Monday, July 22, 2019

Who's the Boss?

To maintain order, wolves will rely on their posture, tail position, facial expression and ear position to articulate their status and role within the family. Wolves will also use body language to communicate intentions or to initiate some fun.

The less dominant family members (usually the offspring in the family) exhibit their position through submissive behavior. With lowered tails and posture, less dominant wolves acknowledge their role and rank in the family hierarchy. Pawing, tail tucking, and muzzle-licking are among the submissive gestures expressed by less dominant wolves.

Can you tell which wolf in this video is submissive?

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Can you say, “wolfy paddle”?

Wolves are very comfortable in the water; with webbing between their toes they make for strong swimmers.

Unlike their interior cousins, unique coastal wolves of Vancouver Island live with two paws in the ocean and two paws on land! These wolves have been known to swim far distances in search of food, territory, and mates. One wolf was recorded swimming a whopping 7.5 miles between islands!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

WA State Officials Kill Wolf From OPT Family to Protect Cattle on Public Lands

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has confirmed they killed a radio-collared adult male member of the Old Profanity Territory (OPT) wolffamily.

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

One of the oldest and most primitive responses to conflict with livestock is to kill the predators. Peer-reviewed research demonstrates that killing predators is not only a crude solution to deter depredation on cows, it can even result in increased attacks.

Yet WDFW has resorted to killing wolves living in this rugged federal forest land for four consecutive years.

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?

Please contact WDFW Director Kelly Susewind before it’s too late and respectfully ask him to call off the kill order.

CALL 360-902-2200

Friday, July 12, 2019

Study Finds Politics Resulted in Lower Recovery Goals for Mexican Gray Wolves

A new study published today in Scientific Reports finds that politics heavily influenced the development of a recovery plan for critically endangered Mexican gray wolves.

The researchers, led by Dr. Carlos Carroll of the Klamath Center for Conservation Research, were curious as to a sudden change in recovery criteria after political opposition. In 2013, a team of scientists compiled draft recovery plan criteria for the Mexican gray wolf and found that a population of 750 wild lobos in the U.S. was needed for recovery. However, after opposition from politicians in the southwest, a new draft plan was released in 2017 that called for only 320 wild lobos.

Scientists compared the 2013 and 2017 draft recovery plans for the Mexican gray wolf and analyzed the population viability models that had been used to develop the plans. The two plans differed drastically in the population of wolves required for recovery and the 2017 modeling team, comprised of state political appointees and scientists, was found to have chosen more optimistic values for threats such as disease risks.

“Recovery goals based on politics rather than science slow Mexican wolf recovery by allowing the agency to forego opportunities to establish new populations in suitable habitat and to underestimate the number of wolves that need to be released from captivity into the wild population to improve genetic health,” stated Dr. Carroll.

In 2018, the Wolf Conservation Center and other conservation organizations sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Arizona U.S. District Court to challenge the inadequacies of the 2017 Mexican wolf recovery plan. The lawsuit notes that the plan is not science-based, does not adequately address ongoing threats to Mexican wolves, and will not lead to Mexican wolf recovery. This suit is ongoing.

The critically endangered Mexican gray wolf almost vanished from the face of the earth in the mid-20th century because of human persecution. The entire population of Mexican wolves alive today descends from just seven individuals that were captured and placed into a captive breeding program before the species was exterminated from the wild.

As the result of a reintroduction program, today there is a single population of approximately 131 Mexican wolves existing in the wild in the United States, located in the Blue Range area of eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. However, the reintroduced population suffers from high mortality due to illegal killing and compromised genetics because of its brush with extinction.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Washington State Officials to Kill Wolf Families to Protect Cows

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) officials have ordered the killing of the members of the Old Profanity Territory (OPT) family.

Why? To protect cows grazing on public lands.

Last September, WDFW killed two members of the OPT family in an attempt to stop livestock attacks. When the depredations continued, officials attempted to kill the remaining two wolves but were unsuccessful. Director Kelly Susewind then paused action seeking to lethally remove the two remaining wolves from the OPT pack.

Beyond being cruel and in violation of the desires of a majority of Americans, these kill orders are not working.

“WDFW has been killing wolves to deter conflict since 2012 when the agency wiped out the entire Wedge Pack, yet depredations on livestock continue,” said Maggie Howell, executive director of the Wolf Conservation Center. “Peer-reviewed research demonstrates that killing predators is not only an ineffective solution to deter depredation on cows, but it can even result in increased attacks.”

WDFW knows that peer-reviewed research demonstrates that killing predators is not only an ineffective solution to deter depredation on cows, but it can even result in increased attacks on livestock by survivors.

Killing state-endangered wolves on to benefit the profit margins of a private business is wrong on every level.

Please contact WDFW Director Kelly Susewind before it’s too late and respectfully ask him to call off the kill order.

CALL 360-902-2200

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Pint-Sized Pups Work to Save Mexican Gray Wolves

Ten weeks old and taking the Internet (and the world) by storm!

On April 26, Mexican gray wolf Trumpet gave birth to five healthy pups, each destined for greatness in their own way. The largest of the litter, one of the two females, was chosen to embark on a historic journey – she was the first solo pup ever cross-fostered into a wild Mexican gray wolf family! She’s now a living, breathing part of the southwestern landscape where she lives with her adoptive family as a member of Arizona’s Saffel pack. More:

The four remaining pups that reside at the Wolf Conservation Center may seem to be outshone by their wild-dwelling sister, but their presence at the WCC helps to further Mexican gray wolf recovery. Through a network of live-streaming cameras that allow a global audience to witness the first steps, squeaks, and snuggles of these pups, thousands of people are learning just what it means to be a Mexican gray wolf. The pups have a direct link to the wild and therefore, so does every person who watches them grow.

Together, these siblings (separated by thousands of miles) are unknowingly saving Mexican gray wolves. Thank you, little lobos!

Watch the pups via LIVE webcam

Friday, July 5, 2019

Wolf Conservation Center Gets Thrown to the Cats

Did you hear a “meow”?!

Recently at the Wolf Conservation Center, we have begun utilizing trail cameras across our grounds. A trail camera is triggered to take photos or videos when it senses changes in heat and motion, typically when an animal passes in front of the camera. We placed these cameras in various locations on site where we detected animal sign (scat, tracks, etc.) in hopes of capturing footage of our local wildlife. Over the recent months, we’ve captured a wide variety of species on camera including eastern coyotes, white-tailed deer, ermines, red foxes, eastern cottontails, raccoons, and even bobcats!

In fact, this past month we have had abundant bobcat activity here at the WCC. Over the course of a few weeks, we have identified two distinct individuals on our cameras, a male and a female. Bobcats are typically solitary animals but will travel with other bobcats when they are breeding, or if they are a mother with kittens. We have observed our male bobcat scent-marking the area on camera, as well as vocalizing most likely to draw the female in.

Here you can see the male “scraping” a specific spot on the ground with his hind feet, and briefly urinating as well. Scrape spots serve as a territory marker by leaving behind a scent, which also helps to draw in local females looking to breed. Bobcats will re-visit their scrapes periodically to refresh them and leave even stronger olfactory cues such as urine or scat.
Learn More About the WCC’s Wild Neighbors