Thursday, December 8, 2016

Petition Filed With USFWS Seeking Updated Recovery Plan for Red Wolf


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With Only 45 Remaining in North Carolina, New Plan Would Save Wild Population
WASHINGTON— The Wolf Conservation Center joined six other animal protection and conservation organizations to file a petition today with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeking an updated recovery plan for the rapidly dwindling population of wild red wolves. The recovery plan for the red wolf has not been updated since 1990. Since that time red wolves have expanded their range in the wild, faced additional threats from increased poaching and hybridization with coyotes and seen changes in their management. With all of these changes, an updated, science-based recovery plan is needed now more than ever.

"The red wolf is one of the few large carnivore species endemic to the United States. Their importance to a balanced and resilient ecosystem is undeniable," said Maggie Howell, Executive Director of the Wolf Conservation Center. "Red wolf recovery should be a matter of pride and priority for our nation."

“Experts in red wolf ecology, genetics and biology have published significant scientific research since the plan was created over a quarter-century ago,” said Tara Zuardo, an AWI wildlife attorney. “An amended recovery plan based on the best available science is vital to ensure that red wolves survive in the wild.”

The petition includes information about threats to the red wolf and provides strategies to address those threats, including reducing lethal and nonlethal removal of wolves from the wild; resuming the use of the “placeholder program,” which involved releasing sterilized coyotes to hold territories until red wolves can replace them; resuming the use of the cross-pup fostering program as a way to increase the genetic diversity of the species; identification of additional reintroduction sites; and increasing outreach and education to garner support for wolves and stop poaching.

“The red wolf is teetering on the brink of extinction, but it can be saved by putting in place an aggressive recovery plan,” said Collette Adkins, a biologist and senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “A new recovery plan would serve as a road map, outlining all the necessary steps to ensure that future generations have a chance to see these beautiful wolves in the wild.”


In September the Fish and Wildlife Service announced plans to confine red wolf recovery to just federal lands in Dare County, while also identifying new sites for wolf introductions and doubling the number of captive-breeding pairs. The agency’s controversial proposal to restrict the recovery area in North Carolina has been met with stark criticism. Last week 30 prominent experts in wolf conservation sent a letter expressing their concerns. And on Wednesday Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and eight key Democratic leaders sent a letter urging Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to revive the red wolf recovery program.

Petitioners request a prompt response to their petition confirming that the Service has begun work on an updated plan for the red wolf, a timeline for completing the recovery planning process, and implementation of recovery strategies necessary for the species.

The petitioners include the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Endangered Species Coalition, South Florida Wildlands Association, WildEarth Guardians and the Wolf Conservation Center.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

For this Mexican Wolf Pup, Happiness is Finding the Perfect Stick in a Pile of Leaves

Beyond being cute, 7-month-old Mexican gray wolf f1505 (a.k.a. Trumpet) represents the Wolf Conservation Center's active participation to save a species from the brink of extinction. Learn more about critically endangered lobos and our efforts to save them here.

Friday, December 2, 2016

New Endangered Red Wolf Joins Wolf Conservation Center Family

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Meet red wolf F1568, a.k.a. “Argo!”

The beautiful female arrived at the Wolf Conservation Center last month from Mill Mountain Zoo in Roanoke, VA. Beyond being beautiful, F1568 represents the WCC's active participation in an effort to save a species from extinction. The WCC is one of 45 facilities in the U.S. participating in the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan (RWSSP) – a national initiative whose primary purpose is to support the reestablishment of red wolves in the wild through captive breeding, public education, and research.


Soon F1568 will join red wolf M1803 (“Moose”) and be given the opportunity to breed during the 2016-2017 season. The RWSSP management group determines which wolves should be bred each year by using software developed for the population management of endangered species. This is necessary because all red wolves descended from just 14 founders rescued from extinction. Genetic diversity is the primary consideration in the selection of red wolf breeding pairs and F1568 and M1803 are a great match on paper with an extremely low inbreeding coefficient. Hopefully the pair are a good match in real life too!

F1568, born on April 3, 2007, is the third red wolf from her litter to call the WCC home. Her brothers, M1565 and M1566, have since opened new chapters to their lives at other facilities participating in the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan. Although we miss these boys, the WCC family is already head over heels over their darling sister.

Urgent: Please tell Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell that USFWS, the very agency charged by federal law with protecting endangered species, needs to recommit to red wolf recovery in the wild >> take action.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Scientists Urge U.S. Fish and Wildlife to Promote, Not Curtail, Red Wolf Recovery

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In a letter sent on November 30, 2016, dozens of scientists with expertise in ecology, genetics and other areas relevant to wolf conservation have urged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to promote, not curtail, red wolf recovery.

“Wild red wolves now face a perilously high risk of extinction. The Service’s recent actions seem consistent with abandoning red wolves rather than recovering them,” said Dr. John Vucetich, a professor and scientist at Michigan Technological University. “The Service has not adequately justified shifting resources away from the wild population. The most prudent action, by far, would be to protect the existing red wolf population in North Carolina and identifying new reintroduction sites elsewhere in the Southeast.”

More from Center for Biological Diversity.

This letter represents the latest of a warning coming from the scientific community re: USFWS's new plan and how it "will no doubt result in the extinction of red wolves in the wild."


TAKE ACTION -- Please tell Interior Secretary Sally Jewell that USFWS, the very agency charged by federal law with protecting endangered species, must recommit to red wolf recovery in the wild.

You Heard Our Howls! Thank You!


You did it! Yesterday the Wolf Conservation Center invited you to be a part of Giving Tuesday and you heard our howls! Over 550 supporters helped the WCC raise almost $50,000 on Tuesday to meet our matching grant of $20,000! We are humbled by your support and incredibly grateful for having friends like you.

Thanks again for your encouragement and your commitment to wolves, ecosystem education, species preservation, and environmental advocacy!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Today Only - Your Donation for Wolves Will Be Matched

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Give Greater Today!

Why is Ambassador Wolf Zephyr smiling? Because it's Giving Tuesday! TODAY ONLY your donation to the Wolf Conservation Center (including checks dated November 29) will have double the impact thanks to a generous matching grant of $20,000 from a friend to the wolves!

Please Donate Today!

Your Support is Critical.
Wolves continue to be subjected to aggressive hunting and trapping in states where protections have been lifted. Wild Mexican wolves and red wolves face serious recovery challenges that will affect their future success. Finally, the very law that is meant to protect endangered species - the Endangered Species Act - is under fire like never before.

But we won’t give up.

The WCC sees a world where vibrant populations of wolves roam wild landscapes across the continent; where no species of wolf cowers on the edge of extinction; and where every child learns of, and respects, these essential creatures.

So we need your help.
Your critical support tomorrow will help the WCC continue its commitment to ecosystem education, species preservation, and environmental advocacy!

Thank you!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Tomorrow Only - Your Donation for Wolves Will Be Matched

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Tomorrow Only - Double Your Donation!

Ambassador wolf Atka extends his reminder howl that tomorrow only your donation to the Wolf Conservation Center (including checks dated November 29) will have double the impact thanks to a generous matching grant of $20,000 from a generous friend!

Your Support is Critical.


Wolves continue to be subjected to aggressive hunting and trapping in states where protections have been lifted. Wild Mexican wolves and red wolves face serious recovery challenges that will affect their future success. Finally, the very law that is meant to protect endangered species - the Endangered Species Act - is under fire like never before.

But we won’t give up.

The WCC sees a world where vibrant populations of wolves roam wild landscapes across the continent; where no species of wolf cowers on the edge of extinction; and where every child learns of, and respects, these essential creatures.

So we need your help.

Your critical support tomorrow will help the WCC continue its commitment to ecosystem education, species preservation, and environmental advocacy!

Please Donate Here Tomorrow!