Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Red Wolf Ancestry Re-discovered Along American Gulf Coast

Rediscovering species once thought to be extinct or on the edge of extinction is rare. Red wolves have been extinct along the Gulf Coast region since 1980, with their last populations found in coastal Louisiana and Texas.

In a new paper, researchers report the rediscovery of red wolf ghost alleles in a canid population on Galveston Island, Texas.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

WDFW Guns Down Juvenile Wolf from Helicopter to Protect Cows on Public Lands

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has confirmed they killed a juvenile member of the Old Profanity Territory (OPT) pack.

The young wolf, weighing 50 pounds, was spotted and killed from a helicopter on September 16.

The kill order was issued following livestock depredations on public lands.

Beyond being cruel and in violation of the desires of a majority of Americans, lethal action (i.e., killing wolves) is not working.

The OPT wolves reside on land that was once home to the Profanity Peak pack, a family that was obliterated by WDFW officials in 2016. Their goal was to stop livestock attacks in the area despite scientific studies suggesting killing wolves can increase the risk of conflict, rather than a decrease. Two years later, WDFW is killing wolves in the same area.

WDFW has been killing wolves over three consecutive years as a solution, yet depredations on livestock continue.

Is it time for WDFW to listen to science and the desires of the American public and stop killing wolves, state-endangered wolves no less, to benefit the profit margins of a private business?

New Study - Carnivore Conservation Needs Evidence-Based Livestock Protection

Preventing carnivores from preying on livestock, and preventing the human retaliation that can follow, would achieve three important societal goals: preserve nature, protect animal welfare, and safeguard livelihoods. Achieving these objectives depends on policies that foster coexistence between humans and wild carnivores.

In a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS Biology, twenty-one authors from 10 nations reviewed 114 peer-reviewed scientific studies measuring the effectiveness of lethal and non-lethal methods for reducing carnivore predation on livestock. The researchers found that livestock guardian dogs, livestock enclosures and fladry are all effective non-lethal conflict deterrents.

Since evidence of the effectiveness of any intervention should be a prerequisite to policy-making or large-scale funding. the authors urge the formation of an international coalition of scientists to set standardized scientifically-supported protocols to ultimately inform society, property owners, decision-makers, and other interests for wise wildlife management policy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Monday, September 17, 2018

Playtime is Essential for Wolves

For wolves, playtime isn’t only fun, it strengthens family bonds and reaffirms social status within the pack.

Research shows wolf pups are more likely to play on equal terms with wolves of similar age. The authors propose that such behavior may act to reinforce the dominant adult and subordinate puppy hierarchy established outside of play, and hope that continued research in this area may provide further insight.


Sunday, September 16, 2018

Red Wolf's Lazy Sunday

Friday, September 14, 2018

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Seeks to Abandon Federal Wildlife Protections

esa_red_withoutIn a blow to endangered species recovery, Secretary Zinke wants the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to decrease federal protections for wildlife and align these measures with less-restrictive state practices - essentially dismantling the federal Endangered Species Act.

What does this mean for critically endangered animals like red wolves and Mexican gray wolves? Less protection, less land on which to roam, and, ultimately, less support from state agencies.

Wildlife agencies in North Carolina and the southwest states are quite vocal when it comes to voicing their displeasure at participating in recovery programs for critically endangered wolves, so Secretary Zinke's proposal to align federal rules with states' wants and regulations will prove to be devastating for red wolves and Mexican wolves. How devastating? If history is anything to go off of, it will result in the extinction of these essential creatures.

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) requested that USFWS declare red wolves extinct in the wild and terminate the recovery program in North Carolina in both 2015 and, most recently, July of 2018.

Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) asked Congress to remove all federal protections for Mexican wolves when there were only 50 wild lobos in the entire world, and penned a letter to USFWS insisting the majority of Mexican wolf recovery must occur in Mexico, even though peer-reviewed science indicates Mexico does not have enough suitable habitat to prevent the extinction of Mexican wolves. New Mexico Game and Fish Department (NMGFD) has followed suit, even going as far as to block much-needed wolf releases that would bolster the genetic diversity of the wild lobo population.

Wildlife protection transcends state boundaries, as wildlife belongs to all Americans, not just residents of a particular state.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

You Heard Our Howls - Thank You!

Yesterday the Wolf Conservation Center invited you to be a part of Red Wolf Week and you heard our howls! Nearly 400 supporters helped the WCC raise over $25,000 yesterday to meet the $20,000 matching grant provided by Vegan Capital!

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!