Sunday, August 20, 2017

Give a Wolf a GoPro...

Meet Atka! The confident and charismatic ambassador has won the hearts and opened the minds of hundreds of thousands of people throughout his storied career. As an important player in the fight to preserve wolves’ rightful place in the environment, Atka’s credentials are beyond dispute.

Atka turned fifteen years old on May 17th! Because he retired from his career as a traveling Ambassador last year, Atka interacts with fewer people than he used to and we realized he missed communicating with his fans. So, after the long, requisite talk about safety, etiquette, and responsibility, we gave Atka his very own email account at!

In a matter of hours, emails with photos, artwork, and wonderful well wishes started arriving at an alarming rate. Nearly 1000 emails filled Atka's inbox with messages from every continent with the exception of Antarctica!

We encourage you to say “hi” to Atka too. Maybe he’ll even respond

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Mexican Gray Wolf Pup vs. Flower

Beyond being adorably fierce, this Mexican gray wolf pup is critically endangered. And if U.S. Fish and Wildlife's new draft recovery plan is put into action, it may just push America's most endangered gray wolf even closer to extinction.

Learn how you can TAKE ACTION to make a difference for Mexican wolves.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

She is not a trophy.

Last month the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted to advance the “HELP for Wildlife Act” (S.1514), a misleadingly-titled bill that contains a damaging anti-wolf amendment we’re calling the “War on Wolves” Rider.

If the War on Wolves legislation is passed into law, wolves will die at the hands of trophy hunters.

The toxic legislation proposes to permanently remove federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Wyoming, to allow trophy hunting of wolves to immediately resume within these states. To add insult to injury, the bill prohibits its judicial review thus preventing any legal challenge.

Judicial review is an important part of the checks and balances to limit the authority of the legislative branch. Wolves are on the table today. What tomorrow? Our environment? Our public health? Our civil rights? Would your Senator support a bill that undermines one of the central pillars of American democracy?


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Oregon Slated to Kill Two More Wolves

Earlier this month, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials (ODFW) shot and killed two adult wolves from the Harl Butte family group to protect cattle grazing on private and public lands.

One wolf was killed from the ground and the other from the air.

Today, ODFW confirmed another depredation by the Harl Butte wolf pack. Now the agency aims to kill to two more.

Thus, the agency intends to kill to additional wolves.

Last year, ODFW killed the entire Imnaha Pack in this same area. Is killing entire wolf packs every couple of years a solution?

Oregon Wild is asking supporters to call on Governor Kate Brown to step in and make sure Oregon's revised wolf plan emphasizes conservation over killing. Take action here.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Public Comments Show Overwhelming Support for Protecting Red Wolves in the Wild


Press Contacts:
Haley McKey, Defenders of Wildlife, 202-772-0247,
Ron Sutherland, Wildlands Network, 919-641-0060,
Kim Wheeler, Red Wolf Coalition, 252-796-5600,
Maggie Howell, Wolf Conservation Center, 914-763-2373,
Collette Adkins, Center for Biological Diversity, 651-955-3821,

WASHINGTON (August 14, 2017) – Nearly all of the comments submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) support recovering the wild red wolf population in the southeastern United States, according to an analysis announced today by a coalition of conservation groups. 54,992 out of 55,087 public comments (99.8%) supported recovering the red wolf in the wild in North Carolina, compared to only 25 anti-wolf comments (0.045%) and just 10 comments (0.018%) that supported the federal agency’s proposed plan to remove most red wolves from the wild and into captivity.

Statements from North Carolina residents similarly support restoring and conserving the red wolf. Fully 98.6% of comments from North Carolinians encouraged the FWS to do more to save the critically imperiled species, one of the most endangered carnivores in the world. Zooming in to northeastern North Carolina, more than two-thirds (68.4%) of the comments from the current 5-county recovery region were supportive of the Red Wolf Recovery Program, undermining claims that local residents oppose red wolf restoration.

Conservation groups and a team of scientists also submitted detailed comments to the FWS. These letters cite evidence that the agency’s proposal to pull back on red wolf conservation actions would cause the extinction of the red wolf in the wild. In the hopes of dramatically shifting the scope of FWS decision-making on Canis rufus, the letters also offer proactive suggestions for recovering the species across the southeastern US, including generous landowner incentive programs and more robust law enforcement.

Statements from Conservation Leaders:

“This overwhelmingly positive response sends a crystal clear message: Americans support red wolf conservation and want the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to do the right thing and restore this species throughout its native range in the southeastern United States,” says Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife. “The Service needs to roll up its sleeves and put in the time and effort needed to bring this species back from the brink of extinction.”

“Many of the comments showed a profound appreciation for the ecological importance of returning the red wolf to southeastern landscapes,” said Dr. Ron Sutherland, Conservation Scientist for the Wildlands Network. “People drew frequent comparisons to the better-known situation at Yellowstone National Park, where the reintroduced gray wolves have been shown to be essential to the health of the Park's ecosystems.”

“The statements posted during the required public comment period demonstrate the overwhelming support for red wolf conservation,” remarked Kim Wheeler, Executive Director of the Red Wolf Coalition, Inc. “The Red Wolf Coalition encourages the USFWS to use the comments provided by the American public in developing the new rules that will govern the management of the critically endangered red wolf.”

“Every voice raised in support of wildlife can make a difference and Americans overwhelmingly support red wolf recovery,” said Maggie Howell, Executive Director of the Wolf Conservation Center. “We’re counting on USFWS to take notice and follow the best available science to ensure that the world’s most endangered wolves remain a living, breathing part of the southeastern landscape.”

“This tremendous public support should prompt the feds to finally commit to working toward red wolf recovery,” said Collette Adkins, a biologist and senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The science shows that red wolves can be saved, but with fewer than 50 left in the wild, the clock is ticking.”


Recent Events
  • The wild red wolf population is classified as a nonessential experimental population under the 10(j) rule of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). FWS is considering a reclassification to manage the wild and captive populations as one metapopulation. FWS announced in September 2016 that it intends to remove from private and public lands most of the world's only remaining population of red wolves in the wild, threatening the continued existence of this highly imperiled species in its native habitat. FWS opened a public comment period from May 2017 to July 2017, soliciting feedback about the scope of its planned changes to the red wolf recovery program.
  • Soon after the FWS announcement, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina issued a preliminary injunction that orders the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to stop capturing and killing — and authorizing private landowners to capture and kill — members of the rapidly dwindling population of wild red wolves. 
  • In October 2016, the scientific experts who drafted the Population Viability Analysis (PVA) for the red wolf, which FWS cited as the rationale behind its recent proposal to take red wolves from the wild and place them in captivity, sent a rebuttal to the agency saying, “The September 12th decision on the future of the Red Wolf Recovery Program included many alarming misinterpretations of the PVA as justification for the final decision.” 
  • In July of 2016, a coalition of conservation groups submitted a combined petition to the FWS with almost 500,000 signatures, all calling on the agency to renew its commitment to recovering the red wolf. In August 2016, public polling in North Carolina revealed that a solid majority of citizens in NC supported helping save the red wolf from extinction. Earlier in 2014, conservation-minded citizens sent in over 110,000 pro-red-wolf emails to FWS in response to an ongoing review by the Wildlife Management Institute.

For Wolves, the Social Glue is Song

This is what Family Sounds Like.

Although wolves use varied vocalizations to express themselves, if you ask anyone about wolf sounds, it's likely the howl that comes to mind. Howling helps keep family members (or pack-mates) together.

Wolves can howl to locate other wolves, advertise the size of their pack or territory, to warn other family members of danger using a bark howl, and more.

But do wolves ever just sing to make music, as we do? 

During a recent interview author, Brenda Peterson asked Wolf Conservation Center co-founder Hélène Grimaud this question. Here is what Helene said:

“One of the most intriguing elements of wolf howling is what scientists call social glue. This spreading of good feeling like humans singing around a campfire, feeling closer to one another—it’s that same idea: you howl or harmonize and so reaffirm your social bonds with one another. That’s not surprising. Any pack animal really depends upon the others to survive.”

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Preserve Wildlife for Our Children


Wildlife and other natural resources are a public trust which means that every citizen has an interest and a voice in the management of natural resources. The public trust is a legal concept that implies that we all share equal, undivided interests in America's wildlife.

Adrian Treves, professor, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis. points out that "efforts to delist the wolf are driven by the opposite tendencies: to deplete nature for a small minority of hunters and intolerant livestock producers"

"In an ongoing lawsuit, teenagers are suing the federal government for failing to regulate greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. The youths argue for their constitutional right to a stable and predictable atmosphere. The same lawsuit might be brought for failure to preserve our native wildlife. For too long, current adults have monopolized the legacy of nature over which we adults are only temporary caretakers."

More via Chicago Tribune.

Learn more about Predators and the Public Trust.