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More Idaho Wolves Poisoned by 1080
Moyer Basin Pack major target of criminal

April 11, 2001

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement agents have confirmed poisoning as the cause of death of at least two gray wolves in Idaho, B-37F and B-96M. It was confirmed they were poisoned by Compound 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate), a very deadly illegal poison. US Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement reports "It will kill any animals, including birds, that ingest baited meat or the carcasses of dead animals that have already been poisoned. Canines are most susceptible to poisoning due to ingestion of baited meat, but the toxins can also enter animal or human bloodstreams through contact with abraded skin or wounds, or through the respiratory system if poisoned dust particles are inhaled. Poisoning symptoms include convulsions, seizures, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, blistering of tissues, throat irritation, and coughing."

Poisoned were the alpha female of the Moyer Basin Pack B37F and B96M, the alpha male of the Big Smoky Pack. B37's carcass was found near Pepper Creek on the Salmon-Challis National Forest last August. The incident was apparently not reported to the media. B96 was found, apparently shot to death in Lick Creek about 20 miles north of Fairfield, Idaho, in November, 2000. It turns out he was shot, but died of 1080 poison. Also suspected to have been poisoned were B92 and B89 of the Moyer Basin Pack, but carcass decomposition was to advanced to confirm. 

In March 1999 (over a year earlier) the then alpha male of the Moyer Basin Pack was found poisoned by 1080 along with another pack member B49M and a dog.  So someone has set out poison a number of times in the range of the Moyer Basin Pack. Nevertheless, the pack is doing well with over 10 animals as of March and with B97M, formerly of the Stanley Pack, apparently joining them.

In a news release, US Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Paul Weyland cautioned livestock owners, recreationists, hunters and other persons in outdoor areas, "If you see a pile of meat, a carcass, or dead birds near a carcass, please contact our offices immediately. We are very concerned for the safety of dogs and children, as well as wildlife that may be harmed by this illegal practice." 

The killing of an endangered species is punishable by law, with a penalty of up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $100,000. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Defenders of Wildlife and the Wolf Education and Research Center are offering a reward of $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person or persons responsible for killing these animals.

The total count of Idaho wolves poisoned by 1080 now appears to be five. It has not had an appreciable effect on the number of wolves in the state, but has served to retard delisting of the wolf by reducing the count of the number of breeding pairs at the end of the year. Except for the wolf north of Fairfield, all the poisoning seems to be the mountainous area about 15 miles NW of Challis in the range of the Moyer Basin Pack.

If you have information contact:

Contact: Paul Weyland - (208) 378-5333 (Boise) 
Steven Magone - (208) 523-0855 (Idaho Falls)


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  Copyright © 2001 Ralph Maughan

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Ralph Maughan PO Box 8264, Pocatello, ID 83209