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article imageConservation bounty: $10,000 offered for info on wolf killing

By Subir Ghosh     Oct 9, 2010 in Environment
Rewards totalling $10,000 are being offered for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of those responsible for illegally killing an endangered gray wolf in Oregon's Umatilla National Forest.
The US Fish and Wildlife service announced Friday it is offering $2,500. A coalition of conservation groups has chipped in with another $7,500 to the kitty.
The wolf was a two-year-old male from the Wenaha pack and had been captured and fitted with a radio tracking collar in August. It was found dead on September 30 in the Umatilla National Forest. There is still no official cause of death. The carcass was sent to the USFWS Forensics Laboratory in Ashland for a necropsy.
The organisations include Hells Canyon Preservation Council, Oregon Wild, Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, The Humane Society of the United States, The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, and Northeast Oregon Ecosystems.
Wolves (Canis lupus) are protected as endangered species under both state statues and the federal Endangered Species Act. Killing an animal protected under the federal ESA is punishable by a fine of up to $100,000, one year in jail, or both. Killing a wolf also is a violation of Oregon state game law, with fines and penalties assessed by the court.
“We are offering the reward because of the hostility to wolves in the region and to counteract the hostility by honing in on the fact that this is an illegal act that occurred,” said Greg Dyson, executive director of the Hells Canyon group, according to the Associated Press. “There’s room for both wolves and ranching, but there have got to be above-the-board efforts to make it work. We’ve been concerned by some of the public statements leaders from other groups have made that are strongly anti-wolf. We’re concerned that they have been incendiary and may have encouraged someone to take the law into their own hands.”
This male wolf from the Wenaha pack was fitted with a radio collar on August 4  2010.
This male wolf from the Wenaha pack was fitted with a radio collar on August 4, 2010.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
“This killing of this highly endangered wild animal is truly appalling, and we implore anyone with information to come forward,” said Kimberly Alboum, North Carolina state director for The HSUS. “We are extremely grateful to the USFWS and North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission for their tireless work to solve this egregious crime.”
“We hope this reward will aid the investigation of the tragic death of this wolf,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director for the Center for Biological Diversity. “Studies of reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park and elsewhere show that wolves benefit numerous other species, including beavers and songbirds, by causing elk to change their foraging habits away from streamside vegetation, which then thrives, and they benefit pronghorn antelope by reducing coyote populations that prey on their fawns.”
Anyone with information about this incident should contact Special Agent Cindi Bockstadter at (503) 682-6131.
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