Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Lukas!


photo by Spencer Wilhelm


Lukas turns 11 years old today, so please join us in wishing a happy birthday to the wolf that's been called the Brad Pitt of our pack! Follow Lukas's example and don't forget to take time to smell the flowers, roll in the smelly stuff, snap at the flying insects, and otherwise enjoy the finer things in life...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fair Interview Excellent

The Today Show interview with J. Henry Fair, co-founder of the Wolf Conservation Center, aired this morning. It was well worth the wait and can be viewed below. If you want to view the artwork mentioned in the piece, please visit http://industrialscars.com/.



Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Good Way to Start the Work Week


Yes, we wish this clip of our SSP wolves had audio! Speaking of wishes - happy belated birthday to the Mexican gray wolves born at the WCC last year on Earth Day!



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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

TGIF?

Sorry for the late notice, but we just got word that J Henry Fair's Today Show segment has been moved to this Friday during the 7am (Eastern) hour.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tune In Earth Day for "Fair" Reporting


J. Henry Fair, co-founder of the Wolf Conservation Center, will appear on NBC's Today show this Wednesday April 22. Fair, a prominent photographer and conservationist, will speak with Anne Thompson, NBC News' chief environmental affairs correspondent, about various topics including water issues and his project Industrial Scars. He should be appearing during the 8am hour (Eastern) - check your local listings.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ready For Their Close-ups!

Here's a couple more videos from our remote cameras. But first a random observation for all you Kaila fans (and who isn't a Kaila fan?): The other day she was running through the enclosure when Apache suddenly appeared in front of her. Without missing a beat, she nimbly jumped right over him. Very impressive for a 13 year-old wolf!


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Friday, April 10, 2009

I Spy...

Now that breeding season is over, we were able to reunite the males and females that were separated at the beginning of the season. We don't have footage of the reunion, but we do have some great video clips to post.

We recently installed heat-activated movie cameras in several of the SSP enclosures to help us monitor the behavior and health of the wolves. The SSP wolf enclosures are not open to the public, since these wolves, or their descendants, may someday be released into the wild. Even WCC staff have very limited interaction with them. Thanks to the cameras, however, we'll be able to give people a behind-the-scenes view of the SSP wolves by periodically sharing the best of the clips with you.

The video below is from a Mexican Gray Wolf enclosure. Pups were born there last May, but now it's impossible to tell them apart from the adults!

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EDIT: Rebecca Bose, our wolf curator, just gave me a great clip showing the wolves post-reunion. See how many wolves you can spot!

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

You're In For A Treat!


photo by Maggie Howell

One of the Wolf Conservation Center's supporters, Linda Rubino, was nice enough to send us some enrichment for our ambassador wolves. We love to provide the wolves with different experiences, especially scents, so this was a great opportunity to expose the ambassadors to something new.

To see the wolves reacting to the enrichment (the title of this entry is a clue as to what it was), you can view some great photos Maggie Howell, our Managing Director, took and a short video, which includes Atka taking a bath.

Thanks again to Linda and her cat Alex!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Apache Really "Sings"


After yesterday's post, some people asked for the original video to be posted. Click here to view it. Enjoy!

Conservation Groups Bring Wolf Fight Back Into Court


NRDC and Twelve Groups fight decision to remove Northern Rocky Mountain wolves from Endangered Species List

LIVINGSTON, Mont. (April 1, 2009) -The long fight over wolves in the Northern Rockies continued today when the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and a coalition of concerned conservation groups announced a legal challenge to the recent US Fish and Wildlife Service decision to remove wolves from the federal Endangered Species list. NRDC has long-advocated for a national wolf plan with recovery goals based on the most current science, which would point to the need for a larger population of animals with the opportunity for natural genetic interchange; benchmarks likely unattainable under the states’ wolf management plans.

To read the more of this press release, click on "More" below.


More...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press contact: Josh Mogerman at 312-651-7909 (office) or 773-853-5384 (mobile)

Conservation Groups Bring Wolf Fight Back Into Court
NRDC and Twelve Groups fight decision to remove Northern Rocky Mountain wolves from Endangered Species List

LIVINGSTON, Mont. (April 1, 2009) -The long fight over wolves in the Northern Rockies continued today when the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and a coalition of concerned conservation groups announced a legal challenge to the recent US Fish and Wildlife Service decision to remove wolves from the federal Endangered Species list. NRDC has long-advocated for a national wolf plan with recovery goals based on the most current science, which would point to the need for a larger population of animals with the opportunity for natural genetic interchange; benchmarks likely unattainable under the states’ wolf management plans.

“Last time the Service removed legal protections, there was an all out war on wolves in the weeks that followed,” said Louisa Willcox, Director of the NRDC’s office in Livingston, Mont. “We are so incredibly close to fulfilling the conditions necessary to declare the wolves’ comeback as complete, but this move threatens to undo what should be an incredible conservation success story.”
When the Bush Administration removed protections for wolves in the Northern Rockies last year, it resulted in the death of over 100 wolves. The State of Idaho recently proposed killing 120 in one area, the Clearwater, and has its sites on killing an additional 26 packs in the state.

Due to inadequacy of the State of Wyoming’s management plan, wolves will retain legal protections within that state while becoming subject to hunts in Idaho and Montana. This move is in clear opposition to previously long-standing Department of Interior policy, which found that wolves in the Northern Rockies constitute a single population and could not be broken up on a state-by-state basis. Documents stating this had been available on the Department’s Web site, including this 2004 letter to the State of Wyoming and a 2003 Fish and Wildlife Service memo on wolves, stating, “We cannot use a boundary between states to subdivide a single biological population in an effort to artificially create a discrete population.”

“State borders don’t mean much to wolves—they don’t know Wyoming from West Virginia,” said Dr. Sylvia Fallon, NRDC Staff Scientist whose genetic expertise was central in the federal court challenge environmentalists won against the previous effort to remove wolf protections. “We agree that Wyoming’s plan is inadequate, but you cannot have protections start and stop at state lines, particularly when genetic interchange between the packs is essential for the wolf’s long-term survival. It undermines the needs of both wolves and the people who live in the region.”

The coalition will give the Department of Interior 60-day notice of the suit tomorrow, when the rule is officially published (it is available today online). The suit will be filed by Earthjustice on behalf of NRDC, Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, The Humane Society of the United States, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, Friends of the Clearwater, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands Project, Western Watersheds Project, Wildlands Project, and Hell’s Canyon Preservation Council.

“Secretary Salazar and the Department of Interior have pushed through a policy that sidesteps the law as well as the needs of both wolves and the people who live in the region,” said Andrew Wetzler, Director of NRDC’s Endangered Species Project. “A real solution is going to require a national plan that sets recovery goals based on the latest science and ensures natural genetic interchange for the packs in the region. Anything else is likely to fall short of what is required by the law and just gets in the way of a long-term solution for all the parties involved. Let’s get this thing fixed.”

Tens of thousands of gray wolves once roamed North America before being slaughtered and eliminated from 95 percent of their habitat in lower 48 states in the 1930s. The gray wolf was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 1973. Disease has taken a further toll on the packs in and around Yellowstone National Park shrinking the park population by 27% and slowing the broader region’s population growth in 2008, offering further proof of the wolves’ vulnerable status in the region.

The reintroduction of wolves by the federal government has measurably improved the natural balance in the Northern Rockies and benefited streamside habitats and riparian forests, as well as pronghorn antelope bird, rodent, and elk populations. Many thousands of visitors flock to Yellowstone National Park each year to see and hear wolves in the wild, contributing at least $35 million to the local economy each year, according to some studies.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New Project Unveiled!


Very often we get asked whether wolves can be trained and if we teach the ambassador wolves tricks. We always tell people that we don’t teach them tricks, but actually we were secretly working with the wolves. After months of intensive training, today we can proudly reveal their previously hidden talents to the world. Click here for video and enjoy your day!