Monday, July 30, 2012

The Wolf Conservation Center to Host 4 Breeding Pairs in 2013

Mexican gray wolves M805 & F837
It might still be July but Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) staff and volunteers can't stop thinking about the upcoming winter! Earlier this month, the Species Survival Plan (SSP) management groups for both the Mexican gray wolf and the red wolf determined the programs’ breeding pairs for the 2012 season. Wolves are “mono-estrus” -- breeding only once a year during the winter months. Hence, winter is an exciting time for wolves in North America and the WCC too. This season is should prove to be exciting because the WCC will be hosting four breeding pairs. For the second consecutive year we're giving Mexican gray wolf pairs, F749 & M740 and M805 & F837, the opportunity to procreate and red wolf pairs F1291 & M1394 and F1397 & M1483 will also again get a chance to prove fruitful. All eight of these wolves are genetically valuable individuals that have been selected to breed because their offspring will increase the genetic diversity of their rare species.

We won’t know the outcome of any of these unions until “pup season” in April or May so until then, keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The 2012 Red Wolf Annual Meeting Begins

WCC's Rebecca Bose & Maggie Howell
Representatives from over 40 facilities participating in the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan (RWSSP) have been invited to the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, NC to attend the annual Red Wolf Species Survival Plan meeting! This meeting is bringing together Fish and Wildlife Agencies, many zoo representatives, endangered species reproductive specialists, and WCC curator Rebecca Bose to tackle the all issues associated with conserving one of the most rare mammals in North America, the red wolf. We're looking forward to hearing Rebecca’s reports from the meeting so we can update you on all aspects of the program including all red wolf breeding plans, transfer recommendations, and how to best recover a sustainable population in the wild. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Controversial Coyote Night-Hunting Rule Threatens Endangered Red Wolves

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) will allow night hunting of coyotes throughout North Carolina including the five-county red wolf recovery area starting on August 1, 2012. Night hunting within the red wolf recovery area poses a serious threat to endangered red wolves who, despite their larger size and other differentiating characteristics, can look similar to coyotes. This move has hackles raised among many of our supporters and thankfully The Red Wolf Coalition is helping people voice their opposition. Please follow the link so you can help safeguard this critically endangered species:

The red wolf is one of the world’s most endangered wild canids. Once common throughout the southeastern United States, red wolf populations were decimated by the 1960s due to intensive predator control programs and loss of habitat and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service declared red wolves extinct in the wild in 1980. By 1987, enough red wolves were bred in captivity to begin a restoration program on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern North Carolina. Today, An estimated 100 red wolves roam the wilds of that state.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Captive Born Mexican Wolf Leves His Mark

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of a special wolf with many names. On July 6, the 6 yearanniversary of this special wolf's release into the wild, Arizona Game and Fish Department found the body of Mexican Gray Wolf M806, aka "Laredo." The alpha male of the Bluestem pack, M806 proved fruitful for many years and prospered in spite of the natural and unnatural challenges he'd encountered in the wild. RIP M806. Your brother, M805 will continue to share your story with the many who visit the WCC. (photo: M805 at the Wolf Conservation Center)

Captive Born Lobo Leaves Wild Legacy

by Jean Ossorio

Adjusting to life in the wild can be a daunting task for a Mexican gray wolf born in captivity. There is much to learn: how to kill wild prey, how to avoid vehicles on the highway, how to stay away from potentially dangerous humans, how to find water and suitable den sites. Mexican wolf M806 mastered all the necessary skills and managed to survive in the wild from his release on July 6, 2006, until his death on July 6, 2012. Few captive born lobos have been more successful.

M806, or Laredo, as he was known at the Wild Canid Center (now the Endangered Wolf Center) in Missouri, was one of eight tiny puppies in a litter born on April 25, 2003, to Anna (F685) and Prietito (M536). According to former Wild Canid executive director Susan Lindsey, growing up a large litter taught Laredo how to “negotiate” in order to get along in a pack—a talent that would serve him well as he made his way in the wild.

Mexican wolf project personnel placed the family of four in a temporary mesh pen near Middle Mountain in the Arizona portion of the recovery area on July 6. The wolves, called the Meridian pack, chewed their way to freedom that same day.

Tragedy struck the pack almost immediately, when on July 14 the male pup was found dead of unknown causes. Then, in late September, AF838 was found shot to death by a bow hunter. Laredo and his remaining female pup began wandering, sometimes together, and sometimes separately.

During his wanderings, Laredo was involved in one of the funnier incidents in the history of the reintroduction, when he was implicated in a case of possible petty larceny. According to the project monthly update for November, 2006:

On November 30, the IFT received a report that a wolf observed in the area the day before may have carried off a hunter’s elk antlers that were stored next to his vehicle at camp. The hunter did not see a radio collar on the wolf. The following day, the IFT located AM806 of the Meridian pack in the area and searched for the antlers, but could not locate them.

I’ve always suspected that somewhere in the Apache National Forest, there’s a wolf den decorated with a nice rack of elk antlers on the wall.

By December 2006, Laredo had managed to make his way into the large, formidable Bluestem pack, whose alpha female, Estrella (AF521) had lost her original mate in June. Only a few weeks before Laredo joined the pack, the Bluestems had apparently caused the death of a yearling member of the San Mateo pack in an attack that took place in the San Mateo pack’s own home territory. The negotiating skills acquired in his large captive family may have helped M806 join the Bluestem pack without incident.

Laredo became Alpha Male 806 when he and Estrella became a mated pair, producing three surviving pups in 2007.  They remained together in 2008, although they produced no more pups. In 2009 the aging Estrella left the pack. Laredo and one of Estrella’s daughters, F1042, mated, producing one living pup, mp1183. The pair remained together until Laredo’s death. They produced no pups in 2010, but in 2011, they raised two pups until the end of the year, despite the fact that the Wallow Fire burned through the area where they had denned. This year the field team has again confirmed the presence of pups with the Bluestem pack.

After a rocky start, Laredo found his place in the wild. He spent six of his nine years as a free, wild creature. His lone offspring from 2009, M1183, has established a pack of his own, the Maverick pack, on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. One of Laredo’s pups from 2011 remains with AF1042, raising hopes that some of this year’s pups will survive. Laredo died too soon, but his legacy lives on in the mountains and meadows of eastern Arizona.

Article about M806's death:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Atka Commands a Chorus of Campers!

Atka, the Wolf Conservation Center's traveling Ambassador wolf, loves wowing his fans.  He never fails to impress visitors on his home turf and beyond!  The special road warrior ventures out to schools, nature centers, camps, museums and more all over the northeast to help people of all ages better understand the importance of his wild brothers and sisters.  This morning, he thrilled the great kids from Pound Ridge Day Camp with a lovely tune.  To learn how you can invite Atka to your neck of the woods, please email or visit our program information page.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Wolf Conservation Center Curator Honored

What a treat! Autonomous Metropolitan University's Dr. Jorge Servin presented Wolf Conservation Center curator Rebecca Bose with a beautiful Huichol Tribe Mexican wolf mask in gratitude for hosting the 2010 Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan (MWSSP) meeting. The Mexican Tribe views the lobo as a symbol of leadership and credits the wolf for teaching the tribe how to hunt.

This year's MWSSP annual meeting is taking place at Wolf Haven International, in Tenino, WA and today the dozens of participants from the U.S. and Mexico will be wrapping things up. To learn more about the meeting, please read the following press release:

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Last Day to Submit Comment on WI's Proposed Hunts

Wisconsin's Natural Resources Board Hearing is tomorrow so today is the last day they're are accepting comments on the state's proposed wolf hunting/trapping season!

Wisconsin's Proposed Wolf Hunting/Trapping Season:

The Wisconsin Wolf Hunting/Trapping season will begin on 10/15/2012 and continue through the month of February well into wolf breeding season. National Wolfwatcher Coalition (NWC) reports that "most aspects of this wolf hunt season are being dictated by legislation and not by science; proposed measures, such as hunting with dogs and night hunting, are considered particularly inhumane, as well." Wisconsin's DNR can dictate the rules and regulations for the hunt and the agency is seeking comments.

If your hackles are up, please consider speaking up!

How to Take Action:

Comments should be submitted to:
• NRB Liaison Laurie Ross, 608-267-7420,
• DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp, 608-267-7556,

NWC recommends you urge the DNR to:
• To create zone closures to protect core habitat;
• Prohibit howling as a method to lure wolves;
• Prohibit a dog training season using free ranging wild wolves;
• Prohibit the use of captive animals to train dogs to hunt wolves;
• Prohibit payments for any dogs killed or injured by wolves during the wolf hunting season which runs from 10/15 through February;
• Limit payments for hunting dogs killed or injured by wolves to $200
• Insure the established quota takes into account wolves killed by Wildlife Services, natural mortality, diseases, illegal kills and car collisions;
• Mandate landowners open their lands to hunting and trapping if they receive reimbursement for wolf damage;
• Revise the Wolf Management Plan to reflect current research which suggests Wisconsin has a biological carrying capacity of 700-1000 wolves.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The 2012 Mexican Wolf Annual Meeting Begins

Bose with Lobo pup in 2008
Representatives from dozens of facilities participating in the Species Survival Plan (MWSSP) are heading to Wolf Haven International in Washington State today for the MWSSP Annual Meeting to tackle the all issues associated with conserving the lobo. This meeting is bringing together Fish and Wildlife Agencies from both US and Mexico, many zoo representatives, endangered species reproductive specialists, and WCC curator Rebecca Bose. The bulk of the meeting will begin tomorrow morning but Rebecca, as a member of the Mexican Wolf Management Group, will get right down to business later this evening to discuss the major issues about the 300 captive Mexican gray wolves that call the U.S. and Mexico home. We're looking forward to hearing Rebecca’s reports from the meeting so we can update you on all aspects of the program including how to best recover a sustainable population in the wild. Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

NYC's Cimema Village Cries Wolf!

The film "True Wolf" is the story of a wolf called Koani who with the help of her human companions, became an ambassador for her species, traveling the country to help raise awareness about wolves. True Wolf is about Koani's life and journey; it is the tale of a wolf and the way she changed lives, sound familiar?

The compelling film has been screened in WA, MT and now "True Wolf" is coming to New York City for ONE WEEK ONLY (Aug 17 - 23)!

See it at Cinema Village, 22 East 12th Street, NYC

With the fate of several wolf populations appearing bleak, this film could serve as an excellent tool to motivate the masses to take action on behalf of this misunderstood predator. To learn more about the film, please visit it's website at:

Watch the video to hear Maggie Howell of the WCC's endorsement of the film:

Do you think Atka should attend? Let us know!