Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Critically Endangered Wolves Get a Clean Bill of Health

This time of year Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) staff and volunteers pry into the private lives of the critically endangered wolves that call the WCC home. It's the season for annual medical exams. People often ask us how we monitor the health of our wolves. Needless to say, the well-being of our wolves is a top priority, so we constantly take stock of their health, monitoring the shy animals as much as we possible in person and also via webcam. We also conduct periodic veterinary checks for hands-on assessments, vaccinations, and blood-work. Under Species Survival Plan protocols, our Mexican Gray Wolves and Red wolves must be checked by a veterinarian on an annual basis.

Dr Maus at work
In order to examine each wolf, we herd the wolves through their spacious enclosure and into capture boxes - wooden doghouse-like structures with removable roofs. Once a wolf is captured in the box, our volunteer veterinarian proceeds with the exam. We administer vaccinations, take blood samples, and record their heart rate, temperate and weight.

Today was the first of three health examination days and we're happy to report that all 5 wolves we examined (red wolves F1291, M1394, M1565, and F1397 and Mexican gray wolf F986) appear to be in GREAT health! We also learned that our largest wolf at the WCC is red wolf M1394 - he weighs 89 pounds! What a beefcake.

Big thanks to our great team of volunteers who came out for the task, to WCC's generous veterinarian, Paul Maus, DVM from North Westchester Veterinary Office, and to all the red wolves and Mexican gray wolves who are unknowingly contributing to the recovery of their rare species.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The WCC Talks Wolves on Heritage Radio Network

 Wolf Conservation Center's Maggie Howell talks all about wolves on Heritage Radio Network hosted by Animal Instinct. Listen HERE.

Monday, October 20, 2014

John Vucetich Explains Why Public Wolf Hunts Are Not the Solution

John Vucetich, Michigan Tech associate professor of wildlife ecology and co-director of the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Study, explains why a public hunt against wolves is not an answer.

 Keep Michigan Wolves Protected is a coalition of conservation groups, animal welfare organizations, Native American tribes, wildlife scientists, faith groups, veterinarians, hunters, farmers, and concerned Michigan citizens. The coalition urges Michigan voters to say NO to the wolf hunt and by voting NO on Proposals 1 and 2 on November 4th. Learn more.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Wolf Words of Wisdom

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Support the Northeast Wolf Coalition in Style

 Recognizing the need for a collaborative effort that explores the vision of and potential for wolf recovery in the Northeast USA, the Northeast Wolf Coalition was established in March, 2014 as an alliance of conservation organizations in New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut and beyond. The Coalition’s work, guided by some of our nation’s best and brightest conservation scientists, strives to ensure that the foundation of its vision and work is based on the application of the best available and most current scientific principles.

"We have unique opportunities and challenges here in the Northeast," said Maggie Howell, Wolf Conservation Center director and coordinator of the Coalition. "The Northeast Wolf Coalition is working together using the most current peer reviewed science to raise awareness and increase public understanding about wolves. A broad base of public support is necessary for wolves to recover and we remain committed to ensuring that stakeholders become active stewards in that regard. There are biological, economic and ethical reasons to facilitate wolf recovery and the Coalition is eager to work with area residents, organizations, and state and federal agencies to promote the wolf's natural return to our region."

The Wolf Conservation Center is honored to be among the participating organization in the Northeast Wolf Coalition and also a fiscal sponsor. Please consider supporting the Coalition by purchasing a Northeast Wolf Coalition sweatshirt! All proceeds will be used solely for coalition work. To learn more about the Coalition, please visit the website at  To purchase a sweatshirt to support the Coalition's work, please click here. Thank you!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Enter the Private Lives of Critically Endangered Wolves

 Today we are thrilled to reveal our BIG Wolf Awareness Week surprise - a NEW WEBCAM! We can now welcome a global audience to join a beautiful family of critically endangered Mexican gray wolves. The family consists of the 15-year-old matriarch, F613, and her four "kids" (M1139, M1140, F1143 & F1145) born at the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) on April 22, 2008.

Why Webcams?
Year round, visitors to the WCC enjoy meeting our Ambassador pack- Atka, Alawa, Zephyr, and Nikai but the WCC is actually home to 20 wolves!  Most of the WCC's "other" 16 wolves -- both Mexican gray wolves and red wolves -- remain out of view.

The WCC participates in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) and Recovery Plan for the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupis baileyi) and the red wolf (Canis rufus), which are among the rarest mammals in North America. Both species at one time were completely extinct in the wild. Under the aegis of the Endangered Species Act, reintroduction efforts in the past two decades have established small, wild populations of about 100 red wolves and 83 Mexican grays. Presently, there are approximately 400 Mexican gray wolves and 300 red wolves remaining in the world, the majority living in captivity within the network of facilities participating in the SSP.

Organizations participating in the SSP are tasked with housing and caring for the wolves, collaborating in the captive breeding program, and sharing observations and recommendations for release.

Wolves are naturally fearful of people, and a number of the WCC's SSP wolves are candidates for release. Maintaining their timidity around people is essential if we want them to have a good chance of survival when they are released into the wild. Our SSP facility provides a natural environment where these most elusive creatures can reside with minimal human contact. Although this setting safeguards the natural behavior of these wolves, it also poses a great husbandry challenge for our staff: How to care for animals that we rarely see.

In the spirit of George Orwell’s “1984,” the WCC is making use of wireless surveillance cameras to observe food and water intake and monitor the physical well-being of each wolf without the animals’ knowledge. The cameras allow staff to study the pack dynamic and thus make the best recommendations with respect to which wolves are most suitable for release. The also give an unlimited number of viewers an opportunity to learn about the critically endangered species and our efforts to recover them.

So sit back, relax, and enter the private lives of these fascinating creatures.

 Watch now.

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Special Wolf Pup Milestone

Today Nikai turns six months old! So throw back your head and let out a long celebratory howl for the newest member Wolf Conservation Center's Ambassador Pack! An inspiration from his adorable start, the stunning fellow continues to be a powerful presence in the fight to preserve wolves’ rightful place in the environment. Within a month of joining the WCC family the little beast huffed, puffed, and hiccuped his way into hearts of minds of a global audience. He almost “broke the internet!”

He joined his siblings, Zephyr and Alawa, in mid-August and together the trio thrive as a family in their Ambassador roles. They open the door to understanding what wolves really are and inspire people to care about the importance and plight of their wild kin. Happy half-birthday, Nikai! And thank you for your invaluable service! Learn how you can help support the WCC by "adopting" Nikai! Click here for information.