Tuesday, November 19, 2013


History: Dogs and humans first became best friends about 30,000 years ago, scientists believe. This is the skull of an Ice Age wolf

Photo credit: Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences/PA

14 Nov 2013 23:25
New evidence suggests that wolves - the ancestors of domestic dogs - were first tamed by ancient hunter gatherers

They are known as man's best friend.

And according to scientists, the relationship between dogs and humans could have endured for tens of thousands of years.New research has found that the close bond started in Ice Age Europe between 19,000 and 30,000 years ago.

That was when wolves, ancestors of domestic dogs living today, were first tamed by ancient hunter gatherers, according to new genetic evidence.

The findings challenge a previous theory that dog domestication happened some 15,000 years ago in eastern Asia, after the introduction of agriculture.In reality, the history of the bond between dog and man appears to go back much further, to a time when fur-clad humans were living in caves and hunting woolly mammoths.

Scientists used a tried and trusted technique of DNA analysis to establish what populations of wolves were most related to living dogs.DNA from domestic dogs most closely matched that extracted from the fossil bones of ancient European Ice Age wolves, as well as modern wolves.
There was little similarity with DNA from wolves, coyotes and dingos from other parts of the world.Early tamed wolves may have been trained as hunting dogs or even protected their human masters from predators, the researchers believe.

The Finnish and German team wrote in the journal Science: "Conceivably, proto-dogs might have taken advantage of carcasses left on site by early hunters, assisted in the capture of prey, or provided defence from large competing predators at kills."

Dog domestication of a "large and dangerous carnivore" was likely to have occurred partly by accident, possibly after wolves were attracted to hunter camp sites by the smell of fresh meat.

The research contradicts previous thinking that early farming brought wolves sniffing around villages, leading to them forming relationships with humans. "Dogs were our companions long before we kept goats, sheep or cattle," said Professor Johannes Krause, one of the researchers from Tubingen University in Germany.

The scientists analysed a particular type of DNA found in mitochondria, tiny power stations within cells that generate energy. Unlike nuclear DNA found in the hearts of cells, mitochondrial DNA is only inherited from mothers. This makes it a powerful tool in tracing ancestry.
The study included genetic data on 18 prehistoric wolves and other dog-like animals, as well as 77 dogs and 49 wolves from the present day.

Among the prehistoric remains were two sets of German dog fossils, one from a 14,700-year-old human burial site near Bonn, and the other dating back 12,500 years from a cave near Mechernich.

Most of the DNA from modern dogs was traceable to just one lineage, closely related to that of a wolf skeleton found in a cave in northern Switzerland.
"I was amazed how clearly they showed that all dogs living today go back to four genetic lineages, all of which originate in Europe," said study leader Olaf Thalmann, from the University of Turku in Finland.



Human and Dog – 
Wolf Relationship Extended to Ice Age 
| Writing and Poetry

by Marc Latham

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Monday, July 29, 2013



Please sign and share the letter in the link below 
~ via Center for Biological Diversity

Art ( c ) 2003 H. Kyoht Luterman
The petititon:

Washington's magnificent wolves are making a comeback. To help them, a state Wolf Conservation and Management Plan was developed after an extensive, five-year public process. 

In late July the Center for Biological Diversity and our allies petitioned Washington to make the wolf plan legally enforceable. Instead, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is considering proposals to increase cases where wolves can be killed and when compensation is paid after wolf predation on domestic animals.

The parts of the plan that protect wolves aren't being considered, and a meeting has been planned for Aug. 2 to make a decision on the proposed changes.

Please tell the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission not to expand wolf killing but instead focus on making the 2011 plan law.

And join the Center's West Coast Wolf Organizer, Amaroq Weiss, at the hearing in Olympia on Friday, Aug. 2 if you'd like to speak up for wolves in person.

Protect Washington's Wolf Plan and Save Wolves

Please protect Washington's wolves by honoring the five-year, comprehensive process that created the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. I urge you not to adopt any of the amendments or new sections being proposed for the Washington Advisory Code that depart from the state's wolf plan.

The plan protects wolves and also prevents and reduces wolf-livestock related conflicts. This was done to prevent economic harm to livestock producers who raise and sell livestock for a living and simultaneously ensure that wolf recovery goals are not jeopardized. The plan was developed with input from 17 stakeholder representatives, comments from more than 65,000 members of the public, and scientific reviews by 43 biologists and wildlife managers. On their recommendations, the plan allows livestock owners to kill a wolf under certain circumstances -- if it is caught attacking livestock -- and provides compensation for livestock losses. 

The proposed amendments remove the plan's requirement that the livestock be held commercially or even that the animal in question be livestock. Instead these changes would allow wolves to be killed for an attack on any domestic animal of any kind. And any attack of a domestic animal also requires compensation. These changes disregard the careful balancing that is an important part of the wolf plan -- protecting the livelihoods of livestock producers without placing wolves at increased risk of being killed.

It is incomprehensible that none of the wolf plan's provisions for conserving and protecting wolves are being proposed to be made legally enforceable -- including requiring monitoring, annual reports, education and outreach, meeting population objectives before state delisting can occur and nonlethal conflict-management.

The proposed amendments significantly depart from the Washington's wolf plan while undermining the efforts of the stakeholders involved in that process and substantially weakening protections for wolves.

Please stand up for the wolf plan and for Washington's wolves and reject these unjustified, one-sided proposals.


Thank you to Wonderful Wolves

Target: Wisconsin voters
Goal: Commend voters for protecting wolves and push for elected officials who also protect wolves

In a survey from the United States Humane Society about protecting wolves from trophy hunters and trappers, Wisconsin public voted 8-1 to protect them. 85 percent also oppose using packs of dogs to track down wolves. Wisconsin Legislature has struggled with votes on wolf protection, but the public seems to be on the side of the animal. 

In 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed wolves from the Endangered Species list and later approved a bill to trap and kill them. The wolf population is only around 800 individual animals in the entire state of Wisconsin, so this is a blow to the fragile ecosystem.

On June 26, the Natural Resources Board voted on a proposed increase on the quota of wolves allowed to be trapped. 
The quota would go from 201 in 2012 to 275 in 2013. 
The Natural Resources Board received 1,439 letters from the public who opposed the quota increase, and not even one that supported it. However, the Natural Resources Board rubber stamped the bill, with one member of the vote, William Bruins, saying “God created homo sapiens to be in charge of controlling wildlife populations.” 

Clearly, the elected officials do not agree with their voters.
79 percent of the Wisconsin public also said they would support legislation to prevent private citizens from owning wild animals as pets. Wisconsin is one of six states without provisions for protecting animals and residents from the risks of owning a wild animal.

In February 2013, the Humane Society of the United States and other wildlife protection groups plan to file a lawsuit to restore federal protections for Great Lakes wolves. Urge Wisconsin citizens to elect officials who prioritize protecting wolves.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Photo courtesy of Bobby L.Smith

Please sign and share ~thank you ~Heidi

Tell Interior Secretary Jewell to protect Wyoming's wolves and ban wolf hunting in the parkway.
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Wyoming's 250 wolves are increasingly on the losing end of negotiations between the Department of Interior and the State of Wyoming to remove wolves from the Endangered Species List. The Department of Interior has capitulated on virtually every request from Wyoming, including allowing wolves to be shot on sight across nearly 90 percent of the state.

In the latest and perhaps last concession, the Interior Department is considering allowing hunting in a the John. D. Rockefeller Parkway. This 24,000 acre land passage in the northwest part of the state connects Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and is used by wolves passing between them. If Wyoming once again gets its way, the only safe harbor for the area's gray wolves will be in the parks with no way of moving between them.

The Park Service recognizes the error of this plan:

“NPS preference is to not allow wolf hunting within the boundaries of the parkway, particularly if the state can reach wolf management goals outside the boundaries of the parkway,”-John Wessels, Intermountain Region regional director, NPS
The Interior Department has given Wyoming more than enough. The proposed delisting agreement already treats wolves as predators and permits unmanaged killing across the vast majority of the state--including national forests. Secretary Jewell needs to stand up for Wyoming's wolves and maintain protections in the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway.

Please tell Secretary Jewell to ban all wolf hunts in the parkway.