Friday, August 28, 2015

Throw Your Friday to the Wolves!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Wolf Conservation Center Mourns Mexican Gray Wolf F1145

It is with a heavy heart that I share sad news about a special wolf. Mexican gray wolf F1145, nicknamed “Anastasia” by Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) volunteers, passed away today.

F1145 was born on April 22, 2008 at the WCC. F1145 never received the opportunity to take her rightful place on the wild landscape like brother and litter-mate M1141 will later this year. Nor was F1145 ever granted the opportunity to raise of family of her own. For all her 7 years, F1145 resided off-exhibit with her family in a remote enclosure where she unknowingly helped raise awareness for the importance and plight of her wild kin.

Wolves are naturally fearful of people, and a number of our Mexican gray wolves are candidates for release. Maintaining their timidity around people is essential if we want them to have a good chance of survival if released into the wild. The WCC’s Endangered Species Facility houses five vast enclosures which provide a natural environment where these most elusive creatures can reside with minimal human contact. Most of these enclosures are equipped with wireless surveillance cameras to allow WCC staff to observe food and water intake and monitor the physical well-being of each wolf without the animals’ knowledge.

Because these webcams are available for the public, F1145 was able to enter our homes and hearts via webcam, opening the door to understanding the importance of her endangered kin and our efforts to recover them.

WCC Curator Rebecca Bose noticed on Sunday that F1145’s muzzle was a little swollen. Normally this wouldn’t be alarming, however, fast-growing nasal tumors are prevalent among Mexican wolves. Since 1995 more than 25 cases of nasal tumors have been documented in the captive populations of Mexican wolves in both Mexico and the U.S.A. Although cancer represents only 3.3% of the causes of death in the registered Mexican wolf populations; 44.4% of these neoplasms are nasal tumors. In its great majority these tumors are locally aggressive but rarely metastasize. A genetic component is currently being investigated.

Bose noted via eyewitness account and webcam that F1145’s muzzle and face was becoming increasingly misshaped at an alarming rate. Early this morning, WCC staff brought F1145 to our lead veterinarian Dr Charlie Duffy VMD of Norwalk Veterinary Hospital where her cancer was confirmed. F1145’s tumor was very aggressive and in just days began to erode her skull. She is no longer in pain now. We put the sweet wolf to sleep.

Our hearts go out to her 16-year-old mother F613, her sister F1143, her brothers M1140, M1141, M1139, and those of you she had unknowingly touched.

R.I.P., Sweet loba

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Wild Interpretation of Rock Music

California Welcomes First Wolf Family In Over 80 Years

California Department of Fish and Wildlife released photos today of California's first wolf pack - the Shasta pack - since the state's gray wolf population went extinct in 1924. State and federal authorities announced Thursday that a remote camera captured photos earlier this month of two adults and five pups in southeastern Siskiyou County.

Read more via California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Will New York one day celebrate a similar homecoming? We hope so.

Recognizing the need to explore the need for this apex predator and the potential for its 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 is guided by some of our nation’s best and brightest conservation scientists to ensure the foundation of its work is based on the application of the best available and most current scientific principles. The Coalition believes the return of the wolf will reflect a more fully functional and wild Northeast, with wolves fulfilling dynamic and evolving ecological functions in the changing environments that comprise our region.

As conservationists in the 21st century, we are faced with the challenge of helping nature continue to heal and flourish for future generations. Thus, the need to explore the critical factors that affect the wolf’s return and its potentially positive impact to the natural biological diversity of the Northeast has never been more important.

The Northeast Wolf Coalition envisions an ecologically effective wolf populations in healthy, diverse ecosystems managed as a public trust across North America. Wildlife conservationists must be equipped with a foundation of knowledge and the necessary tools to proceed with due diligence when promoting wolf recovery in the region. Thus, it’s the a priority of the Northeast Wolf Coalition to first and foremost encourage effective trans-boundary cooperative relationships with federal, state, and provincial agencies, organizations, and the general public that lead to responsible best practices that promote wolf recovery in the region.

Learn more about the Northeast Wolf Coalition here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Federal and State Wildlife Authorities Should Educate Public About South Dakota Wolf

With what looks to be a gray wolf roaming the Black Hills of South Dakota, it's key to let hunters there know that wolves are protected by Federal law and killing one is a crime.

It's a MUST that federal and state wildlife authorities tell the public NOW about this federally protected wolf's presence so it can't be mistaken for an unprotected coyote.

Nationwide there have been several accounts where protected gray wolves are mistaken for coyotes and killed. And due to the U.S. Justice Department's "McKittrick policy," a detrimental "loophole" that prohibits prosecuting individuals who kill endangered wildlife unless it can be PROVED that they knew they were targeting a protected animal, these crimes go unpunished. Learn more.

Do you think it's incumbent on federal and state wildlife authorities to educate the public about this protected wolf's presence ASAP?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Wild Wolf Sighting in South Dakota?

Wolf Sighting in South Dakota?
New video captures what appears to be a gray wolf in the Black Hills of South Dakota! Read more.

Currently, wolves have returned to less than 10% of their historic range in the lower 48 states. But wolves do wander and if given a chance, they can establish themselves in area with suitable habitat and availability of prey.

In recent years, there have been reports of wolves from Canada crossing the frozen St. Lawrence Seaway into Maine, wolves traveling miles south into the southern Rocky Mountain states of Utah and Colorado, a pioneer and media sensation (wolf OR-7) who made the Golden State home, and a homecoming on the northern rim of the Grand Canyon where "Echo" broke new ground.

Run free and be safe. ‪

Sunday, August 16, 2015

New Mexico Game Commission Pushing Endangered Mexican Wolf Closer to Extinction

It is the mission of the New Mexico Game Commission “To conserve, regulate, propagate and protect the wildlife and fish within the state of New Mexico using a flexible management system that ensures sustainable use for public food supply, recreation and safety; and to provide for off-highway motor vehicle recreation that recognizes cultural, historic, and resource values while ensuring public safety.”

Yet in the last five years, the seven-member Commission appointed by New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez has made decisions that are pushing the critically endangered Mexican Gray Wolf closer to extinction and has put a bull’s-eye on bears and cougars like never before. Read more via the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Should the Governor have the power to trump the science of saving a species? What say you? 

For those in New Mexico, please consider standing for wolves with our friends from at a rally during the next Commission meeting on August 27th. Lobos need our voices during this crucial time for Mexican gray wolf recovery. More information here.