Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Promise for a Wild Future

Raising awareness for red wolves can take many forms - art, education, advocacy - but it's a special event that combines all three.

The Wolf Conservation Center was happy to co-host a red wolf-focused program and art unveiling with Defenders of Wildlife; a red wolf sculpture by Weiler Woods for Wildlife now has a permanent home at the WCC.
With only 14 known, collared red wolves remaining in the wild, every partnership is a promise for a better future.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Washington State Kills Wolf Mother to Protect Cows

Friday, October 4, 2019 – Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) officials announced today that they killed a female member of the Grouse Flats wolf pack on September 25. She was believed to be the mom.

On September 24, in accordance with the agency’s controversial Wolf Plan and 2017 wolf-livestock interaction protocol, Director Kelly Susewind authorized the incremental “removal” of wolves following livestock depredations in Grouse Flats territory on both private lands and state wildlife areas in southeast Washington.

The announcement of the killing comes after Governor Jay Inslee expressed concern over the state’s Wolf Plan:

“We must find new methods to better support co-existence between Washington’s livestock industry and gray wolves in our state. The status quo of annual lethal removal is simply unacceptable.”

Since 2012, WDFW has killed an estimated thirty one endangered wolves and pups, has obliterated entire wolf families (including the Old Profanity Territory pack in August), and has caused countless packs to fragment as a result of targeting individual wolves.

Moreover, peer-reviewed research demonstrates that employing lethal action to deter depredation on cows can even result in increased attacks.

Enough is enough.

Please contact WDFW Director Kelly Susewind and respectfully ask him to stop the assault on Washington’s wolves.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Take Action to Protect the Endangered Species Act

Over the summer, the Trump administration unveiled its final changes to the rules that implement the Endangered Species Act (ESA) — a series of disastrous regulatory changes best characterized as an “Extinction Plan”. The rule rollbacks represent a fundamental attack on this cornerstone of conservation law, making it harder to protect wildlife from multiple threats, including habitat loss and those posed by climate change.

In an effort to fight this latest step to cripple the nation’s best tool for helping to prevent extinction, members of the House and Senate introduced “Protect America’s Wildlife and Fish in Need of Protection Act of 2019” or the “PAW and FIN Act of 2019” legislation aimed to repeal all three final rule changes to the ESA.

Given that science has concluded that we have entered an unprecedented period of human-caused Sixth Mass extinction, we need to make every effort to help imperiled species heal and flourish.

Ask your Congressional representatives to support the PAW and FIN Conservation Act of 2019 H.B. 4348 and S. 2491 to protect the world’s “gold standard” for conservation and protection of imperiled species.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Opening Day of NY Coyote Season – At What Cost?

Today, October 1st, is the first day of coyote hunting season in New York State.

Coyotes – like wolves – have been historically persecuted for decades. In over 30 U.S. states, coyote hunting season never ends. New York is one of only a handful of states with a limited coyote season: six months out of the year. From today until March 29th of 2020, hunters can kill coyotes at will. Day or night, at any hour, with no limit to how many coyotes are killed. Young pups born just this May might see their families fragmented – those pups might even be hunted themselves.

Following the historical eradication of large carnivores in the northeast, eastern coyotes have become an apex predator in New York. As such, they have a vital role in nature. Eastern coyotes maintain balance in the species below them on the food web and offer a whole host of ecosystem services from which we benefit greatly. And yet nationwide we devalue them, calling them pests and varmints and work to exterminate them despite what scientific studies tell us.

Though lethal management of coyotes is often touted as a means of population control, the best available science actually shows us that killing coyotes is a completely ineffective management tool. In fact, indiscriminate killing disrupts the stable pack structure, causing females to breed at a younger age and creating more breeding pairs in a given area. Killing coyotes elicits a rebound effect, and has been shown to lead to an ultimate upsurge in the coyote population. Not only that, but coyotes removed from an area are rapidly replaced by others looking to occupy the now-vacant territory, which may lead to increased conflict if these interlopers test the boundaries of their new homes.

This July, a disturbing photo began circulating the internet. In rural Essex County of Vermont, strung up high in front of a residential home were two dead coyote pups each dangling by a hind leg. Not only was the sight distressing to behold, but the message behind it was deeply unsettling. Implied was a blatant disregard for the lives of animals, and the decision to deny these creatures any dignity in their untimely deaths spoke to a greater culture of celebrating killing rather than recognizing our place in the nature of things. Almost as disheartening as the act itself is the fact that such a display violated no laws or codes. The homeowner simply received gentle encouragement from law enforcement to remove the corpses following a series of complaints. This display was just a symptom of a greater cultural disregard for our essential wild species.

The key to our cohabitation instead lies in our practice of coexistence techniques. This means removing attractants, actively hazing coyotes away from our homes and livestock, and ultimately understanding that they play a key role in keeping the ecosystem balanced and healthy.

Today, the opening day of New York’s coyote season, we need to rethink our cultural and managerial approach to such a clever and resilient species. Our relationship with coyotes does not have to be a contentious one. After years of persecution by landowners, ranchers, and government agents, the fact is that coyotes are here to stay. It is up to us to employ our best management strategy: managing ourselves.

Learn more about coyotes and coexistence via the button below.

Gov. Inslee Criticizes WDFW’s Killing of Wolves, Demands Changes

“The status quo of annual lethal removal is simply unacceptable.”

In a letter to the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Gov. Jay Inslee yesterday shared his concerns regarding the state’s controversial Wolf Plan.

The letter reads, in part, “I share the public’s concern and am troubled that the Wolf Plan does not appear to be working as intended in this particular area in Northeastern Washington. I believe we cannot continue using the same management approach on this particular landscape. We must look for other strategies that address the unique nature of this particular geographical area, an area which has been characterized as prime gray wolf habitat. We must find new methods to better support co-existence between Washington’s livestock industry and gray wolves in our state. The status quo of annual lethal removal is simply unacceptable.”

Washington’s ongoing killing of wolves to stop conflicts with cattle have demonstrably failed. Science shows that killing wolves to deter depredation on cows is ineffective and can even result in increased attacks. The state of Washington’s actions have created a vicious cycle in which nobody wins and wolves pay the ultimate price.

Since 2012, WDFW has killed an estimated thirty endangered wolves and pups, has obliterated entire wolf families (including the Old Profanity Territory pack in August), and has caused countless packs to fragment as a result of targeting individual wolves.

The letter comes as the WDFW and the Wolf Advisory Group (WAG) are in the process of developing post-recovery conservation and management plan for wolves to guide long-term management, including guidance on addressing conflicts between livestock and wolves.

The governor asked WDFW to provide him with an update to his requests and recommendations for additional action by December 1.

Read the full letter here.

Please consider calling the governor to thank him for taking positive steps towards improved management of Washington’s wolves.


Sunday, September 29, 2019

Happy New Year!

Extending good wishes to all celebrating Rosh Hashanah!

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Wolf Conservation Center Named “2019 TOP-RATED NONPROFIT” by GreatNonprofits

Award based on Outstanding Online Reviews

The Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) has been named a “2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit” by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews of charities and nonprofits.

The WCC is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit environmental education organization working to protect and preserve wolves in North America through science-based education, advocacy, and participation in the federal recovery and release programs for two critically endangered wolf species – the Mexican gray wolf and red wolf.

“We are honored to be named a 2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit,” says Maggie Howell, WCC Executive Director. “This recognition is particularly meaningful to our professional staff members who are unwavering in their commitment to give each and every wolf — indeed, all fifty wolves who call the WCC home — what they need to succeed and hope for a wild future.”

The Top-Rated Nonprofit Award is the based on the rating and number of reviews that Wolf Conservation Center received from volunteers, donors and colleagues.

I applaud the Wolf Conservation Center. This organization provides invaluable efforts towards conservation and education. Their staff and volunteers are made up of very special people, who passionately care about the wolves as well as their essential place in our environment. THANK YOU WCC for all that you do and stand for.

“The Wolf Conservation Center is a great example of a nonprofit making a real difference in their community,” said Perla Ni, CEO of GreatNonprofits, “Their award is well-deserved recognition not only of their work, but the tremendous support they receive, as shown by the many outstanding reviews they have received from people who have direct experience working with Wolf Conservation Center.”

GreatNonprofits is the leading website where people share stories about their personal experiences on more than 1.6 million charities and nonprofits. The GreatNonprofits Top-Rated Awards are the only awards for nonprofits determined by those who have direct experience with the charities – as donors, volunteers and constituents.