biomorphosis:

The maned wolf is the largest canine species in South America and closely resembles a red fox on stilts because of its long legs. It is neither a wolf, fox, coyote, or dog  but rather a member of its own Chrysocyon genus, making it a truly unique animal. They possess a mane that runs from the back of the head to the shoulders which can be erected to intimidate other animals when displaying aggression or when they feel threatened. 

Unlike other wolves that live in packs, maned wolves do not form or hunt in packs but prefer to live alone.  Maned wolf is considered as the last surviving species of the Pleistocene Extinction, which wiped out all other large canids from the continent.

(via feliscanis)

howtoskinatiger:

Tibetan Fox 2 by Zoothera Birding on Flickr.

howtoskinatiger:

Tibetan Fox 2 by Zoothera Birding on Flickr.

Research shows increased inbreeding in endangered wolf population

dendroica:

Washington Department of Wildlife Secretly Sends Aerial Gunners for Wolf Pack

Conservation groups learned today that the Washington Department of Wildlife has abandoned nonlethal measures to deter further loss of sheep and instead use a helicopter to gun down members of the Huckleberry wolf pack. The groups learned that the department was unsuccessful today, but plans to return at first light Sunday in southeast Stevens County….
At a Fish and Wildlife Commission hearing on Aug. 15, department officials told the commission they had a range rider and multiple staff at the site to create a human presence that would scare wolves away. Department officials also said the band of 1,800 sheep would be moved to a new location. However, staff subsequently went home for a night or two and the sheep were not moved – nor were sheep carcasses removed – and there were subsequently four more sheep deaths on Aug 18 and 19. As of today, the sheep band still has not been moved and sheep carcasses, which could draw in wolves, still remain.
On Aug. 20, Department Director Phil Anderson issued a kill order authorizing agency staff and the sheep rancher to kill any wolves in the vicinity of the sheep, even though most of the conflict-prevention measures the department said would be in place were not. The range rider was not on the ground until the morning of Aug. 21, almost a week after the department assured the commission of his presence, and the department had not accepted an offer from a conservation group of a loan of special lights that deter predators and are being used in other parts of the west.

(via Center for Biological Diversity)

dendroica:

Washington Department of Wildlife Secretly Sends Aerial Gunners for Wolf Pack

Conservation groups learned today that the Washington Department of Wildlife has abandoned nonlethal measures to deter further loss of sheep and instead use a helicopter to gun down members of the Huckleberry wolf pack. The groups learned that the department was unsuccessful today, but plans to return at first light Sunday in southeast Stevens County….

At a Fish and Wildlife Commission hearing on Aug. 15, department officials told the commission they had a range rider and multiple staff at the site to create a human presence that would scare wolves away. Department officials also said the band of 1,800 sheep would be moved to a new location. However, staff subsequently went home for a night or two and the sheep were not moved – nor were sheep carcasses removed – and there were subsequently four more sheep deaths on Aug 18 and 19. As of today, the sheep band still has not been moved and sheep carcasses, which could draw in wolves, still remain.

On Aug. 20, Department Director Phil Anderson issued a kill order authorizing agency staff and the sheep rancher to kill any wolves in the vicinity of the sheep, even though most of the conflict-prevention measures the department said would be in place were not. The range rider was not on the ground until the morning of Aug. 21, almost a week after the department assured the commission of his presence, and the department had not accepted an offer from a conservation group of a loan of special lights that deter predators and are being used in other parts of the west.

(via Center for Biological Diversity)

florafaunagifs:

African painted dogs (Lycaon pictus) - Planet Earth

(via feliscanis)

howtoskinatiger:

Video in coyote killing raises questions about ethics and the future of wolf hunting in Michigan
IRONWOOD, MICH. — Here come the hunting hounds, howling, some 200 yards through woodland. Approaching echoes mean only one thing. Something is intended to be cornered, or killed.
“I can hear the dogs coming, now. We’re going to let them finish this thing off. It’s a beautiful, beautiful coyote. … He might have a little fight left in him. His eyes are open,” a narrator exhales into the video. It was posted on YouTube, but since has been removed, as criminal charges are considered.
The hounds bound through deep snow, toward a mature coyote, already shot and wounded, lying nearly motionless on the thigh-high drifts. Its eyes blink. The narrator wants the dogs to finish what the hunter did not.
“This is going to be some live action,” the man says as he aims the video camera. “There he his. There he is. Get him, Doc. Get him. … We’re going to get Cooter in here. He’s a machine.”
Radio-collared tracking hounds tear, and are torn at, by the wounded predator. The video is in the hands of the Gogebic County prosecutor, after an investigation from a Michigan Department of Natural Resources law officer. The prosecutor did not return multiple requests for comment.
The Department of Natural Resources has requested Gogebic County authorities to determine if this hound attack on a wounded coyote was unlawful
Hound-hunting is not illegal in Michigan. This might be just another local case for law enforcement to sort out, whether it crosses a boundary into animal fighting or abuse. But its implications are larger and about to become part of a national narrative in the debate about wolf hunting – one of Michigan’s hottest political issues.
Read more

howtoskinatiger:

Video in coyote killing raises questions about ethics and the future of wolf hunting in Michigan

IRONWOOD, MICH. — Here come the hunting hounds, howling, some 200 yards through woodland. Approaching echoes mean only one thing. Something is intended to be cornered, or killed.

“I can hear the dogs coming, now. We’re going to let them finish this thing off. It’s a beautiful, beautiful coyote. … He might have a little fight left in him. His eyes are open,” a narrator exhales into the video. It was posted on YouTube, but since has been removed, as criminal charges are considered.

The hounds bound through deep snow, toward a mature coyote, already shot and wounded, lying nearly motionless on the thigh-high drifts. Its eyes blink. The narrator wants the dogs to finish what the hunter did not.

“This is going to be some live action,” the man says as he aims the video camera. “There he his. There he is. Get him, Doc. Get him. … We’re going to get Cooter in here. He’s a machine.”

Radio-collared tracking hounds tear, and are torn at, by the wounded predator. The video is in the hands of the Gogebic County prosecutor, after an investigation from a Michigan Department of Natural Resources law officer. The prosecutor did not return multiple requests for comment.

The Department of Natural Resources has requested Gogebic County authorities to determine if this hound attack on a wounded coyote was unlawful

Hound-hunting is not illegal in Michigan. This might be just another local case for law enforcement to sort out, whether it crosses a boundary into animal fighting or abuse. But its implications are larger and about to become part of a national narrative in the debate about wolf hunting – one of Michigan’s hottest political issues.

Read more

wolveswolves:

Wolves cooperate but dogs submit, study suggests
19 August 2014


For dog lovers, comparative psychologists Friederike Range and Zsófia Virányi have an unsettling conclusion. Many researchers think that as humans domesticated wolves, they selected for a cooperative nature, resulting in animals keen to pitch in on tasks with humans. But when the two scientists at the Messerli Research Institute at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna studied lab-raised dog and wolf packs, they found that wolves were the tolerant, cooperative ones. The dogs, in contrast, formed strict, linear dominance hierarchies that demand obedience from subordinates, Range explained last week at the Animal Behavior Society meeting at Princeton University. As wolves became dogs, she thinks, they were bred for the ability to follow orders and to be dependent on human masters.
Range and Virányi developed their new portrayal of dogs and wolves by giving a series of tests to socialized packs of mixed-breed dogs and wolves, four packs of each species, containing anywhere from two to six animals each. The scientists raised all the animals from about 10 days old at the Wolf Science Center in Game Park Ernstbrunn, Austria, living with them 24 hours a day until they were introduced to pack life, so that they were accustomed to humans.
Range and her colleagues tested the dogs’ and wolves’ tolerance for their fellow pack members with a mealtime challenge. The researchers paired a high-ranking dog with a low-ranking pack buddy and set out a bowl of food, then gave the same challenge to a pair of wolves. In every matchup, “the higher ranking dog monopolized the food,” Range told the meeting. “But in the wolf tests, both high- and low-ranking animals had access” and were able to chow down at the same time. At times, the more dominant wolves were “mildly aggressive toward their subordinates, but a lower ranking dog won’t even try” when paired with a top dog, Range said. “They don’t dare to challenge.”
Wolves also beat the hounds on tests that assessed whether the canids were able to follow the gaze of their fellows to find food. “They are very cooperative with each other, and when they have a disagreement or must make a group decision, they have a lot of communication or ‘talk’ first,” Range said.  The same was not true for the center’s dog packs; for even the smallest transgression, a higher ranked dog “may react aggressively” toward one that is subordinate.
Range and Virányi suspect that the relationship between dogs and humans is hierarchical, with humans as top dogs, rather than cooperative, as in wolf packs. The notion of “dog-human cooperation” needs to be reconsidered, Range said, as well as “the hypotheses that domestication enhanced dogs’ cooperative abilities.” Instead, our ancestors bred dogs for obedience and dependency. “It’s not about having a common goal,” Range said. “It’s about being with us, but without conflict. We tell them something, and they obey.”
“It’s wonderful work,” says James Serpell, an ethologist at the University of Pennsylvania. “But it’s not what the dog training community wants to hear; you can’t say the word ‘dominance’ around them. Does dominance exist as a phenomenon in dogs? The answer is clearly ‘yes,’ ” Serpell says, although he notes that there are breed differences. Other researchers, for example, have shown that when in packs, poodles and Labrador retrievers are more aggressive than are malamutes and German shepherds.     
Monique Udell, an animal behaviorist at Oregon State University, Corvallis, says her own study of dog and wolf behavior, also presented at the meeting, supports Range’s contention that dogs are waiting for orders. To find out if dogs are “independent problem solvers,” she presented 20 adult dogs (10 pets and 10 from shelters) with sealed containers of summer sausage. Each animal was allotted 2 minutes to open it. Ten captive wolves were given the same test. Not one of the adult dogs succeeded; most did not even try. Meanwhile, eight of the 10 wolves opened the container in less than 2 minutes. So did dog puppies, indicating that dogs are no less capable of the task than wolves, but “as the dog grows and becomes more dependent on its human owner that [independent] behavior is inhibited,” Udell said.
Underscoring the point, she found that adult pooches could open the container after all—when their human owner told them to do so. Because dogs “suppress their independence, it’s difficult to know what their normal problem-solving abilities are,” she told the meeting.
It may be that we have to give Fido a command to find out.


Source

wolveswolves:

Wolves cooperate but dogs submit, study suggests

19 August 2014

For dog lovers, comparative psychologists Friederike Range and Zsófia Virányi have an unsettling conclusion. Many researchers think that as humans domesticated wolves, they selected for a cooperative nature, resulting in animals keen to pitch in on tasks with humans. But when the two scientists at the Messerli Research Institute at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna studied lab-raised dog and wolf packs, they found that wolves were the tolerant, cooperative ones. The dogs, in contrast, formed strict, linear dominance hierarchies that demand obedience from subordinates, Range explained last week at the Animal Behavior Society meeting at Princeton University. As wolves became dogs, she thinks, they were bred for the ability to follow orders and to be dependent on human masters.

Range and Virányi developed their new portrayal of dogs and wolves by giving a series of tests to socialized packs of mixed-breed dogs and wolves, four packs of each species, containing anywhere from two to six animals each. The scientists raised all the animals from about 10 days old at the Wolf Science Center in Game Park Ernstbrunn, Austria, living with them 24 hours a day until they were introduced to pack life, so that they were accustomed to humans.

Range and her colleagues tested the dogs’ and wolves’ tolerance for their fellow pack members with a mealtime challenge. The researchers paired a high-ranking dog with a low-ranking pack buddy and set out a bowl of food, then gave the same challenge to a pair of wolves. In every matchup, “the higher ranking dog monopolized the food,” Range told the meeting. “But in the wolf tests, both high- and low-ranking animals had access” and were able to chow down at the same time. At times, the more dominant wolves were “mildly aggressive toward their subordinates, but a lower ranking dog won’t even try” when paired with a top dog, Range said. “They don’t dare to challenge.”

Wolves also beat the hounds on tests that assessed whether the canids were able to follow the gaze of their fellows to find food. “They are very cooperative with each other, and when they have a disagreement or must make a group decision, they have a lot of communication or ‘talk’ first,” Range said.  The same was not true for the center’s dog packs; for even the smallest transgression, a higher ranked dog “may react aggressively” toward one that is subordinate.

Range and Virányi suspect that the relationship between dogs and humans is hierarchical, with humans as top dogs, rather than cooperative, as in wolf packs. The notion of “dog-human cooperation” needs to be reconsidered, Range said, as well as “the hypotheses that domestication enhanced dogs’ cooperative abilities.” Instead, our ancestors bred dogs for obedience and dependency. “It’s not about having a common goal,” Range said. “It’s about being with us, but without conflict. We tell them something, and they obey.”

“It’s wonderful work,” says James Serpell, an ethologist at the University of Pennsylvania. “But it’s not what the dog training community wants to hear; you can’t say the word ‘dominance’ around them. Does dominance exist as a phenomenon in dogs? The answer is clearly ‘yes,’ ” Serpell says, although he notes that there are breed differences. Other researchers, for example, have shown that when in packs, poodles and Labrador retrievers are more aggressive than are malamutes and German shepherds.     

Monique Udell, an animal behaviorist at Oregon State University, Corvallis, says her own study of dog and wolf behavior, also presented at the meeting, supports Range’s contention that dogs are waiting for orders. To find out if dogs are “independent problem solvers,” she presented 20 adult dogs (10 pets and 10 from shelters) with sealed containers of summer sausage. Each animal was allotted 2 minutes to open it. Ten captive wolves were given the same test. Not one of the adult dogs succeeded; most did not even try. Meanwhile, eight of the 10 wolves opened the container in less than 2 minutes. So did dog puppies, indicating that dogs are no less capable of the task than wolves, but “as the dog grows and becomes more dependent on its human owner that [independent] behavior is inhibited,” Udell said.

Underscoring the point, she found that adult pooches could open the container after all—when their human owner told them to do so. Because dogs “suppress their independence, it’s difficult to know what their normal problem-solving abilities are,” she told the meeting.

It may be that we have to give Fido a command to find out.

Source

beautiful-wildlife:

City Coyotes by Sean Crane
I photographed these two coyotes within the city limits of Los Angeles. Granted they were in the expansive Griffith Park, but nice to see such healthy looking creatures so close to civilization. It was first thing in the morning when I was hiking in the park and came across these two coyotes, plus another, howling.

beautiful-wildlife:

City Coyotes by Sean Crane

I photographed these two coyotes within the city limits of Los Angeles. Granted they were in the expansive Griffith Park, but nice to see such healthy looking creatures so close to civilization. It was first thing in the morning when I was hiking in the park and came across these two coyotes, plus another, howling.

Wolves will kill for more space, new USU study finds
by Amy Joi O’Donoghue
Having your own space not only brings peace of mind, but it also correlates strongly to a greater chance of survival for wolf families at Yellowstone National Park.
A new study involving Logan’s Utah State University and University of Oxford found wolves will fight to the death to protect their turf if they lack adequate space to raise their pups.
The aggressive behavior of families looking out for their own is not limited to wolves, or the wilds of nature, said researcher Dan MacNulty, a USU ecologist and assistant professor in the Department of Wildland Resources.
"These family groups of wolves that are competing with each other for space and resources. That is not unlike humans," he said. "It is well-demonstrated that chimpanzees will compete and war with each other over space and resources and certainly humans are known to do so, if in a more sophisticated way."
The study, published in the online issue of the Journal of Animal Ecology in the British Ecological Society, followed 280 collared wolves in northern Yellowstone for 13 years.
"This study produced a generally novel result because the conventional thinking is that large carnivores are limited by the abundance of prey in a given area," MacNulty said. "But what these wolves are ultimately limited by is the amount of space they have to raise their pups in safety."
Read more

Wolves will kill for more space, new USU study finds

by Amy Joi O’Donoghue

Having your own space not only brings peace of mind, but it also correlates strongly to a greater chance of survival for wolf families at Yellowstone National Park.

A new study involving Logan’s Utah State University and University of Oxford found wolves will fight to the death to protect their turf if they lack adequate space to raise their pups.

The aggressive behavior of families looking out for their own is not limited to wolves, or the wilds of nature, said researcher Dan MacNulty, a USU ecologist and assistant professor in the Department of Wildland Resources.

"These family groups of wolves that are competing with each other for space and resources. That is not unlike humans," he said. "It is well-demonstrated that chimpanzees will compete and war with each other over space and resources and certainly humans are known to do so, if in a more sophisticated way."

The study, published in the online issue of the Journal of Animal Ecology in the British Ecological Society, followed 280 collared wolves in northern Yellowstone for 13 years.

"This study produced a generally novel result because the conventional thinking is that large carnivores are limited by the abundance of prey in a given area," MacNulty said. "But what these wolves are ultimately limited by is the amount of space they have to raise their pups in safety."

Read more

rhamphotheca:

Culpeo (Lycalopex culpaeus) or Andean Fox at the border between Bolivia and Chile.
(photo: Christian Mehlführer)

rhamphotheca:

Culpeo (Lycalopex culpaeus) or Andean Fox at the border between Bolivia and Chile.

(photo: Christian Mehlführer)

(via libutron)