Saturday, January 31, 2015

North Carolina Wildlife Officials Taking Aim at Red Wolf Recovery Program

The value and importance of conserving species and ensuring biodiversity is an accepted axiom of the 21st century. The importance of a keystone predator such as the red wolf to a balanced and resilient ecosystem is undeniable. Although policies should be motivated by these basic scientific principles, this is not currently the case.

On January 29, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) approved two resolutions (here and here)  aimed at abolishing the red wolf recovery program in North Carolina, home to the only wild population of red wolves in the world.

Red wolves are among the world’s most endangered species; with just a few hundred animals in existence (and about 100 in the wild), they are classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as “Critically Endangered.” Nowhere else on the planet are wild red wolf populations viable and secure. NCWRC's resolutions specifically request that USFWS terminate the entire red wolf recovery program in North Carolina which would inevitably result in the loss of the last wild population of red wolves and render the species “Extinct in the Wild.”

There is a perceived notion that red wolves are a local or regional issue.  Endangered species recovery, however, is a matter of pride and concern for all U.S. citizens. Wildlife and other natural resources are a public trust. The public trust is a legal concept that implies that we all share equal, undivided interests in America’s wildlife. Thus, decision-making and resulting wildlife policy should be developed based on sound science and carried out in a democratic manner responsive to the voice of ALL people.

Continued support of the Recovery Program in eastern North Carolina is vital to the long-term prospects of the species.

Please help. Learn how to show your support for long-term protection of red wolves via Animal Welfare Institute's action page here.

Thank you!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Wolf Romance and Voyeurism 101

 It's an exciting time for wolves and the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) -- it's the season of romance! Hormones are racing and at least one courtship has already begun. Early this morning we witnessed via webcam Mexican gray wolves F810 and M1133 engage in a copulatory tie!

We will be keeping our eye on four breeding pairs (two red wolf pairs and two Mexican wolf pairs) in hope that we'll see more promising behavior. Thankfully, we need not rely entirely on eyewitness accounts, our webcams have already helped staff, volunteers, and supporters watch romance bloom between Mexican gray wolves M1133 and F810 and hopefully soon between red wolves F1563 and M1803 too!

While many of us like to include flowers, candy, perhaps a little vino and Barry White in our romantic rituals, wolves have a different set of behaviors that we should watch for:
  • one wolf marking over the other's mark
  • nuzzling
  • following one another
  • parallel walking
  • "prancing"
  • wrestling
  • mounting
  • rear sniffing
  • resting one's chin upon another
  • tandem urination conveys the same message as a wedding ring!
  • wolves in a copulatory "tie" or stuck together -- please contact ASAP!

If you see any of the above behaviors or something else you find interesting, please share what you've witnessed on this blog or on the WCC's Facebook page.

And don't worry, it's okay to watch!

Wolf Whisperer

Meet Wolf Conservation Center Curator Rebecca Bose: Wolf Whisperer.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Congress Could Vote Wolves Off the Endangered Species List

Right now, members of Congress are working on legislation to remove essential protections for wolves across some—and possibly almost all—of the lower 48 states. Please act now and urge your senators and congressional representative to ‪stand for wolves‬ via Endangered Species Coalition's action alert here.

Beyond its role as a living symbol of our natural landscape, the wolf is a keystone species. (Learn more) Its presence is critical to maintaining the structure and integrity of native ecosystems. Federal protections for wolves are essential to help this animal recover and expand into still-suitable parts of its former range like northern California, the Pacific Northwest, the southern Rocky Mountains, and the Northeast. Please take action today here.

Thank you!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Wolf Conservation Center Hits Two Million Mark on Facebook

Today The Wolf Conservation Center hit the 2 MILLION likes mark on Facebook! An impressive milestone and one we never anticipated when we joined Facebook on August 21, 2009. We thank all of our supporters for liking, sharing, acting, supporting, laughing, posting, inspiring, giving, visiting, caring, and understanding. We are humbled by the support and so incredibly appreciative to have found this awesome family on Facebook. The Wolf Conservation Center's 24 wolves are thankful too and have something to say.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Words of Wisdom from Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Giant #LOBOLEAP Forward on the Road to Recovery!

 TODAY - U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) listed the Mexican gray wolf as a separate subspecies under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), separate from other gray wolves! Big thanks to all of you and our friends from Mexican gray wolves, who continue to fight for this essential sentry of the Southwest! More...

Please consider emailing USFWS Director Dan Ashe to thank him for listing the Mexican gray wolf and ask him to expedite a new Mexican wolf recovery plan. View the Mexican gray wolf ESA listing federal register notice here.