Friday, May 29, 2015

Protected Wolf Killed in Colorado

 DNA analysis confirms that the animal killed by a coyote hunter in Colorado last month was a federally protected gray wolf. Read more.

What was the wolf doing wrong? Nothing. He was trying to find a home. Colorado doesn't have a wolf population and too often pioneers who enter states like Colorado, Utah, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts and more are illegally killed. What happens next? Nothing. The U.S. Justice Department’s 16-year-old McKittrick policy prohibits prosecuting individuals who kill endangered wildlife unless it can be PROVED that they knew they were targeting a protected animal.

The McKittrick policy provides a loophole that has prevented criminal prosecution of dozens of individuals who killed grizzly bears, highly endangered California condors, a gray wolf seen at the Grand Canyon last year affectionately named “Echo,” as well as dozens of critically endangered Mexican wolves including two released from the Wolf Conservation Center.

This is all so wrong for so many reasons. He was only trying to find a home.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Why Do Wolves Howl?

Why do wolves howl?

Wolves communicate in a number of ways. They use body language, scent marking and varied vocalization to express themselves. Wolves howl to communicate vocally with over long distances. They can hear one another howl up to 10 miles away in open terrain! Wolves can howl to locate other wolves, advertise the size of their pack or territory, to warn other family members of danger, and more. Just like us, each wolf has a unique voice and when every member of the pack joins in, the individual howls and their harmonies give the listener the impression that pack is larger than it actually is. Ambassador wolf Zephyr has the highest pitch howl in his pack. What do you suppose he's saying?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Pupdate: The Three-Week-old Red Wolf Pups are Getting Older and Bolder

On the morning of May 2, 2015 critically endangered red wolf F1563 (a.k.a. Salty) gave birth to a litter of pups – a valuable contribution to the recovery of her rare and at-risk species. Unbeknownst to F1563, over the past three weeks a global audience has been watching the elusive mother groom and nurse her growing kiddos via live webcam. Enormous thanks to our community of red wolf watchers! They have been a great help to the WCC staff and volunteers by offering eyes and ears when our might be trained elsewhere. Some highlights over this last week include:
  • Eyes wide open!
  • Pups venturing to the edge of the den entrance
  • Mama wolf F1563 welcoming other family members in the den with the pups - One yearling daughter has been enlisted as her favorite puppy-sitter!
Follow the pups’ progress via the LIVE red wolf dencam today!

The Wolf Conservation Center is an environmental education organization committed to conserving wolf populations in North America through science-based education programming and participation in the federal Species Survival Plans for the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf and red wolf. Through wolves the WCC teaches the broader message of conservation, ecological balance, and personal responsibility for improved human stewardship of our World.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Wild Salute

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Monday, May 18, 2015

Meaty Feast for the Birthday Beast!

On Sunday May 17th, Ambassador Wolf Atka turned 13 years old! In his honor, the Wolf Conservation Center invited the community to celebrate Atka and all America’s wolves at a WILD reception featuring special guests U.S. Representative Nita Lowey (and Atka too!) at Winston – a New American restaurant in downtown Mount Kisco, NY!

Winston Executive Chef Michael Williams prepared a special “cake” for the birthday wolf – only the best for a powerful presence in the fight to preserve wolves’ rightful place in the environment! Howls of thanks Chef Michael and the great Winston team for treating Atka like the amazing creature he is. Happy birthday, Atka. We love you so.

Music: “All That Meat And No Potatoes” by Fats Waller

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Ambassador Wolf Milestone - Atka Turns Thirteen!

Ambassador Wolf Atka is a Teenager

Today Ambassador Wolf Atka turns 13 years old! The confident and charismatic ambassador has won the hearts and opened the minds of tens of thousands of people in his 13 years. He’s a powerful presence in the fight to preserve wolves’ rightful place in the environment, and for the Wolf Conservation Center staff and volunteers, the best boss we’ll ever have.

Happy birthday, Atka. We love you so.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Mexican Gray Wolf F628 Celebrates Her Sweet Sixteen

F628 (a.k.a. Mrs. T.)is a beautiful 16-yr-old Mexican gray wolf who has called the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) home since fall of 2005. She resides off-exhibit with her companion, Mexican wolf M904 (a.k.a Trip). F628 is the most elusive wolf residing at the WCC, so it's a near miracle that our curator was able to capture her image. Elusive, swift, resilient - all tokens of her wild past.


F628 was born in the wild on May 15, 1999 to the original Pipestem family group. In 2002, U.S. Fish and Wildlife captured both she and her companion in New Mexico's Gila National Forest after a private landowner complained that the wolves were killing livestock. The couple was the last established pair of Mexican wolves from New Mexico.

Because of the capture of F628, Center for Biological Diversity and other organizations criticized the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management over their failures to address the problem of poor livestock husbandry. Cattle carcasses that remain untreated or left on the wild landscape can lead wolves to seek cattle as food. Thirteen years later, this remains a serious issue as federal agencies still don’t require livestock owners using public lands to take basic steps to prevent conflict. 

Happy Birthday, loba. We wish you could celebrate your sweet 16 in your rightful place on the wild landscape.