About Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch is a multimedia reporter for the Adirondack Explorer. He can be reached at mike@adirondackexplorer.org. Sign up for Mike’s newsletter

Reader Interactions


      • Ron says

        All you have to do is look at who wolf advocates are and what they do with their time. Western watershed project is classic example. The list is long and the wolf is their tool. Hope that helped

  1. Doug says

    Thanks for this well researched fact-based article. It has substance and informative data drawn from a variety of reputable sources. I enjoyed reading it.

  2. Boreas says

    A very interesting story that is likely to be repeated until federal and state authorities throughout the NE get on the same page and commit to plans. Federal indecision and lack of a clear plan for the existence of wolves in areas of suitable habitat in the NE needs to be addressed. Either these eastern wolves are protected or they are not.

    But federal waffling notwithstanding does NOT mean NE states cannot act on their own to protect threatened species. For example, Spruce Grouse, while relatively abundant further north in Canada, are barely hanging on in some NE states. Efforts are being made to protect their habitats and populations despite the species itself not being in imminent danger. Whether habitat and climatic changes extirpate the species from NYS despite protective actions remains unclear.

    Probably more important than individual states creating or removing protections on transient and viable wolf populations should be REGIONAL planning across the NE states – all acting with a unified plan. Animals do not recognize artificial political boundaries. They expand into or retreat from habitat depending on available food and reproductive possibilities. In order to maintain stable and healthy populations of prey and predator species, these natural forces need to be placed foremost. Regional wildlife corridors and wildlife protections and hunting regulations should be uniform, and not patchwork. In my opinion, a regional coalition of NE states with similar habitat types should be formed and given region-wide authority for guiding these issues. The coalition should ideally work closely with Canadian, Provincial, and US agencies to develop plans for constantly shifting climate, habitat, and wildlife patterns into the future. Some coalitions already exist, but currently lack sufficient political clout. I believe state governments need to encourage these regional coalitions and allow them to guide habitat and wildlife conservation practices across southeastern Canada and northeastern US.

  3. JB says

    I expect that eventually there will be an acknowledgement that we have a wolf population in New York. Ecosystems have a tendency to recover without human intervention, even though this may surprise some. But for now, the most immediate issue is that hunters are still using doe urine attractants. The deer on the farms where those products are produced are consistently positive for Chronic Wasting Disease, and urine is the primary transmission vector for the disease! If CWD becomes endemic in our state, it will be the most significant ecological disaster in its history, and one that will be virtually impossible to reverse.

      • JB says

        First, like all prions, the prion associated with CWD *are* found in urine. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3126547/, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.4161/pri.24430). The big difference between CWD and most other prions, like BSE (“Mad Cow”), is that CWD is transmitted horizontally, which means that it is transmitted via bodily fluids between cervids coexisting in the same habitat. This is why, for example, NYSDEC biologists recommend against urine attractants (https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7191.html).

        Second, while we may not have data to prove that common commodity urine attractants contain CWD prion, we do not have any reliable evidence to assure us that they are safe, either. This is because sufficiently sensitive tests do not exist, complicated by the fact that CWD prion is demonstrably shed by animals long before they are clinically symptomatic (sometimes years before). Thus, we can only make a reasonable risk assessment based upon data from existing surveillance programs. And what these surveillance programs demonstrate is that captive cervid herds are the primary way that this disease is spreading. (A non-exhaustive list evidencing the fact that captive cervids *do* consistently test positive for CWD: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_diseases/cwd/downloads/status-of-captive-herds.pdf).

        And third, despite the misinformation on this subject, make no mistake that this should be an issue that every hunter in NY cares about. Unlike BSE prion, CWD prion becomes widely distributed throughout the muscle tissue of an animal once it is infected, and there is evidence that at least some primates can develop prion disease from eating meat from CWD positive white-tailed deer! (Here is the most alarming one for humans: https://cjdfoundation.org/files/pdf/CWD%20study%20oral%20transmission%20of%20CWD%20to%20primates.pdf).

        Finally, tying this back to wolves, there is evidence that canids may be highly resistant to CWD prion, either through eons of evolution or the genetic lottery. While this is unlikely to help places like Michigan, where some places have a 30% CWD positivity rate in wild white-tailed deer, it certainly couldn’t hurt.

  4. Robert Fletcher says

    Great article. Maybe there should be a public website to input potential wolf sightings.
    For example: circa early spring 2022 my wife and I were traveling south in the Ilion Gorge on 51 south (I was driving), when we saw two gray color either very large coyotes (never seen that large) or wolves as they crossed the road in front of us heading west and ran into the brush and woods.

  5. SK says

    Excellent article, Mike. I agree that regardless of Federal government plans, we need regional planning and coordination with neighboring States and with Canadian provinces. Biodiversity is critical to a healthy ecosystem and that’s vital to human survival as well.

  6. Alan G West says

    Reintroduction of wolves into the adirondacks is a very BAD idea perpetrated by people that have no clue. Wolves were killed off with good reason, years ago. We already have a predator in the eastern coyote, we don’t need wolves too. I suspect that there are underlying motives of those seeking reintroduction.
    All one has to do is to look at the devastation to wildlife and nearby ranchers caused
    by the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone park.
    If a few wolves enter the park naturally that’s fine, but we sure don’t need a big reintro project.

  7. Glenn wygant says

    Probable outcome is the transient released wolves becoming the alpha males and breeder females in existing eastern coyote territorial packs thereby increasing their wolf genetics and size. Why do this?

  8. Paul says

    I stand corrected it looks like there are low levels of detectable prions in urine. Why don’t they ban these? I don’t use anything like this. It’s gross.

    We know that wolves consistently kill deer.

  9. Matthew says

    It’s great to see that wolves are making a potential comeback. They belong in NY State. Keep the deer population to a healthy level plus it adds an element of excitement. They’re beautiful animals that belong here, along with mountain lions.


  10. John Glowa says

    No one is proposing to reintroduce wolves to the northeast. We simply want Canada and the U.S. to allow wolves to live in numbers sufficient to naturally recolonize the tens of thousands of square miles of suitable wolf habitat that exists south of the St. Lawrence river. The U.S. federal government refuses to administer the Endangered Species Act by giving wolves the protection to which they are legally entitled.

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