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Pesticide used to poison Idaho wolf

The poison responsible for killing several Central Idaho dogs last summer has been determined to have illegally killed a wolf near Clear Creek, a tributary of Panther Creek in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area.

The male wolf, called B-204 in wolf monitoring parlance, was equipped with a radio collar on June 27, 2004. At that time, biologists estimated the wolf to be between 1 and 2 years old. He was found to have been killed by ingesting meat laced with a gray, granular poison called Temik, which is a restricted pesticide commonly applied to potatoes.

Use of this and other poisons is something a group called Predator Defense believes should be treated as terrorism.

"We want to see this kind of misuse tried as a federal felony under a terrorism statute," said Brooks Fahy, the group's executive director.

As it is, people who are caught do not even go to jail.

"You're going to get a fine, if that. We want that to change," Fahy said.

Wolf monitoring signals indicated that B-204 dispersed from the newly documented Golden Creek Pack sometime after Feb. 16. He was located again on April 22.

During a May 14 telemetry flight, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game received a mortality signal from B-204's radio collar. He was found less than a mile from his April 22 location, within yards of a pack trail.

Law enforcement agents for state Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigated the area.

According to Fish and Wildlife, Temik's chemical name is Aldicarb, and it is a water-soluble chemical used for pest management. Use of the chemical other than for agricultural purposes is illegal. Animals or small children are most susceptible to poisoning.

According to Scott Bragonier, a special agent for Fish and Wildlife, people should be careful about suspicious bait or gray granules on the ground.

"In this case, Temik not only killed a gray wolf, but it also poses a potential public safety hazard," he said. "We are very interested in finding whoever is responsible for the crime."

Bragonier encouraged anyone with information about the illegal use of chemicals or the killing of wolves to contact the service's law enforcement division. Callers may remain anonymous, he said.

The killing of an animal protected under the Endangered Species Act is punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 and one year in jail.

The manufacturer of Temik, Bayer Crop Science, is working with Fish and Wildlife on the investigation. They are offering a reward for information leading to an arrest or conviction of the person or persons responsible for the poisoning.

People with information are urged to call Fish and Wildlife at (208) 523-0855 or to call the Idaho Citizens Against Poaching Hotline at (800) 632-5999.





Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:15 AM  Pacific

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