Thursday, December 30, 2010

Young Conservationists from Long Island are Working for Wolves

A dedicated group of 6th graders from Woodmere Middle School created this wonderful video about wolves and the importance of wolf conservation here in the U.S.. Ms Bentivegna is doing an exquisite job equipping her students with the tools necessary to safeguard the future of our nation's wildlife and now her middle school conservationists have created this promising piece -- what a treat! Keep up the great work Woodmere team, we can't wait to follow your endeavors in 2011.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Snow Days!

The recent blizzard means a lot of shoveling for us, but a lot of fun for our wolves!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve 2010

Just Resting Their Eyes...

Trying to Stay Awake...

Waiting and Watching...

Nothing Under the Tree Yet...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Season of Romance

Winter is officially here and it’s an exciting time for wolves and the WCC. January marks the beginning of the 2011 breeding season! Wolves are “mono-estrus” -- breeding only once a year during the winter months. The Species Survival Plan (SSP) management groups for both the Mexican gray wolf and the red wolf determine which wolves should be bred each year by using software developed for the population management of endangered species. This year the WCC is pleased to host three breeding pairs! With so much potential love in the air it can get quite confusing! Here’s an introduction to the WCC’s three breeding pairs:

Couple #1: Red Wolves F1397 & M1483
(The occupants of the WCC's red wolf exhibit and new parents of 7-month-old sons m1803 and m1804!)

Couple #2: Red Wolves F1291 & M1587

Couple #3: Mexican Gray Wolves F810 & M740

All six of these wolves are genetically valuable individuals that have been given the opportunity to breed because their offspring will increase the genetic diversity of their rare species and enhance that species’ chance to survive and thrive in the wild. So an exciting chapter begins in the lives of these very special wolves and the WCC! Happy winter!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

'Tis the Season to Chaperone

Winter time is breeding time for wolves, which means we have to make sure none of our critically endangered SSP wolves can engage in any illicit romances. Like overanxious chaperones at a high school dance, a group of Wolf Conservation Center staff and volunteers ventured into several enclosures to separate the wolves by gender. Though we had to separate Mexican gray wolf F837 (pictured) from M805 until the spring, we will have 3 breeding pairs of SSP wolves this season - two pairs of red wolves and one pair of Mexican gray wolves. We'll keep you posted if we see any signs of courtship!

Friday, December 10, 2010

¡Próspero Año Nuevo! Good News for Lobos!

December 9, 2010 - The USFWS and AZGFD announced plans to release a four-year-old Mexican gray wolf, one of the former Saddle Pack pups, back into the wild along the Arizona-New Mexico border next month. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made the announcement late Thursday, saying the conditions are right for the release of the male wolf into an area frequented by the Hawks Nest pack in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. Officials hope the wolf will be a potential mate for the pack's breeding female. January will mark the beginning of breeding season, our fingers are crossed that this lucky boy finds love.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Leaving the Nest, er Den

On a cold November night 3 years ago the WCC welcomed 8 Mexican gray wolf pups and their parents. They were transferred from the Cincinnati Zoo as part of the Species Survival Plan for these critically endangered wolves.

Today we waved goodbye as the remaining three pups (now fully grown of course) headed off to their new home at the Lehigh Valley Zoo in PA. (The other 5 wolves from that litter left for the Columbus (OH) Zoo earlier this year.) While we rarely saw these SSP wolves, who were not kept on exhibit, their presence will definitely be missed.

We wish these beautiful representatives of their sub-species a safe trip and a bright future!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wolves are in the News and Politics Again

Wolves, their recovery, and the status of this keystone predator in the United States have been hot topics in Washington D.C. lately. On December 1st, eight Western Caucus members introduced a bill called the "State Sovereignty Wildlife Management Act," legislation some refer to as the "Anti-Wolf Bill." If this bill passes, all gray wolves in the U.S., including the few dozen Mexican gray wolves that currently remain in the wild, will lose their federal protections under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Eve Byron wrote an article for the Helena Independent Record (Wolf management hot topic in D.C.) about the House Representatives that introduced the bill and this legislation itself. According to the article, one of the eight representatives, Montana Rep. Denny Rehberg, said “After holding hearings in Montana and reading thousands of comments, it’s clear that folks in Western states like Montana are sick and tired of powerful environmental interest groups funded out of places like San Francisco and New York telling us how to manage our lands, resources and wildlife.” Indeed wolves do have some advocates here in NY. Just over a week ago the New York Times published an compelling editorial highlighting the threats to wolves and what’s required to return management authority to the states. Perhaps Rep. Rehberg isn't aware that some wolf advocates are from his neck of the woods. During the week hundreds of hunters, ranchers, biologists, and business owners in Montana took to the airwaves to voice their support of wolf recovery.
Thankfully wolf advocates are speaking up in Washington D.C. as well. A dozen Democratic members of Congress have asked Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in a letter for positive changes in the Mexican Gray Wolf recovery program. The December 1st letter was signed by New Mexico Rep. Martin Heinrich and Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva and calls for five key recommendations including the release of 22 wolves — eight in Arizona and 14 in New Mexico — that are considered eligible for release under the program's rules; and the retrieval of telemetry receivers loaned to private parties that alert ranchers and property owners when wolves are nearby. As reported the Albuquerque Journal, this letter was also signed by Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich, four representatives from northern California and others from Tennessee, New York, Georgia, Indiana and Colorado. If you applaud these representatives, please send them a quick email to let them know that you appreciate their support for the Mexican gray wolf:
Congressman Raul Grijalva
Congressman Martin Heinrich
Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Congresswoman Barbara Lee
Congressman Jared Polis
Congressman Andre Carson
Congressman Sam Farr
Congressman Pete Stark
Congresswoman Nita Lowey
Congressman Mike Honda
Congressman John Lewis
Congressman Steve Cohen

I wonder what next week will bring...