Monday, October 31, 2011

Best Halloween Ever! For the Wolves That Is...

Atka and the other 24 wolves that call the Wolf Conservation Center home agree, this is the best Halloween ever! Snow dumped on our 27 acres in South Salem, NY toppling a dozen or so trees, damaging enclosures, wiping out power and phones, and bringing enormous smiles to our frisky denizens that love winter the best.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Critically Endangered Lobos Receive a House Call From the Doc

3-year-old F1143 hides from the menacing humans
Autumn is a magical time at the Wolf Conservation Center. Colorful leaves are dancing in the breeze, cider is brewing in our cozy classroom cabin, and critically endangered wolves are shaking in their boots dreading the day humans set foot in their remote territories. The staff and volunteers rarely disturb our sixteen Mexican gray wolves and six red wolves, but when autumn rolls around, we get up close and personal with these most elusive animals for the wolves' annual medical exams. Today was the first of three "check-up capture days" scheduled this season.
A group of WCC volunteers and staff met this early morning with clipboards, vaccinations, thermometers, doughnuts, etc..., basically all the equipment to best prepare our team to meet the challenge of catching seven elusive lobos. In order to administer vaccinations, take blood, and weigh each wolf, we calmly herd the wolves through their spacious enclosure and into capture boxes -  wooden doghouse-like structures with removable roofs. Once a wolf is captured in the box, the WCC's generous volunteer veterinarian proceeds with the exam. The actual exam takes only minutes, the real challenge is capturing the frightened wolves. Thankfully, twelve-year-old F613 and her six three-year-old offspring ran into their boxes without a hitch, this isn't F613's first rodeo! All the wolves looked in tip top shape, Mama wolf F613 looked amazing. I guess managing six three-year-olds can keep a gal spry! Big thanks to Dr Khodakhah from the Pound Ridge Veterinary Center for volunteering her time, expertise, and labor this morning and to F613 for taking great care of her family.
I'm outta here!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Who's Bringing the Popcorn!

Tomorrow night is the Wolf Conservation Center's last Movie Night of 2011! This time tomorrow we'll be setting up our outdoor theater to treat our guests to wonderful film, “Lords of Nature: Life in a Land of Great Predators!” Join us for this compelling 60 minute documentary that goes behind the scenes with leading scientists to explore the role top predators play in restoring and maintaining ecosystems and biodiversity. Guests will enjoy the film under the stars alongside the two of the WCC’s apex predators, 6-month-olds Alawa and Zephyr!
There will be no “shhhhh-ing” aloud at the WCC theater, our movie-goers will be aloud to howl as they please during the presentation.Please click here to learn more and to regisiter today!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

East Meets West. Different Wolves Share a Common Mission.

Yesterday proved to be another eventful October day at the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC). Atka wowed the great kids from Central Elementary School in Simsbury, CT and then returned home to inspire a group of scouts back in digs at the WCC. It's customary for Atka to do a bit of marking when he first returns home from a road trip and yesterday was no different from the norm. He raised his leg with style to remind us that he is indeed the boss and then scent rolled a few times in the thick weeds along his pathway home. He always checks these spots when en route to his enclosure and no doubt he'll be surprised at what he smells when he next passes by! He won't be detecting his usual trademark scent but the signatures of the great traveling ambassador wolves from Mission: Wolf! Mission: Wolf is a wonderful organization that has led national outreach programs with ambassador wolves for decades.
The organization's two co-founders, Kent Weber and Tracy Brooks, stopped by to give their ambassador wolves Magpie (aka Maggie), Zaeb, and Abe a great couple of hours to run around in one of the WCC's vacant enclosures. I can only imagine what was running through the minds of our lupine guests as they traveled up our driveway with the scents of the WCC's 25 wolves filling their nostrils.
The trio seemed quite at home, stopping to mark on top of Atka's fresh scents from earlier that day. They were eager to explore the overgrown enclosure and as soon as they arrived they rushed the fence line to investigate the diminutive duo living in the adjacent habitat. Wolves tend to love pups and Maggie, Zaeb, and Abe greeted 6-month-old Alawa and Zephyr with tender enthusiasm. The pups came tumbling down the slope to check out the visitors but once Zephyr got a view of his new neighbors, he hightailed it up the hill as fast as his mini legs could carry him! Brave Alawa, however, lingered by the fence to take it all in and  her brother eventually decided to join her.
Magpie!
While Maggie, Zaeb, and Abe romped around up and down the hills and in and out of the thick brush, the WCC and Mission: Wolf families discussed the victories, challenges, and heartfelt moments of promoting wolf conservation though education. Once the sun had set we returned the wolves to the Mission:Wolf bus where Maggie, Zaeb, and Abe chewed on some bones while we lingered a bit longer with our friends from the West. At the end of the day, it was clear to all that a visit to the WCC will have to become an annual event. We waved goodbye but not without sending the Mission wolf crew with some roadies: fresh deer legs and bones. Mission: Wolf will be continuing their Ambassador tour of the Northeast for a few more days. Please click here to see if they'll be in your neck of the woods soon!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Endangered Species Act Endangered?

Defenders of Wildlife's Robert Dewey discusses the current Congressional threats to one of America's cornerstone environmental laws - the ESA. Many species are in peril including the critically endangered lobo. Please click here and take a moment to listen to the interview.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Getting Ready for the Wolf Conservation Center's First Movie Night!


Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) staff and wolves are getting excited for tonight's special event - WCC's Movie Night! In just a few hours our guests will be enjoying “The Rise of Black Wolf,” a film by Emmy award-winning wildlife cinematographer Bob Landis. This won't be a typical night at the movies. First, we're missing a theater. Second, there will be no "Shhhhh-ing" aloud! Our movie-goers will be aloud to howl as they please during the presentation. If you too would like to join us for a film under the stars and alongside the WCC's 6-month-old Ambassador wolf pups Zephyr and Alawa, we'll doing our second Movie Night next week!

Is there such thing as venison-flavored popcorn?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ambasador Wolf Pup Milestone: Alawa and Zephyr Are 6 Months Old! Celebrate With a Free Ringtone!



The 25 wolves that call the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) home have been singing all day. Perhaps the gusty weather has them extra peppy today or maybe they know it's National Wolf Awareness Week so they want aim to make everyone in the neighborhood aware of that this is their territory! Maybe the beautiful beasts are serenading our 6-month-old sopranos with their rendition of "Happy Birthday." Whatever the reason, we cannot get enough of their magnificent song.

 In recognition of National Wolf Awareness Week and this special milestone for Alawa and Zephyr, we want YOU to enjoy their music as well. Please click here to listen to the vocal stylings of the WCC chorus. Atka, of course, takes the lead.  If you would like to download the howl for your ring tone, visit our home page at http://www.nywolf.org/ , scroll down and look for the free download directions on the left side of the page.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Celebrating Yellowstone on National Wolf Awareness Week

National WolfWatcher Coalition's co-president Dave Hornoff is today's guest blogger on Defenders of Wildlife's Wolf Awareness Week blog series! Dave shares some highlights from his years of wolf-watching in Yellowstone National Park and his perspective on the controversial wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana.  If you get a chance to visit Yellowstone, look for Dave.  He has a knack for finding the Parks' diva wolf - "gray wolf 06,"  and Dave is easy to spot.  Just look for the fellow with impeccable fashion sense! 


If you need a taste of Yellowstone this weekend, please join us for a special program this Saturday at 11AM for- "Wolves of Yellowstone." The WCC hosted some fantastic Yellowstone adventures last season and we’re eager to share our insights about wolf reintroduction, the beneficial ecological effect wolves have had on our nation’s first national park, and the debate that surrounds this misunderstood predator in the West. Pre-registration is required. Click here to register now!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Neighbors South of the Border!

Today is day three of National Wolf Awareness Week and it's time to celebrate! No longer are wild-roaming endangered Mexican gray wolves limited to the vast stretch of forest in southeast Arizona and southwest New Mexico. On October 11th, a five-member pack of wolves wolves was released south of the border in the Mexican state of Sonora. This move represents a significant step in the effort to grow the wild Mexican wolf population, Mexico hasn’t been home to the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf in decades. ¡Buena suerte!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sad News From Yellowstone. 642F R.I.P.

642F - photo: Teton Science Schools Journal **
Montana's backcountry wolf hunt in the remote Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness along the northern border of Yellowstone National Park is officially closed. The wolf quota for this area was set at 3 (Montana's overall wolf harvest quota is 220), and among the casualties is a collared wolf who many wildlife enthusiasts had the thrill to observe. Her "name" was 642F. This is not the first time a wolf with a name has been taken by a controversial wolf hunt. In 2009 the Montana hunt claimed the Cottonwood pack's breeding female 527F. News of her death weighed heavy on the hearts of Yellowstone's wildlife watchers, she was daughter of legendary breeding pair 21M and 42F, a pair made famous by several PBS and Discovery Channel films. This is a huge blow to wolf watchers and researchers from around the world who flock to Yellowstone to behold wild wolves in action. As Montana's controversial wolf hunt continues, wolf advocates remain hopeful that the ongoing hunt is only a temporary setback on the road to restoring federal protections for the northern Rocky Mountain wolves. Rest in Peace 642F and the other 50 plus wolves that have been taken by this year's hunt in Montana.
If the Idaho and Montana hunts have your hackles up, you're not alone. Today The Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, and WildEarth Guardians filed their request for an Emergency Injunction from the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to stop wolf hunts. This announcement comes just days before Montana's statewide rifle season opens. Stay tuned for updates.

** To learn more about the impact 642F had on people, please read this post from 2009 on the Teton Science Schools Journal Blog.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It's National Wolf Awareness Week!

Today is the first day of National Wolf Awareness week and everybody, including Talons' Jewel the Raven, is talking about it! Please help spread the word about this special celebration by sending a friend or family member a Wolf Conservation Center Ecard.  Have a great week everybody!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Zephyr's "Green Fire."


Photo by John Norton. To read Norton's recent article about the WCC in yesterday's TimesUnion.com, please click here.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Jean Craighead George Goes Electronic. Can't Wait to See What's Next!


It's always a treat spending time with Jean Craighead George. She's a hero to many who work at the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) and even Atka lights up when he's greeted by her howl.
Jean often visits the WCC, sometimes for some quiet moments with our wolves and other times to wow our visitors with tales of her childhood adventures and other life experiences that helped shape so many of Jean's wonderful novels. Jean's intimate and inspirational talks in our classroom have touched WCC visitors of all ages. When Jean is in our territory, it's always a special day. Earlier this summer, the team at Open Road Media approached us about filming our wolves to help promote the ebook version of Jean's Newbery Award-winning novel Julie of the Wolves. It was our pleasure to give the lovely crew access to our nine wolves living on exhibit, anything for Jean.  Please enjoy the video which includes some cute puppy footage of Zephyr and Alawa and check out the selection of Jean's ebooks available on the Open Road Media site.  Now that Jean has gone electronic, we can't wait for her to go Hollywood.  Stay tuned ;-)
We love you Jean!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

You Can't Take a Wolf To the Movies But....

... you can enjoy a movie with some wolves!
The Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) is celebrating National Wolf Awareness Week with special events for families all month long! On Friday October 21st, we're excited to present “The Rise of Black Wolf,” a film by Emmy award-winning wildlife cinematographer and friend of the WCC Bob Landis! This Yellowstone denizen has produced many films for programs such as National Geographic and Nature.
Guests will enjoy a screening of Landis’ latest wolf film outside and under the stars alongside the WCC own black wolf, Ambassador wolf Zephyr, and his sister Alawa too! Bleacher seating will be available but we recommend guests to bring beach/camping chairs of their own for more a comfortable experience. Following the one hour film, guests will have the opportunity to visit Atka as well as the WCC’s critically endangered red wolves and Mexican gray wolves. Each guest will receive an official 2011 Wolf Awareness Week poster! Please bring flashlights. Pre-registration is required. Please click here to register today!

Movie Night Under the Stars! The Rise of Black Wolf

Date: October 21, 2011
Time: 6:30PM
Fee: $16 - adults / $13 - children (under 12)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Book Signing to Benefit WCC!


Calling all animal lovers and WCC supporters! TONIGHT Neil Abramson, WCC neighbor and volunteer, and one of our nation's top legal advocates for animals, will be at the City Center in White Plains for a reading, discussion and signing of "Unsaid" -- a heartfelt and compassionate novel that explores the intuitive bonds between people and animals that transcend explanation.

Neil is donating all profits from books sold at the event to the WCC. What a great way to launch into Wolf Awareness Week. Thank you Neil!

Tuesday, October 11, 7:00 PM
Barnes & Noble Book Store
City Center
230 Main Street
White Plains, NY

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Wolf Conservation Center's 2012 Calendar Has Arrived!

Please click here to order one today :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Quack, quack

Alawa and her rubber duckie :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ambassadors of the Past Remind Us Of Present Challenges In Lobo Recovery



GuidepostsTV posted an old video on YouTube over the weekend that stars the Wolf Conservation Center's original Ambassador Pack members: Apache, Lukas, and Kaila. Apache clearly steals the show by howling with the host and interrupting the discussion about Mexican gray wolf recovery with his soulful song. Although the video brings back wonderful memories, it's discouraging that the wild Mexican gray wolf population has failed to grow since this video was shot three years ago. More than 13 years after they were first reintroduced to the Southwest, there are still only around 50 Mexican wolves in the wild, making them the most endangered mammal in north America.

The great folks from Lobos of the Southwest want the stalling to stop. It's time to start restoring eligible captive wolves to their ancestral home in the wilds of Arizona and New Mexico. Lobos of the Southwest has a dedicated page on their website to help people take action because Mexican gray wolves need to live wild, and wild places need them.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Long Island Wolf Expo!

Atka locking eyes with one of the Expo's guests
 Yesterday Atka and crew returned to Smithtown, New York to participate in the 8th annual Long Island Wolf Expo! Hundreds of wolf fans of all ages came out for the event. The youngest wolf advocate, at just 19 months old, sported a WCC baby T-shirt with Atka's pup photo with style. We reunited with some loyal supporters who we met from previous expos as well as the dedicated folks from the Loki Clan Wolf Refuge team who work on the behalf of wolves and wolf-dog hybrids. Although the Expo's energy was high, there was an underlying feeling doom and gloom due to the controversial wolf hunts in progress in Idaho and Montana. A great number of guests voiced their concern for the future of wild wolves and the Endangered Species Act and wanted to know what they could do.
Atka had inspired them to take action and thankfully the National Wolf Watcher Coalition was there to advise folks how to speak up on behalf of Atka's wild brothers and sisters.

Hundreds of attendees pledged to sign a relatively new petition hosted on whitehouse.gov that will warrant a statement from President if 5000 signatures are obtained by the end of the month.  If you too are concerned about the status of the Northern Rocky Mountain wolf population, please consider signing the petition and sharing it with your friends.   Big thanks to everyone who came out yesterday to show your support for wolves.  See you next year :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Long Island, here I come! Once I finish breakfast of course...

*BURP*

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Happy Weekend!

♪♪ It's Saturday night ... ♫♫♪♪