Monday, December 31, 2012

A Special New Year Message From Amabassador Wolf Atka

Sunday, December 30, 2012

National Geographic's Crittercam Offers Red Wolf Perspecitive

Ever wonder what it would be like to see the world through the eyes of a wolf?

 National Geographic's  Kyler Abernathy
Thanks to National Geographic's Kyler Abernathy, we have a pretty good idea how our wolves experience their world. Kyler is the Director of Research for National Geographic's Remote Imagery, which means he's instrumental in the designing and implementing of National Geographic's Crittercams - small cameras that offer researchers an opportunity to observe animal behaviors that often elude human eyes. Already these tools have provided a view in the sometimes secret and mysterious world of many species including tree kangaroos, Humboldt squid, sea lions, and more. This summer, Kyler and the team deployed a new model Crittercam on cheetahs in Botswana. The new design worked perfectly on wild cats, but in order to test for potential use with wolves in the wild, Kyler called on us. He knew we'd be up to assist; last year Atka and Alawa successfully sported an earlier version of the unobtrusive collars with flair! But to best perfect the Crittercam collars for wild wolves, Kyler needed to test the new model on wolves we couldn't count on to cooperate.

As a participant in the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP), the WCC hosts two red wolf packs. These wolves exhibit behavior typical of their wild counterparts - shy and elusive. Under SSP protocols, all captive, critically endangered wolves must be checked by a veterinarian on a yearly basis. With the exception of these events, the SSP wolves are off limits. So with the approval of the Red Wolf SSP, we invited Kyler to join us for the WCC's red wolf health exams. In order to administer vaccinations, take blood, and weigh each wolf, we calmly herd the wolves through their spacious enclosures and into capture boxes - wooden doghouse-like structures with removable roofs. Although the wolves surely dislike these events, they've come to expect our annual intrusions. Red wolf F1397's most recent exam, however, is one she will likely remember. Unlike the rest of the wolves, she received a bit of "bling" at checkup's end! For the next few days F1397 assumed a new role in her pack- she became a Nation Geographic videographer. Her appointment, although impressive, was short lived though. After just four days, Kyler scheduled the collar to detonate an internal collar release mechanism so we could retrieve the tool and F1397's handiwork. Now we'll have to wait to see what a red wolf's angle on our world is.

Stay tuned!

WCC's Maggie Howell, Kyker Abernathy, and WCC's Rebecca Bose

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wyoming Wolf Population Could Slip 40 Percent

Franz Camenzind, wildlife biologist and former director of Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, surmises that Wyoming wolf numbers may have dropped by 40%. The state's inaugural hunt, controlled killing and other deaths have put the wolf population on "Some pretty thin ice."

Read more:

For an update re: the newly consolidated lawsuits challenging WY's wolf plan originally filed by two coalitions, read here:

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Howlidays from the Wolf Conservation Center


'Tis the night before Christmas 
And Santa is prowling 
We know that he's close 
'Cause the wolves are all howling!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dr Rolf Peterson's Take on Wolf Hunts in Michigan's U.P.

Rolf Peterson of Michigan Tech University was the lead biologist on Isle Royale for decades. In this photo, Peterson gives WCC educators an opportunity to help process an elk that was taken down by Yellowstone wolves.
Dr Rolf Peterson, lead biologist on Isle Royale for decades, comments on whether Michigan should allow hunting of gray wolves in the state's Upper Peninsula. Michigan ABC 10 News reports "He doesn’t believe the wolf population poses any real public safety threat to residents in the U.P. Peterson says as long as you aren’t leaving garbage or other food out that wolves can get into…you shouldn’t have a problem. If there is a wolf hanging around your property, call the DNR and they will respond."

Watch video of his interview:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

“Wine & Wolves” Gets Wonderfully Wild!

Big thanks to our community for rallying to help us celebrate wolves!
On Thursday, December 13, 2012 the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) hosted an audience of 115 supporters at their annual holiday fundraiser at the Carriage House of the Waccabuc Country Club,Wine & Wolves.

The event celebrated the WCC's recent achievements including education innovations to acquire a global audience to increase awareness of different wolf species and the Center's efforts to recover them. While the WCC's accomplishments in 2012 reached far beyond the gates of the Center's 27 acres in South Salem, the event itself had community flair.

The WCC reached out to local restaurants and merchants to ask them to sponsor “tasting tables.” “The response was inspiring,” reported WCC Acting Director, Maggie Howell. Bacio Trattoria (Cross River), Bluebird Ice Cream (Cross River), Crabtree's Kittle House (Chappaqua), Distell, Gail Patrick's Cafe (Chappaqua), Grissini's (Vista), Haiku (Cross River), The Horse and Hound (South Salem), Le Chateau (South Salem), Market Place Kitchen and Bar (Danbury), Mount Kisco Seafood (Mt Kisco), Opici Wines, Two Meatballs Pizzeria (North Salem), and 121 (North Salem), generously agreed to provide delicious food and wine and Cartwright and Daughters (Carmel) provided the plates, utensils, and glasses – all completely free of charge to the WCC. In addition to the wine and food tasting, dozens of local stores and artists donated items for auction which brought in additional funds to help the WCC continue its mission. “This event literally took place completely through the generosity of the community – the people who attended, the food and wine vendors who participated, and the others who donated for both the raffle and the auction,” said Board President, Martha Handler. “It really makes me proud to live here.”

“It's been a great year for the WCC ,” explained Howell, “and it was such a treat to celebrate with our supporters and so many of our neighbors too." County Executive Robert Astorino joined the "pack," recognizing the WCC as unique community resource. He enthusiastically recalled his experience howling with Atka and watching elusive Mexican gray wolves emerge to feast on Westchester's own road-kill deer! But the highlight of the evening was when Ambassador Wolf Atka joined the party. Not only did he "teach" the packed room about the importance of his wild brothers and sisters, he also made a pair of bartenders jump when he rose to the bar as if ordering a cocktail! The event is called Wine and Wolves after all...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Yellowstone Wolves Get a Temporary Reprieve

Agate's Pack former Alpha Female 471F from 2011 (photo: Brandi Nichols)

Yesterday, Montana wildlife commissioners closed down the gray wolf hunting season in some areas outside Yellowstone National Park after several collared wolves were shot when beyond the safety of Yellowstone's reach. This move comes just days after Yellowstone Wolf “06″ fell victim outside the park in neighboring Wyoming. The closures prohibit hunting and trapping and include areas north of the park around the town of Gardiner. The great folks from National Wolfwatcher Coalition are among those responsible for the temporary hunt closures, their concerns began back in August when at the very least they asked for a hunt and trap-free zone enacted immediately to surround Yellowstone National Park to protect this shrinking population of wolves. So today we give howls of gratitude to the wildlife advocates who spoke up on behalf of this special population of wolves. While this news is promising, it comes after the deaths of 12 Yellowstone, of which 7 were collared. This Saturday marks the opening day of Montana's first wolf trapping season. How will pets and wildlife fare when faced with these indiscriminate and barbaric hunting tools? We'll know soon enough.

 Read more:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Yellowstone Wolf "06" Falls Victim in Wyoming's Inaugural Hunt

Some call her a rock star, others "06," 832F, or the most famous wolf in the world. Anyway you cut it, her reach was remarkable for a wild animal that had nothing to do with the numerous monikers she was given. Sadly, her celebrity swelled to national proportions when last week this often viewed beast became a hunter's prize. Wolf “06″, the 6-year-old gray alpha female of the Yellowstone’s Lamar Canyon Pack, was shot in Wyoming by a hunter just 16 miles beyond the safety of Yellowstone National Park's border. She was killed in Wyoming's "trophy zone" in the northwest corner of the state. News of her death hit wolf-watchers from around the world hard, evoking emotions of hate, grief, and despair. "06" has since become a media phenomenon leaving wildlife advocates with hope that her stardom will demonstrate to the public and decision makers the great educational, scientific, and economic impact Yellowstone wolves can have and the unnatural challenges they currently face to keep a place on the western landscape. Wolf Conservation Center staff, volunteers, and supporters are among the lucky who were able to behold 06 thriving on the Yellowstone landscape. Here are some original WCC blog posts recounting encounters with the wild rule-breaker we called "06."

DAY ONE IN YELLOWSTONE by Maggie Howell - June 30, 2010

"06" sizing up her prey
The Wolf Conservation Center’s Yellowstone Adventure is off to an incredible start! The WCC's education crew met up with fellow adventurers and WCC supporters on Monday afternoon and within less than 24 hours we encountered dozens of diverse species. Although the official count has yet to be determined, all of us agree that the number isn’t why our first full day in the park far exceeded our expectations. The awesome interactions among the different species are what made our day so special. I won’t recount them all, but two exciting highlights presented nail-biting predator-prey interactions. 

Early in the morning we watched the industrious four-year-old “Gray female 06” of the Lamar Canyon Pack attempt making a kill all on her own. We were captivated by the intense chase for quite some time. This beautiful wolf, with looks similar to that of WCC’s ambassador wolf Lukas, pursued a bull elk in and out of powerful rivers until she finally conceded – no doubt to the relief of her prey. Once Gray female 06 retreated to the lush sage brush on higher ground, she was welcomed by her four hungry and playful pups! We wondered where the two males that comprise the rest of her pack could have been, perhaps they were the culprits causing several coyotes to yip and howl on the opposite hill.  

DAY ONE IN YELLOWSTONE by National Wolfwatcher Coalition's Founding Board Member Diane Bentivegna - July 8, 2011  

Renowned throughout the world for its natural wonders, inspiring scenery and mysterious wild nature, America’s first national park certainly lived up to its extraordinary reputation today. From the unique geological features of the park to the breathtaking mountain environs, visiting Yellowstone became a dream realized for 17 eager nature-enthusiasts who joined the WCC’s educational team on a wildlife expedition that will long be remembered as both unique and personally enriching on so many different levels.  

Towering 50 feet over us as we arrived through the North Entrance, the Roosevelt Arch, Yellowstone’s first major gateway, welcomed us via the town of Gardiner, a vibrant and hospitable western town. With so many different animal species populating Yellowstone, we knew it was impossible to conclude this trip without sighting a myriad of the park’s wild inhabitants. And, just as anticipated, an amazing display of free roaming wildlife quickly materialized, captivating our excitement and utter joy!

Black Male 754M of the Lamar Canyon Pack

Personally, a dream was realized on the very first day of my very first visit to this extraordinary natural wonderland! Female 06 of the Lamar Canyon Pack was my first wild wolf sighting….ever! Her amazing reputation for being the pack’s rock star/female alpha intrigued me from the earliest stories I have heard about her – her amazing devotion to her pack, her stunning hunting prowess and her inspiring spirit of wild independence awed me. To see her emerge among the vast brush of Slough Creek, carrying meat from a recent kill to feed her newest arrivals back at the den, was the whole purpose for my participation with the WCC expedition this year. When I saw that she was joined by her yearlings, as well, this vision made my 2000 mile trek to America’s West go well beyond my expectations! I feel honored that 06 and the rest of the Lamar Canyon pack welcomed me to their wild home and allowed me to share these extraordinary images …memories that I shall remember for the rest of my life!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Catty Wolves?

During wolf breeding season, we are tasked with separating each pack's non-breeding males and females. In the wild, wolves naturally avoid breeding with pack members, an innate behavior that decreases the risk of adverse mutations. For this reason, it's common for young pack members to disperse from their natal pack in order to breed. Winter intensifies emotions in both wild and captive wolves, but limited by the boundaries of their enclosure, captive wolves are unable to disperse. With such restrictions, it's necessary that all male family members be kept apart from the females until hormones subside. This solution prevents inbreeding, but it fails to alleviate some of the tension that builds among same-sex family members. It's not uncommon for pack females to challenge one another during this season, and with no escape options, this rivalry among sisters can become lethal. It's not a phenomenon in every pack, but this year we'll be taking precautions to reduce the risk of injury among one group of sisters who were born at the WCC in 2008. It's possible to better manage unruly wolves in estrus with birth control treatments called MGA (melengestrol acetate) and Deslorelin. These oral remedies have been proven to diminish the competitive behavior that females naturally demonstrate during the winter months. Come March, hormones will settle and family reunions will follow.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mexican Wolf Reunion

Most of the Mexican gray wolves or lobos that call the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) home are never seen by visitors to the Center.  For this reason, it's surprising that a number of these elusive creatures have a fan base!

Mexican wolf F749 is by far the most popular Mexican wolf at the WCC living off-exhibit.  Even her arrival won the hearts of WCC supporters.  Three years ago, F749 was flown to the WCC by an environmental aviation organization called Lighthawk.  The organization's volunteers still inquire about "their girl" on a regular basis.  I suppose F749 really made a lasting impression on the generous crew during the time in the air between New Mexico and New York!

Once we launched WCC's WildEarthtv webcams, this beautiful loba had a global audience.   Starting in the spring of 2012, her following grew at the same rate that her belly swelled.  Sadly, F749 went through a series of devastating events shortly after the birth of her eight pups in early May.  In the late spring she lost her litter, and last month she lost her mate, M740.  Alone, there is no way that F749 could know how many people had her in their thoughts.  Thankfully, F749 won't be alone for long.  A week ago, we moved Mexican wolf M804 to her enclosure so the two can adjust to one another while divided by a fence line.  It's a reunion really, the two have lived together in the past.  When F749 first arrived to the WCC in 2009, she lived with Mexican wolves M804, M805 and M807 for a year.  It wasn't until last year that she was moved to live with M740.  So now, we wait until the gates can be opened to allow these old companions to have a proper reunion and hopefully later this winter, a romantic union as well.  As it turns out, the pair is a fine match genetically and the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan management group hopes the two will breed.  We'll be moving some webcams to the pair's enclosure soon so we can all watch and hope that"our girl" finds comfort in her new family.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wolf Conservation Center Supporters Made Giving Tuesday a Howling Success

The Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) invited you to join a national movement to change the calendar and help make history, and you heard our howls! Through the WCC's partnership with #GivingTuesday, the WCC recognized the inaugural holiday with two giving campaigns:
  • In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, we chose to turn our attention to relief efforts for our neighbors in the Northeast. With your support, we raised $800 for the Humane Society of the United States and Food Bank for New York City to help families and pets get their lives back together. Thank you!
  • Thanks to the generous matching grant from the Handler Family Foundation, every dollar donated to the WCC on Tuesday, November 27th, had double the impact! Your online donations of $9,840 have been matched to total an amazing $19,680 to help us continue our dual mission of education and conservation. We are humbled by your support.
Hoping your holiday is wonderfully wild 
Thank you!

Friday, November 23, 2012

WCC's Giving Tuesday Celebration Starts Today

Looking for a meaningful gift for a friend or family member? Please consider "adopting" one of the wolves that calls the Wolf Conservation Center home! Our "Adopt-a-Wolf" program not only gives back to the wolves, but also pets and families in need.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the WCC is turning its attention to relief efforts for our neighbors in the Northeast. Between "Black Friday" and #GivingTuesday (November 23rd - November 27th), the WCC will donate 50% of all WCC "Adopt-a-Wolf" revenue to the Humane Society of the United States and Food Bank for New York City, two notable organizations that are helping families and pets get their lives back together after the storm. It's just one of the two campaigns the WCC is offering as a #GivingTuesday partner so we can help put giving back into the holiday season.


More Holiday Gifts that Give Back to the Wolves

This holiday season, let the WCC help you find the perfect gift for everyone on your shopping list! Find extraordinary and affordable holiday gifts starting at just $5! When you purchase any WCC item as a gift -- from pup plush toys to 2013 calendars to all-new WCC ornaments and pins -- you are actually giving twice: Once to the gift's lucky recipient, and once to all the wolves at the WCC.

Wishing you all a WILD weekend!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks to a Special Wolf

One of the biggest challenges for Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) staff and volunteers is figuring ways to say "thank you" everyday to a very special wolf. This fellow needs no introduction to the over 30,000 people that see him annually, but for those who have yet to meet the CEO of the WCC's Ambassador team, his name is Atka. As an Ambassador wolf, Atka lives on exhibit where he can "teach" WCC visitors about the importance of his wild counterparts. Atka also enjoys traveling with WCC staff to help extend education programming far beyond the WCC's boundaries in South Salem, NY.

While Atka seems to enjoy his role as Ambassador, unlike some of the critically endangered red and Mexican gray wolves, he will never be granted to opportunity to be a wild wolf. Atka thus misses out on the natural challenges and adventures that his wild brothers and sisters face everyday. For this reason, we strive to show our gratitude to Atka by introducing him to new experiences, smells, tastes and textures as often as we can. Yesterday, thanks to the hospitality of a generous WCC supporter, Atka got to spend the day at the beach! Atka loves the shore, the smells, rocks, and never fail to make him smile. Thank you, Atka. You're truly an amazing wolf.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wolf Conservation Center Mourns Mexican Wolf M740

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of a special wolf that many of us "knew." On November 15, Mexican Gray Wolf M740 passed away. His necropsy revealed that he lived with an undetectable and rare chronic bloat condition.

M740 was nine years old and has called the Wolf Conservation Center home since his transfer from the Brookfield Zoo three years ago. He was paired with Mexican wolf F810 for his first two years until last year when members of the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan discovered that he and Mexican wolf F749 had the lowest inbreeding coefficient in the program. An introduction was in order. The pair didn't realize this, but scientists all over North America were crossing their fingers that M740 and F749 would prove fruitful.

Like most of our Mexican wolves, the pair resided off-exhibit in a natural environment where these most elusive creatures can reside with minimal human contact. In the spirit of George Orwell’s “1984,” WCC makes use of live WildEarthTV webcams to observe food and water intake and monitor the physical well-being of each wolf without the animals’ knowledge.  By inviting the public to join, we allow them to learn about these beautiful creatures they might otherwise never see.   Mexican wolves M740 and F749 were the most popular pair via webcam.  Watchers were treated to witnessing their courtship develop, F749's belly swell beyond what seemed physically possible, and then WCC staff members give the thumbs up on camera one morning in May after discovering the pair's robust litter of newborns. Our hearts go out to his mate and those of you who this wolf had unknowingly touched.
RIP M740.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Virgil the Turkey Cries "Wolf!"

Atka never fails to thrill adults and children with his trademark rock star, nonchalant attitude. But when a visiting ambassador started to gain the attention of Atka's fans, our Ambassador wolf felt pressure to turn up the charm. We invited our feathered friend, Virgil the Turkey, to join our Saturday morning program as a special treat to open the holiday season. Virgil was amazing. He marched around outside our classroom wowing the crowd with his dynamic hairy snood.

Because WCC guests were still abuzz with "Virgil fever" by the time they reached Atka's territory further up the hill, Atka literally performed a song and dance to crush the competition. At program's end, Atka needed his beauty rest. I wonder if he realizes he need not perform to impress his fans, he's pretty magnificent even when deep in sleep.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wyoming Wolves Getting Their Day in Court

On August 31, 2012 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) officially stripped federal protections from Wyoming's wolves and handed management over to the state, a controversial decision, and contradiction of the agency's stance in the past. Although USFWS had previously criticized Wyoming's state wolf plan on the grounds that unregulated shooting in most of the state would reduce the state’s wolf population below federally required levels, the agency took a significantly altered position, announcing that these wolves no longer warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The following day, management was handed over to the state and Wyoming's inaugural wolf hunt commenced.  

Wyoming's wolf management plan calls for the state to:
  • Deem wolves predators in 90% of the state (all but the northwest corner of Wyoming), where they could be killed by any means, at any time, without a license.
  • In Wyoming's northwest corner, right outside Yellowstone National Park, classify wolves as trophy game animals meaning they could only be hunted with a license.
  • Maintain only 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs outside of Yellowstone National Park
Two months ago, as required by the ESA, several wildlife advocacy organizations filed a notice of intent to sue the administration if it did not reconsider its decision to prematurely rescind ESA protection for wolves in Wyoming. Now the mandatory waiting period is over, Wyoming’s wolves will be getting their day in court. On November 13th, Defenders of Wildlife, NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), The Sierra Club, and the Center for Biological Diversity, all represented by Earthjustice — officially filed suit in federal district court in the District of Columbia asking "the court to declare this rule illegal, and put wolves back on the endangered species list until Wyoming adopts a responsible management plan that ensures the continued survival and recovery of wolves in the region."

Back in September, National Wolfwatcher Coalition, WildEarth Guardians, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, Conservation Congress, Friends of Animals, Friends of the Clearwater, and Western Watersheds Project also filed a notice of intent to sue. So wolves will and their advocates will have their day in court, but even if victorious, how many of more Wyoming's wolves will fall victim to the hunts that have so many hackles raised.

Read more :

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dr. Rasmussen Responds to African Painted Dog Tragedy

Last year Dr. Gregory Rasmussen, founder and director of the Painted Dog Conservation Project (PDC), treated Wolf Conservation Center supporters to an educational and inspirational lecture about his life's passion, the African Painted Dog. Painted Dogs, also known as African Wild Dogs, are unique to Africa and they are among the continent's most endangered species. For MILLIONS of years this unique predator thrived throughout most of the continent. Over the past few centuries, however, painted dogs were persecuted so heavily that by the mid-1900’s most African countries were void of this beautiful canid. Sounds familiar, huh? In the 1970s, as few as 300 or so dogs were struggling to survive with resilient populations only living in and around a handful of African National Parks.

Over the past twenty years, the PDC has made great strides on behalf of the organization's namesake. Sadly, their latest work has been in response to a tragic event that took place earlier this month at the Pittsburgh Zoo. A two-year-old boy was killed after falling into the Zoo's African painted dog exhibit. As we are tasked with educating people about the wolf, one of the most misunderstood predators in the northern hemisphere, we feel compelled to share Dr. Rasmussen's comment re: the recent tragedy at the Pittsburgh Zoo:

"Like lions, tigers, and bears etc, Painted Dogs are a predator and are wired that way. Behaviorally in the wild there never has been a case of Painted Dogs ever attacking man and were I to suddenly appear in the wild all the dogs would alarm call and run away. The same incidentally applies to most predators that are truly wild to include wolves and the same has been my experience with lions in Zimbabwe where they detect you and avoid you. Whilst there are exceptions to every rule generally this is the case. Predators that have no experience of habituation avoid humans, those that have close contact with humans have a familiarity and no fear. This is why hand raised lions for example should never be released into the wild and I believe that even the very special conservationist George Adamson felt the same way and did not advocate for hand raised lions to be released into the wild, as animals become imprinted and imprinting cannot be removed. 

Therefore in the specific case of Pittsburgh, in reality it has nothing to do with pack mentality, were it a solitary lion, tiger or bear the outcome I am sure would have inevitably been the same. This is of course much the same as if a person crossed the barrier on a motorway, fell of a bridge etc the result would be inevitable as they would be entering a dangerous space.  

So overall I would like you to point out that there has NEVER been an attack in the wild, and that these are extraneous circumstances. I would also like you to highlight that my condolences are with the family, the zoo and those that have had to deal with this appalling incident. Though wildlife must be ranked as the smallest contributor to human death, sadly accidents happen and when they do they are tragic."

Are hearts go out to the boy's family and the caretakers at the Zoo. We hope that this isolated incident does not impede the recovery of these zoo animals' wild counterparts.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Legal Wolf Battle Ends Victorious for Sportsmen Groups

ESA protections for wolves were eliminated in the northern Rocky Mountain States of Idaho and Montana, and parts of Utah, Washington and Oregon in May of 2009. In delisting wolves, the Fish and Wildlife Service authorized Idaho and Montana to hold wolf hunts that year, Montana’s ending with 73 wolves killed and Idaho with 185 killed. The hunts were controversial but the state-by-state approach to delisting wolves had advocacy organizations filing suit to restore federal protections.

Yesterday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals gave the victory to the states of Montana and Idaho, as well as some sportsmen groups in the legal battle over hunting wolves. The court ordered that a 2010 district court ruling concerning the partial de-listing of wolves from the Endangered Species Act be vacated, and that the underlying case be considered as moot.

Read more from Montana's

Latest Posted Wolf Hunt Kill in Northern Rockies
Idaho Wolf Hunt Total: 86
Montana Wolf Hunt Total: 47
Wyoming WolfHunt Total: 44

Total Reported Killed This Year: 177
Total Reported Killed Since Delisting: 722

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mexican wolves Born at the Wolf Conservation Center in 2008 Get Clean Bill of Health

Early Tuesday morning, Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) staff and volunteers began the second of several “health exam capture days” scheduled this month. We gathered equipped with all the tools necessary to best prepare our team to meet the challenge of catching seven extra elusive lobos: clipboards, vaccinations, thermometers, a scale, and leftover Halloween candy to keep us energized.

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 checkup takes only minutes, the real challenge is capturing the frightened wolves. In past annual exams, capturing thirteen-year-old F613 and her six four-year-old offspring hasn't been as easy as we would like. But on Tuesday, to the relief of Pound Ridge Veterinary Center's Dr Renee Bayha who is quite experienced working with this robust pack, all seven wolves ran into their boxes without a hitch. All the wolves looked in tip top shape and Mama wolf F613 looked absolutely amazing. I guess managing rowdy four-year-olds can keep a gal spry! Big thanks to Dr Renee Bayha for again volunteering her time, expertise, and labor this morning and to Mexican wolf F613 for taking great care of her family.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Happy Birthday, Hélène Grimaud!

Hélène and Alawa

Hélène Grimaud, founder of the Wolf Conservation Center, will be spending her birthday performing in LA's prestigious Walt Disney Concert Hall featuring music from her 2010 album Resonances. On her special day, we thank her for her voice as a global advocate for wolves. In Hélène's words, wolves are not only essential “biodiversity engineers,” preserving balances among animal and plant species but also “endlessly fascinating creatures who have much to teach humans.” Happy birthday, Hélène!

Monday, November 5, 2012

WCC's Mexican Gray Wolves Discover New Territory

Mexican wolf M740

Early this morning, Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) staff and volunteers began the first of several "health exam capture days" scheduled this season. Under Species Survival Plan protocols, all captive critically endangered Mexican Gray Wolves and Red Wolves must be checked by a veterinarian on a yearly basis. With the exception of these events, these special wolves live peacefully in a natural environment to help maintain their timidity and best prepare them for a future in the wilds of Arizona.

Paul Maus, DVM
Today's examinations were lead by WCC friend and veterinarian, Paul Maus, DVM from North Westchester Veterinary Office. Our dedicated team, having been outfoxed by these very wolves before, met prepared to meet the inevitable challenges involved in capturing three evasive wolf packs. Thankfully, we finished processing the 7 wolves (administering vaccinations, taking blood, and weights) within a couple of hours and released everyone back home before lunch. Their "homes," however, were their biggest surprises of the day! All three packs were shifted so each group returned to new turf following their checkups. Mexican Wolves F837 and M805 are no longer living on exhibit at the WCC, at present, our visitors will be granted the opportunity to behold M805's litter-mates, F810, M807, and M804. All three packs were shifted, and no doubt, all three packs are tasked with much exploration and scent marking throughout the coming days. Enjoy the adventure, lobos!
Mexican Wolf F837

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Annual Health Checks for WCC's Endangered Wolves Begin

Daylight Saving Time has officially ended. It's time to set your clocks back, change the batteries in your smoke detectors, and for the WCC to conduct annual health examinations on the 16 Mexican gray wolves and 6 red wolves that call the Center home. Tomorrow we'll begin the first of several "health exam capture days" scheduled this season. Stay tuned for updates!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Wolf Conservation Center Supporters Lend a Helping Paw

Although we still have lots to do in the coming weeks to recover from Hurricane Sandy, we have been making some progress. Our dedicated volunteers have been working tirelessly to remove fallen trees and erect damaged fences and sadly, the end is not currently in sight. Enormous thanks to our supporters who have sent in donations to help us in this effort, every penny helps! If you care to contribute as well, please donate via this link:

We also owe howls of gratitude to our community for donating their tools and services! The great folks from QualityPro have been an enormous help, spending hours of their time assisting WCC staff and volunteers reassemble our Center. We consider ourselves a lucky bunch, our pack is bigger than we could have ever hoped. THANK YOU!

More photos of our pack at work taken by WCC volunteer Josh Lewis:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Recovering From Hurricane Sandy: The Wolves are Alright

Ambassador wolf Atka lending a helping paw

Wolf Conservation Center staff, volunteers, and wolves are sharing a collective sigh of relief. Although Hurricane Sandy did a number on our Center in South Salem, NY, everyone is alright. Dozens of enormous trees fell victim to the storm's powerful winds tearing down several fences in their fall. Thankfully, although several enclosures were compromised, the wolves remained safe and contained during the powerful storm. WCC staff and volunteers have been working day and night to repair the damage, even working throughout the storm itself putting their own safety at risk. While we continue to recover from the storm, we have cancelled all onsite programs this weekend, November 3rd and 4th. Like many in the northeast, we're still without power and sadly our generator has failed. If anyone has a generator they are able to lend or donate to the WCC, please contact Rebecca Bose at or 914-217-5969. Big thanks to everyone  sending well wishes our way!

WCC's heroes!
 More photos:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Homeward Bound After After Unique Collaborative Lobo Event

Lobo Recovery Area in the Gila wilderness taken from Lighthawk plane
Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) founder Helene Grimaud, Board President Martha Handler, and curator Rebecca Bose returned home from Sante Fe, NM after joining the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance (NMWA) for "Wild Harmonies," a 2-day event that benefited both organizations and helped educate the public about Mexican wolves and the recovery of this rare species. Big thanks to NMWA, Lighthawk, and all the Mexican Wolf supporters that came out to enjoy this special event.

The NMWA's special edition newsletter all about Mexican gray wolves! WCC's Maggie Howell contributed to the newsletter with a piece titled "Reset It to Zero: Number of Days Since Last Mexican Wolf Release Too High" on Page 11.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What is Wildlife Services Hiding?

One might imagine that an agency called "Wildlife Services" would take on a supportive role in safeguarding wildlife. Think again. Often dubbed "the Killing Agency," this branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has had hackles raised among members of wildlife conservation communities for years and now this agency is back in the thick of it. WildEarth Guardians requested their public records under the Freedom of Information Act regarding the Fox Mountain Mexican wolf pack, reported livestock depredation, and the capture of the pack alpha female. Almost 80% of the 870 of the report's pages were blacked out. What is this controversial agency hiding now?

Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle:

Wildlife Services' Records Response Related to Fox Mountain Wolf Pack October 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wolf Conservation Center Joins "Project Yellowstone"

Early this morning the Wolf Conservation Center's (WCC) Maggie Howell and Spencer Wilhelm began their trek to Yellowstone National Park to enjoy the landscape and beasts they work so hard to safeguard. They'll be joining dozens of advisers, supporters, and friends from National Wolfwatcher Coalition (NWC) for the organization's first annual "Project Yellowstone" conference.

Maggie Howell & Spencer Wilhelm
In addition to offering a week of wildlife watching, NWC's "Project Yellowstone" is an education summit, bringing National Park Service rangers, Park biologists, and fellow educators together to discuss wolf behavior, wolf politics, and the natural and unnatural challenges that this keystone species faces today. The WCC team will be reporting from the field all week long so please stay tuned for reports and photos from our country's first National Park.