Thursday, July 31, 2014

Brotherly Love



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Montana’s Wolf Stamp Comment Period Ends Friday


  Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is seeking comments on its proposed Wolf Conservation Stamp. The comment period is remains open until Friday, July 25, 2014 11:59 PM. Below is the comment submitted by the Wolf Conservation Center.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
1420 East Sixth Avenue
P.O. Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620-0701
Attn: Commissioners, Director Hagener

Dear Director Hagener and Commissioners:

It is our understanding that the Commission considering a proposal to sell wolf conservation stamps that will enable people, regardless of state, to contribute to responsible wolf policies in Montana. Non-consumptive users (i.e. non-hunting, non-trapping nature enthusiasts) have historically lacked a seat at the table when important conservation decisions are made.

It is important to note that Montana is already the beneficiary of substantial economic ecotourism dollars from people who visit the state from all over the world. In fact, on July 18th, 2014, the National Park Service reported (July 18 2014) that 3,188,030 visitors to Yellowstone National Park in 2013 spent almost $382 million in communities surrounding the park. That spending supported 5,300 jobs in the area. The report also shows $14.6 billion of direct spending by 273.6 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported more than 237,000 jobs nationally, with more than 197,000 jobs found in the gateway communities of the Park, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.5 billion. In addition, the Wolf Conservation Center continues to lead several wolf-watching tours to Yellowstone annually, thus bringing several hundred of our supporters from around the nation to your state to learn about and observe wolves in the wild. These and other activities in the state continue contribute to this powerful economic engine.

Thus, the wolf conservation stamp has the potential for receiving overwhelming support, and can be perceived as an example of more inclusive approaches to wolf and wildlife conservation in Montana. While this is a step in the right direction, we would like to suggest some revisions to the proposed language:

1. Change the name of the stamp from “Wolf Management Stamp” to “Wolf Conservation Stamp.”

2. Include specific language in the rule that states the funds generated from the stamp will be exclusively dedicated for nonlethal wolf conservation activities. As you know, the Department already has a vast array of lethal tools in its management toolbox to monitor and control populations of wolves; non-consumptive users want reassurance that the generated revenue will only be spent on activities that sustain healthy populations of wolves.
  • helping to pay for nonlethal methods of preventing livestock depredations and keeping wolves and other large carnivores out of harm’s way
  • purchasing and protecting wolf habitat, conducting research, public education and outreach that benefits gray wolves and promotes their acceptance on the landscape;
  • hiring additional state game wardens in areas where wolves exist to reduce poaching of wolves.
3. Include a specific statement in the proposed rule that stipulates the Department will be completely transparent in the administration of this rule. We request that the Department generate and publish a complete annual expenditure report to the public about how funds from the Wolf Stamp revenue were used; this will ensure the future likelihood that supporters will continue to make similar donations via the stamp for years to come.

Please continue to consider new and different ways of incorporating the perspectives, concerns and voices of the non-hunting, non-trapping community in conserving the publicly owned wildlife in your state. We appreciate this opportunity to submit these comments on Montana's proposed Wolf Conservation Stamp. 

Respectfully submitted,
Action and Awareness Committee, Wolf Conservation Center

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Free Fun Family Event to Celebrate New York’s WILD


WCC's Family Walk to Protect America's Wild Heritage 
Wednesday, August 13th 
1PM - 3PM 
Shelter 5

The Wolf Conservation Center’s second annual service-learning event, “WCC’s Family Walk to Protect America’s Wild Heritage,” invites children to celebrate the wildlife and wild lands of the largest park in the contiguous United States - New York State’s Adirondack State Park!

The FREE outdoor adventure will lead participants through a circuit of educational workshops about the array of NY's native wildlife and give opportunities to earn free raffle tickets for exciting prizes. In addition to these experiences, Northeast Wolf Coalition Junior representative Tommy Whiteley will present a keynote address and Wolf Conservation Center Ambassador Wolf Atka will lead all in a group howl. Each child will receive Adirondack Council’s “Wild Characters of the Adirondacks” booklet along with a certificate that acknowledges their participation.

The event will be held on Wednesday, August 13th from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation (Shelter 5) at 6 Reservation Road in Cross River, NY. Reservations are not required, but please let us know if you plan to attend by e-mailing maggie@nywolf.org.

 We hope you can join us on this special day to raise awareness for New York’s wild beauty!

Check out this great video of last year's event!


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Woody Wolf Pup

WARNING: Video contains dangerously adorable video of wolf pup Nikai


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The 2014 Mexican Wolf Annual Meeting Begins


 Representatives from dozens of facilities participating in the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan (MWSSP) are heading to the "Show me State" to meet at the Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka, MO for the MWSSP Annual Meeting!  This meeting is bringing together Fish and Wildlife Agencies from both US and Mexico, endangered species reproductive specialists, and many other organization representatives including Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) curator Rebecca Bose to tackle a myriad of issues associated with conserving the lobo. The bulk of the meeting will begin Wednesday but Rebecca, as a member of the Mexican Wolf Management Group, will get right down to business just a couple of hours after arriving later this evening to discuss all important matters concerning the ~ 300 captive Mexican gray wolves that call the U.S. and Mexico home. Other items on the meeting agenda include:
  • Report on the status of Mexican wolf recovery in both Mexico and the U.S.
  • Report on the Mexican wolf SSP and the status of the global captive studbook population
  • Report on reproductive research in 2013 and needs for 2014
  • Mexican wolves Genome Project
  • Criteria for selection of breeding pairs
  • Select pairs for breeding in 2014
  • Gamete banking plan and criteria for selection of candidates
  • Select semen and oocyte collection candidates for 2014
  • Select candidates for release in 2014
We're looking forward to hearing Rebecca’s reports from the meeting so we can update you on all aspects of the program including how to best recover a sustainable population in the wild. Stay tuned!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Alaska Celebrates Rescued Wolf Pups And Kills Their Wild Kin


 In May, firefighters discovered 2-week-old wolf pups hiding alone in their den to escape the smoke and flames of the massive Funny River wildfire in the Kenai Peninsula Wildlife Refuge. The five survivors were taken to the Alaska Zoo where they were nursed back to health. Tomorrow, the pups will take a final journey to their permanent home at the Minnesota Zoo.

We wish the beautiful pups the best of luck. We’re joined by the masses as there has been a national outpouring of love and concern for these pups. Although the pups have reached celebrity status in the state of Alaska, the state’s predator control program is responsible for killing their wild kin. Many are concerned that the aggressive and controversial program is having an impact on tourists who come from far and wide to visit the beautiful state just to see them. A journey to Alaska requires a substantial financial investment on the part of many visitors; and we bring this substantial economic engine with us when we stay in hotels, eat in restaurants, buy in stores, etc. ....just to see wolves.

According to a report from the Anchorage and Juneau based McDowell Group, wildlife viewing was the second most popular activity for tourists visiting Alaska in 2011. The report also indicates that spotting wild animals was the number one activity for visitors to interior Alaska. Those who traveled to Denali were more likely to look for wildlife. Financial estimates show Denali tourism alone contributes over $140+ million dollars a year to Alaska’s economy.

Unfortunately, the most recent wolf population survey in Denali National Park - supposedly protected public land - reveals one of the lowest wolf populations in the past 20 years. Why? Because the most viewed packs in the park are subjected to hunting and trapping as soon as they leave protected territory. In the rest of the state, they are shot, trapped, snared, and aerial shot in pristine wilderness (where they have no conflict with humans) just to boost elk, moose, and caribou numbers for a declining hunting demand. Only 6% of Americans say they hunt and less than that actually buy hunting tags.

The Alaska Zoo is expecting to get large crowds on the Funny River wildfire pups’ last day in the state. When will Alaska realize this phenomenon relates to the wild as well? When Alaska will realize it is killing its "golden goose?"

Friday, July 11, 2014

Bathing Beauties


 "Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson