Good News!

Sep. 20th, 2008 04:36 pm
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Lucian Wags)
From Defenders.org, US Fish and Wildlife to place Northern Rockies wolves back on the endangered species list.

WASHINGTON - According to recent statements by senior U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) officials, FWS intends to rescind its own wolf delisting rule - issued in March - sometime this week. This will place the Northern Rockies gray wolf back under federal protections.

More below. )

The Fish and Wildlife Service is going to reevaluate its decision in the coming months. If you have a moment, send a note to Dale Hall, head of the FWS, thanking him for his decision to rescind the delisting, and encouraging him to adopt a more reasonable, responsible management plan for wolves in the Northern Rockies.

And don't forget, we still need to pass the PAW Act to end aerial hunting.

A good article explaining aerial hunting, and why it's so dreadful, is here at Slate.

There are other ways you can take action on other wolf-related issues at the Defenders Save Wolves page. It only takes a minute.

And, just because it's fun, a neato article about wolves learning to hunt bison in Yellowstone is here at the Billings Gazette. Link goes to printer version, because the comments on the regular version aren't worth reading.

I'm sorry I haven't had the energy to run the auction I wanted to run this year, though some people have donated items and I will hopefully auction those off before I move. I do want to thank everyone who took the time to write in about this or donate to Defenders or who, last year, participated in my fund-raising auction to benefit Defenders by either donating auction goods or buying them. The money you helped raised for the Bailey Carnivore Fund and the Defenders legal fund made a very real difference. Our confidence in Defenders of Wildlife was not misplaced. This is my second year on the President's Council, and I plan to stay there.

This is a huge step, but it's not over, and it may never be over. The wolf is one of the most unjustifiably hated and maligned animals on the planet, and in a world where we cannot even get human beings to agree that other human beings are worthy of fundamental human rights, there is little doubt that some will always begrudge the wolf its wild places. I, for one, wouldn't want to live in a world without them, and as long as there are others out there who feel the same and are willing to stand as allies to our world's carnivores, I am confident that the wolf will continue to flourish alongside us.

Good News!

Sep. 20th, 2008 04:36 pm
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Lucian Wags)
From Defenders.org, US Fish and Wildlife to place Northern Rockies wolves back on the endangered species list.

WASHINGTON - According to recent statements by senior U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) officials, FWS intends to rescind its own wolf delisting rule - issued in March - sometime this week. This will place the Northern Rockies gray wolf back under federal protections.

More below. )

The Fish and Wildlife Service is going to reevaluate its decision in the coming months. If you have a moment, send a note to Dale Hall, head of the FWS, thanking him for his decision to rescind the delisting, and encouraging him to adopt a more reasonable, responsible management plan for wolves in the Northern Rockies.

And don't forget, we still need to pass the PAW Act to end aerial hunting.

A good article explaining aerial hunting, and why it's so dreadful, is here at Slate.

There are other ways you can take action on other wolf-related issues at the Defenders Save Wolves page. It only takes a minute.

And, just because it's fun, a neato article about wolves learning to hunt bison in Yellowstone is here at the Billings Gazette. Link goes to printer version, because the comments on the regular version aren't worth reading.

I'm sorry I haven't had the energy to run the auction I wanted to run this year, though some people have donated items and I will hopefully auction those off before I move. I do want to thank everyone who took the time to write in about this or donate to Defenders or who, last year, participated in my fund-raising auction to benefit Defenders by either donating auction goods or buying them. The money you helped raised for the Bailey Carnivore Fund and the Defenders legal fund made a very real difference. Our confidence in Defenders of Wildlife was not misplaced. This is my second year on the President's Council, and I plan to stay there.

This is a huge step, but it's not over, and it may never be over. The wolf is one of the most unjustifiably hated and maligned animals on the planet, and in a world where we cannot even get human beings to agree that other human beings are worthy of fundamental human rights, there is little doubt that some will always begrudge the wolf its wild places. I, for one, wouldn't want to live in a world without them, and as long as there are others out there who feel the same and are willing to stand as allies to our world's carnivores, I am confident that the wolf will continue to flourish alongside us.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (WTF)
See if you can guess what animal is responsible for the following three horrible noises. Hint: it's not a bird, and it's not a human.

First sound download. Play direct. Scary toward the end.

Second sound download. Play direct. Starts out fine, gets really creepy.

Third sound download. Play direct. Okay, this isn't horrible. It's actually really, really cute.

Go download, listen.

Did you listen? Are the hairs on the back of your neck up? Did you guess what the animal was? Were you correct? And those aren't even animals who are hurt or scared or fighting.

The cry of the banshee was said to be like the screaming of a fox in distress. Only it didn't stop, and went on and on and on.

No wonder it heralded one's impending demise; that shit would fucking scare you to death. (Yes, actually, banshees creep the shit out of me. What of it?)

This entry brought to you by a tangential conversation related to nothing in particular. More cute and creepy fox noises at The Fox Den. Carry on.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (WTF)
See if you can guess what animal is responsible for the following three horrible noises. Hint: it's not a bird, and it's not a human.

First sound download. Play direct. Scary toward the end.

Second sound download. Play direct. Starts out fine, gets really creepy.

Third sound download. Play direct. Okay, this isn't horrible. It's actually really, really cute.

Go download, listen.

Did you listen? Are the hairs on the back of your neck up? Did you guess what the animal was? Were you correct? And those aren't even animals who are hurt or scared or fighting.

The cry of the banshee was said to be like the screaming of a fox in distress. Only it didn't stop, and went on and on and on.

No wonder it heralded one's impending demise; that shit would fucking scare you to death. (Yes, actually, banshees creep the shit out of me. What of it?)

This entry brought to you by a tangential conversation related to nothing in particular. More cute and creepy fox noises at The Fox Den. Carry on.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Thane Gold Tooth)
Today, we have a selection of mustelids: members of the weasel family. This is a very long and picture-heavy post, but it's worth it. Come explore!

Mustelids are an incredibly varied lot, and the family is a large one including otters, badgers, wolverines, martens, ferrets, weasels, and polecats. They are all carnivores, but of a particularly primitive design. This body type, long with short limbs and a long tail, has been successful for over 50 million years, with a notable start in the creodonts and miacids, early carnivorous mammals. In fact, the ancestor of all modern carnivorans is thought to be Miacis, a genus of weasel-like creatures that gave its name to the miacid family.

The weasel family doesn't diverge much from this basic and very efficient model. There is, however, considerable variation within the family itself. Today we'll look at five skulls: a male fisher, a female fisher, a marten, a river otter, and an American badger.

Let's get going!

Here is a pair of fishers, (Martes pennanti). They are strongly sexually dimorphic, with adults ranging from about five to fifteen pounds. Fishers have retractile claws like a cat's, and these, along with their slender body shape, allow them to pursue prey into trees or burrows. They are excellent climbers – despite their name, they don't fish.

Here there be weasels. )

Mustelid Comparison
And the mustelids all together. Clockwise from left to right, male fisher, female fisher, marten, otter, and badger. You can really see how small the marten skull is with the CD for comparison.

Hope you enjoyed the guided tour. I really love this family. They are so varied and so beautiful! I want to add a least weasel (Mustela nivalis) someday, as it's the smallest of the entire order of Carnivora.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Thane Gold Tooth)
Today, we have a selection of mustelids: members of the weasel family. This is a very long and picture-heavy post, but it's worth it. Come explore!

Mustelids are an incredibly varied lot, and the family is a large one including otters, badgers, wolverines, martens, ferrets, weasels, and polecats. They are all carnivores, but of a particularly primitive design. This body type, long with short limbs and a long tail, has been successful for over 50 million years, with a notable start in the creodonts and miacids, early carnivorous mammals. In fact, the ancestor of all modern carnivorans is thought to be Miacis, a genus of weasel-like creatures that gave its name to the miacid family.

The weasel family doesn't diverge much from this basic and very efficient model. There is, however, considerable variation within the family itself. Today we'll look at five skulls: a male fisher, a female fisher, a marten, a river otter, and an American badger.

Let's get going!

Here is a pair of fishers, (Martes pennanti). They are strongly sexually dimorphic, with adults ranging from about five to fifteen pounds. Fishers have retractile claws like a cat's, and these, along with their slender body shape, allow them to pursue prey into trees or burrows. They are excellent climbers – despite their name, they don't fish.

Here there be weasels. )

Mustelid Comparison
And the mustelids all together. Clockwise from left to right, male fisher, female fisher, marten, otter, and badger. You can really see how small the marten skull is with the CD for comparison.

Hope you enjoyed the guided tour. I really love this family. They are so varied and so beautiful! I want to add a least weasel (Mustela nivalis) someday, as it's the smallest of the entire order of Carnivora.
naamah_darling: Lucian from Underworld next to a snarling wolf. From the dark into the black, throwbacks always have to go. (Lucian Throwbacks)
McCain's new running mate is horrible in many ways. It is not the most offensive of her crimes against human decency, but her support for aerial hunting in Alaska is certainly revealing. She opposes measures that would end this barbaric practice, and last year, she proposed a bounty of $150, to be paid to anyone who brought in a wolf's left foreleg.

Um, yeah. I wanted to throw up, too. I am an advocate of hunting, but this makes me sick.

So . . . it'd be awesome if y'all could go sign this petition real quick. It will send a message to your representative urging them to support the Protect America's Wildlife Act.

If you want to see if your representative has already signed on so that you can thank him or her, you can check this PDF document.

According to Defenders of Wildlife, the PAW Act would close the loophole in the Airborne Hunting Act that Alaska legislators and officials are exploiting; a loophole that could be exploited by other states to hunt wolves—and other animals from the air under the guise of wildlife management.

The bill would:
• clarify the conditions in which states can use airplanes and helicopters to aid in the management of wildlife;
• bar states from using aerial hunting to artificially boost game species populations for hunters;
• place a specific new restriction on inhumane “land and shoot” hunting.

More info and my letter to my representative below. )

Please help spread the word. I have nothing against hunting, nothing at all, but aerial hunting is just not acceptable. I would like to see its illegal status written in stone within my lifetime.
naamah_darling: Lucian from Underworld next to a snarling wolf. From the dark into the black, throwbacks always have to go. (Lucian Throwbacks)
McCain's new running mate is horrible in many ways. It is not the most offensive of her crimes against human decency, but her support for aerial hunting in Alaska is certainly revealing. She opposes measures that would end this barbaric practice, and last year, she proposed a bounty of $150, to be paid to anyone who brought in a wolf's left foreleg.

Um, yeah. I wanted to throw up, too. I am an advocate of hunting, but this makes me sick.

So . . . it'd be awesome if y'all could go sign this petition real quick. It will send a message to your representative urging them to support the Protect America's Wildlife Act.

If you want to see if your representative has already signed on so that you can thank him or her, you can check this PDF document.

According to Defenders of Wildlife, the PAW Act would close the loophole in the Airborne Hunting Act that Alaska legislators and officials are exploiting; a loophole that could be exploited by other states to hunt wolves—and other animals from the air under the guise of wildlife management.

The bill would:
• clarify the conditions in which states can use airplanes and helicopters to aid in the management of wildlife;
• bar states from using aerial hunting to artificially boost game species populations for hunters;
• place a specific new restriction on inhumane “land and shoot” hunting.

More info and my letter to my representative below. )

Please help spread the word. I have nothing against hunting, nothing at all, but aerial hunting is just not acceptable. I would like to see its illegal status written in stone within my lifetime.
naamah_darling: A gray cat with a white chin squinting as though she smells food. (Fish)
This is Fish.

Proud Fish 01

Note how proud of herself she looks.

Why, you ask? Because she has proved herself a great and mighty huntress.

The mouse Tazendra caught but let get away the other night didn't make it past Fish. She was sleeping on my bed when she woke suddenly, jumped up, and started digging in the corner. I saw a flash of brown, and knew she had the mouse cornered. Suddenly, she backed away, agitated. Thinking she'd lost it, I came over, pulled the mattress up and looked under the bookshelf, then behind the printer cabinet. No mouse.

Thinking it'd run under the computer table, I turned to urge the cat that way, when I saw that she already had the mouse dangling from her mouth and a look of almost total surprise on her face.

She would have finished it herself -- eventually. It was badly hurt and definitely a goner, but I was not much interested in watching it suffer while she slapped it around. I took it away from her, humanely finished the job, and gave it back to her to play with as encouragement.

I know, I know, diseases, unsanitary, blah blah blah. She'd already had her mouth all over it, and I really do want her to catch any further mice she sees.

She had a lovely time playing with it, and the look on her face was so beatific I had to get a few pictures.

I debated whether I should post these, because some people are probably going to get offended that I grabbed a camera instead of shedding a tear and carrying the body out of the house on a little lace pillow to give over to the magical yard fairies for solemn burial. I eventually decided to go ahead, because, well, it's my journal, and cats killing mice just doesn't bother me.

These were all taken over the space of about a minute, which was the longest I wanted to leave her with it. I won't make you look. It's all under the cut. There is no gore, not even any broken skin. There is a lot of Fish hilarity, though, and some mega crazy-face.

Don't click if you're horribly offended by rodent death. )

Again, these pictures were all taken after the mouse had been humanely dispatched. My sympathy for destructive and disease-bearing vermin is small, and frankly, my cats are welcome to kill anything they can catch that comes into the house, but I still don't like to watch animals suffer and I would not have taken pictures of my cat tormenting a still-living thing.

Unless that living thing was me or Sargon or one of the other cats, obviously. We're fair game.

Lovely Fish Eyes

I do want to make you look at this one, because Fish has amazing eyes. When the flash hits them just right, the pupil turns emerald green. So pretty!

You would never guess that she is a fat, grey juggernaut of DEATH.
naamah_darling: A gray cat with a white chin squinting as though she smells food. (Fish)
This is Fish.

Proud Fish 01

Note how proud of herself she looks.

Why, you ask? Because she has proved herself a great and mighty huntress.

The mouse Tazendra caught but let get away the other night didn't make it past Fish. She was sleeping on my bed when she woke suddenly, jumped up, and started digging in the corner. I saw a flash of brown, and knew she had the mouse cornered. Suddenly, she backed away, agitated. Thinking she'd lost it, I came over, pulled the mattress up and looked under the bookshelf, then behind the printer cabinet. No mouse.

Thinking it'd run under the computer table, I turned to urge the cat that way, when I saw that she already had the mouse dangling from her mouth and a look of almost total surprise on her face.

She would have finished it herself -- eventually. It was badly hurt and definitely a goner, but I was not much interested in watching it suffer while she slapped it around. I took it away from her, humanely finished the job, and gave it back to her to play with as encouragement.

I know, I know, diseases, unsanitary, blah blah blah. She'd already had her mouth all over it, and I really do want her to catch any further mice she sees.

She had a lovely time playing with it, and the look on her face was so beatific I had to get a few pictures.

I debated whether I should post these, because some people are probably going to get offended that I grabbed a camera instead of shedding a tear and carrying the body out of the house on a little lace pillow to give over to the magical yard fairies for solemn burial. I eventually decided to go ahead, because, well, it's my journal, and cats killing mice just doesn't bother me.

These were all taken over the space of about a minute, which was the longest I wanted to leave her with it. I won't make you look. It's all under the cut. There is no gore, not even any broken skin. There is a lot of Fish hilarity, though, and some mega crazy-face.

Don't click if you're horribly offended by rodent death. )

Again, these pictures were all taken after the mouse had been humanely dispatched. My sympathy for destructive and disease-bearing vermin is small, and frankly, my cats are welcome to kill anything they can catch that comes into the house, but I still don't like to watch animals suffer and I would not have taken pictures of my cat tormenting a still-living thing.

Unless that living thing was me or Sargon or one of the other cats, obviously. We're fair game.

Lovely Fish Eyes

I do want to make you look at this one, because Fish has amazing eyes. When the flash hits them just right, the pupil turns emerald green. So pretty!

You would never guess that she is a fat, grey juggernaut of DEATH.
naamah_darling: Tribal design of a wolf's head. (Wolfie)
This is why we need to sustain federal protections on the Northern Rockies wolf -- without healthy populations across entire states, wolves cannot branch out to recolonize their former habitat. Here is a sign of progress, and what we can expect if the protections are allowed to remain.

***

Biologists confirm first breeding wolf pack in Oregon
by Michael Milstein, The Oregonian
Monday July 21, 2008, 2:19 PM

Oregon Fish and Wildlife Department

Biologists in northeast Oregon have confirmed the presence of Oregon's first reproducing pack of wild wolves since the predators were exterminated from the state decades ago.

State biologist Russ Morgan and another biologist heard the howls of at least two adult wolves and two pups in the predawn hours Friday in northern Union County, north of La Grande, Morgan said Monday.

The biologists themselves were howling under a bright moon, trying to produce an audible response from wolves, a common method of surveying for the animals.

Read more. )

I personally adore the idea of biologists howling at the moon, hoping for an answer.

But the Oregon pack is not the only new pack! Here we have an article from the Methow Valley News in Washington state.

DNA samples confirm gray wolves are back in Methow Valley
Six pups are part of first confirmed wolf pack in valley in more than 70 years
by Joyce Campbell
Updated 7/24/08

A pair of wolves and six pups living in a remote area of the Methow Valley has been positively identified as wild gray wolves, according to state wildlife officials. DNA testing on the two adults has confirmed the first documented resident wolf pack in Washington state since the 1930’s.

"They are definitely wolves," said Scott Fitkin, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist who helped radio-collar the pair of wolves. Test results of DNA evidence was announced by the WDFW on Wednesday, July 23, according to Fitkin.

Rest of article under cut. )

And there's a video clip with sound of the pups howling. Squeeing may now commence.

There will be the usual pissing and moaning, of course, from local ignoramuses, but this is a very positive sign. When I was a kid, we didn't have wolves in the lower 48. This is something I dreamed of, something I have wanted more than half my life.

When I was small, this is what the wolf's range looked like.

Now we have something closer to this, though this is obviously a year or two out of date:

By comparison, the wolf's range used to look like this.

I don't expect the wolf will ever return to its full range. There's too much in the way. Too many roads, too many fences, too many cities. That's okay. I don't hate people, or people places. I do think that we have too much, and that owe the wild things as much as we can give them, as much as they can reclaim, though. I think we especially owe wolves that because what we did, we did without cause and for false reasons.

I have witnessed, even in my short life, a shift in attitude toward the wolf. I was about fourteen when the wolf reintroduction fracas was going down in Yellowstone. I saved newspaper clippings and magazine articles. I read them over and over, hoping that the release would happen. I remember the furor it provoked, the hate and frothing bile, the unreasoning fear.

I remember hearing of the death of the Rose Creek pack's alpha male, 10M, killed one winter by a man named Chad McKittrick who claimed he had mistaken the wolf for a dog. 10's heavily pregnant mate escaped, but 10 died almost instantly, right under the eyes of the scientists following their radio signals from an airplane above.

Before the scientists could summon authorities, McKittrick and a friend took 10's body to his truck, drove some distance away, skinned and decapitated the wolf, and removed the radio collar and the ear tags. His mate, 9, found 10 before the scientists. She dug a shallow, makeshift den near his body, which had been thrown into the brush near a cottonwood grove. Only at the last moment, about to give birth, did she leave him for the dubious shelter of a pine tree. She gave birth to eight pups there, which were later rescued, raised, and released to become a core part of the Yellowstone breeding stock.

I cried at the news of 10's death. McKittrick was arrested after a friend turned him in, and later he was convicted and appeals thrown out.

There have been shootings, too, during the latest furor over the delisting. Human stupidity, human hostility, will always lead some to destroy what they do not understand.

The improvement in attitude is nevertheless profound. Support for the wolf is greater, ten times stronger. Defenders of Wildlife, who founded the effort to reintroduce the wolf, is much more powerful. We have come a long way in just a decade and a half. I think the reappearance of wolves in two states in a month's time is a very positive sign.

Wolves are very much like us in some ways, perhaps more like us than any animal besides apes and some monkeys, and I think that is why humanity has loved them and hated them in turn. We project onto them our best and our worst traits depending on the climate of the times. We also see in them nature writ small -- how we feel about the wolf is how we feel about our wild places, our wild creatures. Some see in wolves, as they see in nature, nothing but something to use or destroy.

The wolf, meanwhile, has not changed, and remains what it was at the dawn of our species.

There are threats, still. Always, there is the threat of human ignorance and fear. The outcome is not foregone, though, for 10's descendants and those like them. 10's death itself showed that. I listen to the pups learning to sing and I smile, because in that awkward, broken howling I hear hope.
naamah_darling: Tribal design of a wolf's head. (Wolfie)
This is why we need to sustain federal protections on the Northern Rockies wolf -- without healthy populations across entire states, wolves cannot branch out to recolonize their former habitat. Here is a sign of progress, and what we can expect if the protections are allowed to remain.

***

Biologists confirm first breeding wolf pack in Oregon
by Michael Milstein, The Oregonian
Monday July 21, 2008, 2:19 PM

Oregon Fish and Wildlife Department

Biologists in northeast Oregon have confirmed the presence of Oregon's first reproducing pack of wild wolves since the predators were exterminated from the state decades ago.

State biologist Russ Morgan and another biologist heard the howls of at least two adult wolves and two pups in the predawn hours Friday in northern Union County, north of La Grande, Morgan said Monday.

The biologists themselves were howling under a bright moon, trying to produce an audible response from wolves, a common method of surveying for the animals.

Read more. )

I personally adore the idea of biologists howling at the moon, hoping for an answer.

But the Oregon pack is not the only new pack! Here we have an article from the Methow Valley News in Washington state.

DNA samples confirm gray wolves are back in Methow Valley
Six pups are part of first confirmed wolf pack in valley in more than 70 years
by Joyce Campbell
Updated 7/24/08

A pair of wolves and six pups living in a remote area of the Methow Valley has been positively identified as wild gray wolves, according to state wildlife officials. DNA testing on the two adults has confirmed the first documented resident wolf pack in Washington state since the 1930’s.

"They are definitely wolves," said Scott Fitkin, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist who helped radio-collar the pair of wolves. Test results of DNA evidence was announced by the WDFW on Wednesday, July 23, according to Fitkin.

Rest of article under cut. )

And there's a video clip with sound of the pups howling. Squeeing may now commence.

There will be the usual pissing and moaning, of course, from local ignoramuses, but this is a very positive sign. When I was a kid, we didn't have wolves in the lower 48. This is something I dreamed of, something I have wanted more than half my life.

When I was small, this is what the wolf's range looked like.

Now we have something closer to this, though this is obviously a year or two out of date:

By comparison, the wolf's range used to look like this.

I don't expect the wolf will ever return to its full range. There's too much in the way. Too many roads, too many fences, too many cities. That's okay. I don't hate people, or people places. I do think that we have too much, and that owe the wild things as much as we can give them, as much as they can reclaim, though. I think we especially owe wolves that because what we did, we did without cause and for false reasons.

I have witnessed, even in my short life, a shift in attitude toward the wolf. I was about fourteen when the wolf reintroduction fracas was going down in Yellowstone. I saved newspaper clippings and magazine articles. I read them over and over, hoping that the release would happen. I remember the furor it provoked, the hate and frothing bile, the unreasoning fear.

I remember hearing of the death of the Rose Creek pack's alpha male, 10M, killed one winter by a man named Chad McKittrick who claimed he had mistaken the wolf for a dog. 10's heavily pregnant mate escaped, but 10 died almost instantly, right under the eyes of the scientists following their radio signals from an airplane above.

Before the scientists could summon authorities, McKittrick and a friend took 10's body to his truck, drove some distance away, skinned and decapitated the wolf, and removed the radio collar and the ear tags. His mate, 9, found 10 before the scientists. She dug a shallow, makeshift den near his body, which had been thrown into the brush near a cottonwood grove. Only at the last moment, about to give birth, did she leave him for the dubious shelter of a pine tree. She gave birth to eight pups there, which were later rescued, raised, and released to become a core part of the Yellowstone breeding stock.

I cried at the news of 10's death. McKittrick was arrested after a friend turned him in, and later he was convicted and appeals thrown out.

There have been shootings, too, during the latest furor over the delisting. Human stupidity, human hostility, will always lead some to destroy what they do not understand.

The improvement in attitude is nevertheless profound. Support for the wolf is greater, ten times stronger. Defenders of Wildlife, who founded the effort to reintroduce the wolf, is much more powerful. We have come a long way in just a decade and a half. I think the reappearance of wolves in two states in a month's time is a very positive sign.

Wolves are very much like us in some ways, perhaps more like us than any animal besides apes and some monkeys, and I think that is why humanity has loved them and hated them in turn. We project onto them our best and our worst traits depending on the climate of the times. We also see in them nature writ small -- how we feel about the wolf is how we feel about our wild places, our wild creatures. Some see in wolves, as they see in nature, nothing but something to use or destroy.

The wolf, meanwhile, has not changed, and remains what it was at the dawn of our species.

There are threats, still. Always, there is the threat of human ignorance and fear. The outcome is not foregone, though, for 10's descendants and those like them. 10's death itself showed that. I listen to the pups learning to sing and I smile, because in that awkward, broken howling I hear hope.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Alpha Female)
She came.

Meet Violet, the spotted hyena.

Violet 10

Lots of pictures and alarming facts under the cut. )

I have also taken pictures of Violet with some of my other skulls, so you have something for comparison.

Hyena, wolf, dog, and coyote. )

And, just because I have never posted pictures of him, here are some pictures of Thane, my wolf skull.

Thane 01

Big boy. I love him a great deal.

He has a really interesting old wound. )

I'm very glad I took the opportunity and grabbed Violet when I had the chance. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. I'm just utterly enchanted with her. She's so terrible to look at, and so beautiful.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Alpha Female)
She came.

Meet Violet, the spotted hyena.

Violet 10

Lots of pictures and alarming facts under the cut. )

I have also taken pictures of Violet with some of my other skulls, so you have something for comparison.

Hyena, wolf, dog, and coyote. )

And, just because I have never posted pictures of him, here are some pictures of Thane, my wolf skull.

Thane 01

Big boy. I love him a great deal.

He has a really interesting old wound. )

I'm very glad I took the opportunity and grabbed Violet when I had the chance. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. I'm just utterly enchanted with her. She's so terrible to look at, and so beautiful.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Alpha Female)
The Bush/Cheney administration has officially stripped the northern Rockies gray wolf from the endangered species list.

Without this federal protection, the wolves are left to state management. Under current state law, 70-80% of the wild wolves in Greater Yellowstone and the northern Rockies could be killed. That's 1,200 animals out of 1,500, leaving as few as 300.

They would be killed by traps, including leg-holds and snares.

They would be killed with poison-laced bait. Because wolves are adept at avoiding poison they can smell, they are often killed with "wolf-getters," bait-loaded springs that fire a sodium cynanide pellet which mixes with saliva to form lethal cyanide gas.

They would be killed in hunts. Aerial gunning, already allowed in Alaska and now to be introduced in Wyoming, is a barbaric practice that allows men to chase wolves into the open and shoot them from low-flying airplanes. They are either shot from the air, dying slowly and in agony, or they are chased to the point of collapse and claimed when the hunters come to land. They die exhausted and without a chance to escape. This is how it happens in Alaska. This is what it looks like.

Wolves are finally returning to their natural range. Their recovery, possible only through federal protection, has been spectacular, but is not complete. Full recovery requires healthy populations linked across a wide area, and the delisting threatens that link gravely. This cannot be allowed to happen. It is far too soon.

This is not a lost battle. The past decade has seen remarkable strides in the wolf's recovery. When I was 15, there were no wolves in the lower 48. With continued support the wolf can and will once again take its rightful place in our wilderness.

The key is support.

The delisting has not taken effect yet; it will not take effect until 30 days after the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service publishes the final rule in the Federal Register.

We've got until March 20 to stall this, to stop it, to bring these people to their senses.

Defenders of Wildlife have established a fund that will allow their legal experts to stop this obscenity. Donations can be made here.

Right now, they need at least $150,000 by March 20th. A paltry amount. I suspect that to stop this, they will need a great deal more.

I know I asked you to give last year. Together, we were able to donate over $2,000 to the Bailey Carnivore Fund, which works at the local level to educate ranchers and to help reduce conflicts between humans and predators. I am asking again, this time for the legal team, because the need is pressing.

It made a difference last year. It will make a difference again this year. And we will just have to keep doing this year by year until we either enter an administration that will respect the wolf, or until the wolf has reached a stable, sustainable population.

Defenders of Wildlife need the money right now, so I just called the President's Council line and donated $2,200, the amount raised by last year's auction. I figure if I do another set of auctions I can make that much back, and possibly be able to donate more. Any extra will be donated to the Bailey Carnivore Fund, same as last year.

I don't know yet what I'll be offering. I want to make some lower-priced products available. Prints and note cards are a strong possibility. I would like to do shirts and certificates for the Morningstar Hall Carnivore Guild. I am considering auctioning off a custom box slot, in addition to painting a couple. Any other suggestions are welcome; I'm certainly open to ideas.

You have warning this time. If you want to donate straight-up, do it. If you want to bid, start saving. If you want to contribute something for auction or direct sale, or you know someone who might, think about it for a day or so. I will be putting up another post about that shortly, where we can discuss what sorts of things I'm looking for, and what you would like to donate.

But most of all, I would like you to spread the word. Make people aware that America's most magnificent predator has been stripped of its protection, and let them know how they can help.

Read more about the reintroduction of wolves in the northern Rockies here.

Take action here to write to lawmakers on various wolf-related topics.

Donate here.

It does make a difference. It makes a difference immediately. I got off the phone after making my donation, and less than half an hour later I reloaded the donation page and saw that the number had gone up. By about $2,200.

This is real, people. Let's make a difference.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Alpha Female)
The Bush/Cheney administration has officially stripped the northern Rockies gray wolf from the endangered species list.

Without this federal protection, the wolves are left to state management. Under current state law, 70-80% of the wild wolves in Greater Yellowstone and the northern Rockies could be killed. That's 1,200 animals out of 1,500, leaving as few as 300.

They would be killed by traps, including leg-holds and snares.

They would be killed with poison-laced bait. Because wolves are adept at avoiding poison they can smell, they are often killed with "wolf-getters," bait-loaded springs that fire a sodium cynanide pellet which mixes with saliva to form lethal cyanide gas.

They would be killed in hunts. Aerial gunning, already allowed in Alaska and now to be introduced in Wyoming, is a barbaric practice that allows men to chase wolves into the open and shoot them from low-flying airplanes. They are either shot from the air, dying slowly and in agony, or they are chased to the point of collapse and claimed when the hunters come to land. They die exhausted and without a chance to escape. This is how it happens in Alaska. This is what it looks like.

Wolves are finally returning to their natural range. Their recovery, possible only through federal protection, has been spectacular, but is not complete. Full recovery requires healthy populations linked across a wide area, and the delisting threatens that link gravely. This cannot be allowed to happen. It is far too soon.

This is not a lost battle. The past decade has seen remarkable strides in the wolf's recovery. When I was 15, there were no wolves in the lower 48. With continued support the wolf can and will once again take its rightful place in our wilderness.

The key is support.

The delisting has not taken effect yet; it will not take effect until 30 days after the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service publishes the final rule in the Federal Register.

We've got until March 20 to stall this, to stop it, to bring these people to their senses.

Defenders of Wildlife have established a fund that will allow their legal experts to stop this obscenity. Donations can be made here.

Right now, they need at least $150,000 by March 20th. A paltry amount. I suspect that to stop this, they will need a great deal more.

I know I asked you to give last year. Together, we were able to donate over $2,000 to the Bailey Carnivore Fund, which works at the local level to educate ranchers and to help reduce conflicts between humans and predators. I am asking again, this time for the legal team, because the need is pressing.

It made a difference last year. It will make a difference again this year. And we will just have to keep doing this year by year until we either enter an administration that will respect the wolf, or until the wolf has reached a stable, sustainable population.

Defenders of Wildlife need the money right now, so I just called the President's Council line and donated $2,200, the amount raised by last year's auction. I figure if I do another set of auctions I can make that much back, and possibly be able to donate more. Any extra will be donated to the Bailey Carnivore Fund, same as last year.

I don't know yet what I'll be offering. I want to make some lower-priced products available. Prints and note cards are a strong possibility. I would like to do shirts and certificates for the Morningstar Hall Carnivore Guild. I am considering auctioning off a custom box slot, in addition to painting a couple. Any other suggestions are welcome; I'm certainly open to ideas.

You have warning this time. If you want to donate straight-up, do it. If you want to bid, start saving. If you want to contribute something for auction or direct sale, or you know someone who might, think about it for a day or so. I will be putting up another post about that shortly, where we can discuss what sorts of things I'm looking for, and what you would like to donate.

But most of all, I would like you to spread the word. Make people aware that America's most magnificent predator has been stripped of its protection, and let them know how they can help.

Read more about the reintroduction of wolves in the northern Rockies here.

Take action here to write to lawmakers on various wolf-related topics.

Donate here.

It does make a difference. It makes a difference immediately. I got off the phone after making my donation, and less than half an hour later I reloaded the donation page and saw that the number had gone up. By about $2,200.

This is real, people. Let's make a difference.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Poke)
Had a really great convention this year; sold some art, saw lots of old friends, made new friends, and got to parade around in costume for hours at a time. I even came in way under budget – I think I made more than I spent for once.

I even got climbed on by a lemur:

Lemur 05

The whole set of Conestoga pictures is here on Flickr, if you care to see them. You can also view them as a slideshow.

For now, some highlights!

Wenches 08

That's me and [livejournal.com profile] bat_cheva, [livejournal.com profile] apocalypticbob, and [livejournal.com profile] celticmistress.

Gimme more! )

Again, go take a look at the whole set. It's great fun.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Poke)
Had a really great convention this year; sold some art, saw lots of old friends, made new friends, and got to parade around in costume for hours at a time. I even came in way under budget – I think I made more than I spent for once.

I even got climbed on by a lemur:

Lemur 05

The whole set of Conestoga pictures is here on Flickr, if you care to see them. You can also view them as a slideshow.

For now, some highlights!

Wenches 08

That's me and [livejournal.com profile] bat_cheva, [livejournal.com profile] apocalypticbob, and [livejournal.com profile] celticmistress.

Gimme more! )

Again, go take a look at the whole set. It's great fun.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
This is Kabuko the Barbary lion; in this video you get some idea of how big he is -- which is really freakin' -- and you can sort of see how furry he is. Like he's covered with pubes all over. No, but seriously, he's awe-inspiring and beautiful and I have a crush on him.



And here's a video of tigers talking. They really wanted some chicken legs! You can hear our underage guide, Tristan, giving us the tour, too.



And, just because I know you will all laugh like lunatics, a video of Mr. and Mrs. [livejournal.com profile] bat_cheva's corgi running at full speed. Also features: me tittering like a loonball.



Enjoy!
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
This is Kabuko the Barbary lion; in this video you get some idea of how big he is -- which is really freakin' -- and you can sort of see how furry he is. Like he's covered with pubes all over. No, but seriously, he's awe-inspiring and beautiful and I have a crush on him.



And here's a video of tigers talking. They really wanted some chicken legs! You can hear our underage guide, Tristan, giving us the tour, too.



And, just because I know you will all laugh like lunatics, a video of Mr. and Mrs. [livejournal.com profile] bat_cheva's corgi running at full speed. Also features: me tittering like a loonball.



Enjoy!

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naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
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