Defenders Magazine

Spring 2014

Volume 89, Issue 2

Feature

Idaho holds a privileged place in the annals of wolf history. Here, in The Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness nearly 20 years ago, the first reintroduced wolves in America leaped from portable kennels onto their historical home turf, returned by a federal government coming to terms with its misguided policy to hunt, poison and trap an ecologically crucial species to near-extinction. Now, with federal wolf protection lifted in 2011 and wolf management in the hands of the state, many concerned citizens and scientists view Idaho as the poster child for a particularly egregious anti-wolf agenda—one that is absent scientific merit, based in irrational loathing and aimed toward wolf persecution, not management. “While we are disappointed with many states’ wolf plans, Idaho tops the list as the state with the worst wolf policy,” says Don Barry, Defenders’ senior vice president of conservation programs. “The state has rapidly become the most hostile state in the West to wolves and wolf recovery and has adopted a series of extreme anti-wolf measures designed to seriously undermine wolf recovery and sustainability, and to drive the wolf population down to the absolute minimum.”

Articles

Sharing the Air
Wind energy is crucial to battling climate change. Can it expand without harming eagles?
Ignoring the lessons learned from unsustainable clear-cutting in the 1970s and 1980s, Oregon politicians are pushing legislation that would dramatically accelerate logging in the heart of the Pacific Northwest.
House cat, © Rob Manix
Some cat owners probably awoke this morning to a carcass on their doorstep: a bird, a mouse or maybe a mole. These “gifts” are tokens of their feline’s late-night prowling and a glimpse of the ecological havoc wreaked by the domestic cat.
Sage-grouse, © Tatiana Gettelman
In the rugged, open scrublands of east-central Montana lives the sage-grouse, a plucky bird that once thrived across the sagebrush sea. Today, however, the population is plummeting from habitat loss.
The species was once the most abundant bird in the world - but went extinct in a matter of decades. What can we learn from the plight of the passenger pigeon?
Grizzly Bear,  © Diana Robinson
Large carnivores—big cats, wolves, bears and more—face enormous threats from loss of prey and habitat to use of their parts in traditional medicine.
Sonoran Pronghorn,  © Mark Milburn
With an oblong face and a black nose splotch, the Sonoran pronghorn stands out against the cacti-strewn landscape of the American Southwest.
Arkansas is the 23rd state stricken with the deadly white-nose syndrome in cave-dwelling bats after state biologists confirmed its presence in two northern long-eared bats in January.
The Truth Is Out There
A roundup of important wildlife stories
The numbers are in and they’re disappointing, says Eva Sargent, Defenders’ Southwest director. The population expanded by only eight individuals from the 2012 year-end population of 75 wolves.