Greg Roach's Berkshires Blog
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
  No need for sheep's clothing
From today's Transcript:
HELBURNE, Mass. - Wildlife officials say an animal killed in Shelburne last fall was an endangered eastern gray wolf, a species long extinct in the region.

An official with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says DNA tests and other examinations of the 85-pound animal confirmed it was a gray wolf.

Gray wolves became locally extinct in Massachusetts in the mid-1800s, with the closest known population in Canada. However, evidence has been mounting that the wolves have been migrating south into parts of Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire.

The federal wildlife official says they found nothing to indicate the wolf was held in captivity, and do not know how it reached western Massachusetts.

A Shelburne farmer killed the animal last October because it was killing lambs on his property.
Having lived in Minnesota, where a healthy contingent of timber wolves live in the back country, I can say that the return of a top-of-the foodchain predator is a very positive indicator for the health of the forests and eco-systems of New England. While wolves are scary for many, attacks on humans are incredibly rare. They tend to keep to their own business.

I think my favorite quote on the subject of wolves returning to eco-systems, (which, of course, I can't find right now) was one from a field biologist who said that 'the elk in Yellowstone had to learn how to run again.' What an great metaphor!
i have land in stamford and actually saw a black wolf on the land....i have pictures

A coworker who lives in the woods around Savoy makes the same claim, but without pictures. Maybe we do have a small population already. Cool.
There have always been sightings of wolves around the Hampshire & Franklin county hilltowns for years. We sometimes come upon unusual track & scat. Sorry the wolf was killed, but glad to know we aren't all imagining things.

Now what about all those mountain lion sightings?
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