship between the wolves and the moose have gone on record as stating that a wolf will kill and eat from .44 to 1.65 moose per month. Hopefully the game biologists dealing with the wolf issues in and or near Yellowstone National Park will come up with a good plan that provides for the future of both animals.
 

gillettehunter

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Part of the problem is the killing of moose calves. They do take adults, but less so. Grizzlies take some and I'm sure habitat degredation/enchroachmen by man has done some. The biggest single factor is wolves. A moose survey a few yrs back by the WY game and fish dept turned up 7.5calves/100 cows........ That spells diaster any way you look at it.
Wolves have been know to kill and leave without feeding. Here is a news article from CNN that shows that.
http://edition.cnn.com/2016/03/25/us/wyoming-wolf-pack-elk-slaughter/index.html
I could also get you a similar article from a different pack in Idaho. Idaho can at least hunt them. The elk herd in the Selway Bitteroot wilderness area is down OVER 75%. Primary cause is wolves. I'm suggesting eliminating all of them, just some reasonable management. Bruce

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 6.14.24 PM.png
 
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PHOENIX PHIL

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Just finished a little research on Isle Royal's current moose and wolf populations. Because of inbreeding the wolf population has dwindled down to two, an alpha male and his daughter. The moose population is up to about 1300 and the moose's food supply is dwindling. The U.S> Park Service is contemplating the introduction of new wolves to the island. It needs to be noted that there is no hunting allowed on the island. The Biologists that have been studying the relationship between the wolves and the moose have gone on record as stating that a wolf will kill and eat from .44 to 1.65 moose per month. Hopefully the game biologists dealing with the wolf issues in and or near Yellowstone National Park will come up with a good plan that provides for the future of both animals.

@Foxi already has a proven plan.
 

thi9elsp

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I guess I'll weigh in as a different perspective. My brother was the USFWS Field Agent in greater Yellowstone from Mid-1990's until 6 years ago when he retired. He is first a hunter, second a conservationist and third a law enforcement officer with MS in wildlife management. I asked him to vet the referenced article. The following links are ones he provided me as research. I am by far no expert on these matters; however, here's my summary having scanned through the articles and research:

1) The fire of 1988 had a significant impact on browse
2) Multiple research indicates that moose predation by wolves is less than 1% of the wolves predation with elk the bulk ~60+%
3) The impact of poor browse has led to poor reproductive rates
4) Where browse is of higher quality populations are stable or growing
5) Grizzly have moved from cutthroat trout to elk calves in high elevations

I am all for managing ecosystems that we as humans have impacted. I think that is the root of conservation. I am all for hunting. However, I get concerned when the easy target (predators) are blamed when other factors have as substantial or even greater impact to the prey herds.

John

http://cschneebeck.com/raynes/resources/MooseDeclines.Summer2011.pdf

http://wyocoopunit.org/projects/chal3

http://wyocoopunit.org/projects/jackson-moose-project

The 2014 Report has statistics on prey % by species showing elk, mule deer, with very few if any moose
https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/wolfreports.htm

http://wyocoopunit.org/projects/absaroka-elk-ecology-project

http://wyocoopunit.org/projects/shiras-moose-demography-project

The summary of his thesis references the impact of habitat and browse on populations.
http://wyocoopunit.org/wp-content/uploads/Vartanian-Thesis-2011.pdf

http://wyocoopunit.org/news/new-uw-research-shows-grizzly-diet-shift-hits-elk-herds
 

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BRICKBURN

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Sure, cloud the arguments with facts. Bloody hell man!
 

Philip Glass

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This well meaning article totally misses the truth of the situation. The Government imported EXOTIC GIANT ARTIC WOLVES TO THE LOWER 48! These were NEVER native to the lower 48, a smaller wolf was. This killing machine they imported has caused ecological devastation. They DID NOT restore nature they made by their own hands something that had never been and are reaping the results. EcoDemocratSocilsts are fools and failures. I remember visiting Yellowstone in 2011 only to be so disappointed to see there was nothing left but Bison. When I was a kid it was picturesque with elk and moose everywhere. Now you will see wolves in the day time and bison and nothing else! I remember a local shop owner in Jackson Hole lamenting the loss of the moose at that time.
Sorry but a sheep rancher gets really pissed off when predator discussions ensue!

Regards,
Philip Glass
 

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