Friday, August 31, 2012

Federal Protections Stripped from Wyoming Wolves

As we began 2011, wolves of the Northern Rockies were listed as  endangered. Just a few months later everything changed for this special  population of predators.

A year ago Congress passed a 2011 budget rider (Sec. 1713) that  removed Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections from wolves of the  Northern Rockies.  Wolves in Idaho, Montana, eastern Washington, eastern  Oregon and northern Utah were removed from the endangered species list  and put under state control.  Congress excluded Wyoming from this rule  so wolves of this state were still federally protected.

Although U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) criticized Wyoming's wolf  plan on the grounds that unregulated shooting in most of the state would  reduce the state’s wolf population below federally required levels,  last summer Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar  reached an agreement to propose stripping ESA protections from Wyoming’s wolves.

Today, the USFWS made it official, announcing that the Wyoming population of gray wolves is recovered and no longer warrants protection under the ESA.   Beginning September 30th, wolves  in Wyoming will be managed by the state under an approved  management  plan, as they are in the states of Idaho and Montana.

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

Many of our supporters have reached out to us asking how they can  take action on behalf of Wyoming's wolves.   Defenders of Wildlife will be taking this fight to the courts, and we encourage you to spread  the word, and show the administration that this was a mistake. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Atka the Wolf Visits the Hampton Classic Horse Show

The predator stole the show at an ungulate event. Go figure.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Wild Is Waiting, Wolves are Ready

F836 by Michael Clough
This is a photo of Mexican Gray Wolf F836. This beautiful loba lived at the Wolf Conservation Center for several years before her release into the wild near the Arizona/New Mexico border. It has been 1377 days since the US Fish and Wildlife Service released a new Mexican wolf into the wild, F836 was the last wolf given this amazing opportunity. Please read this message from National Wolfwatcher Coalition's Southwest Director Daniel Sayre and consider urging USFWS to release more wolves to sustain genetic diversity of this rare species.

"Wolfwatchers, your recent support regarding the Fox Mountain alpha female was overwhelming! Never underestimate your ability to influence positive change.

While the Fox Mountain AF has obtained a reprieve from lethal action, she is to be captured and placed into captivity for her remaining life. It has been suggested that “low genetic value” played a part in the original decision for lethal action. It has been almost four years since the last release of a Mexican gray into the wild. The lack of genetic viability, or variability, is a direct result of no recent releases."

Please take a moment to tell US Fish and Wildlife that lack of releases is not acceptable considering the current lack of genetic diversity.

Please be polite and urge FWS to:
  • With less than 58 in the wild it is imperative to release more wolves to bolster genetic diversity.
  • Finish revising the 30 year old, and outdated, recovery plan.
  • End lethal actions, especially for successfully breeding pairs.
  • Do more to prevent livestock conflict where breeding pairs inhabit.
USFWS Southwest Region Director: or
USFWS Acting Southwest Region Director:
White House:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Controversy around WA's Wedge Pack Continues

Over the past few years wildlife advocates have been elated to learn about wolves that had quietly claimed new territory as their own in the Pacific Northwest. Just a few months ago we howled with glee when news that Washington State was officially home to eight confirmed packs! Wolves, however, are often coupled with controversy and Washington's newest confirmed wolves, the Wedge Pack, are in the middle of it. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) accuses the pack of preying on livestock in the Colville National Forest on the northeastern boundary of the state’s border with Canada. Under WA's wolf management plan, the state can opt to issue kill orders on wolves found guilty of repeatedly preying on livestock.  The Wedge wolves have been accused, but is there evidence to confirm they are guilty? Despite that several experts that say no, WDFW  has issued a kill order on all of the pack’s adult wolves.

Suzanne Asha Stone, the Northern Rockies Representative for Defenders of Wildlife, is among the wolf depredation experts that believe that the state's reports fail to prove that wolves killed or injured livestock. She explains "several wolf depredation experts, including (herself), have reviewed the state’s investigation reports and found that none of the injuries are characteristic of wolf predation on livestock." Stone continues that "despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary, the state has already used the complaints as a basis to kill a female wolf from the pack, and now has issued a kill order on the rest of the pack’s adult wolves." Many wildlife advocacy groups and are demanding that this pack gets a fair hearing. If your hackles are raised, please take a moment to speak up on behalf of the Wedge Pack by following the below directions provided by Defenders of Wildlife (Full article:
Please contact:
Christine Gregoire, Governor of WA
Phone: 360-902-4111

Phil Anderson
Director, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Phone: 360-902-2200

Asst. Director, WDFW - Nate Pamplin (360-902-2693)

Please be calm and respectful when you tell them:

1) Stop: Rescind the kill order! Don’t sentence an entire pack to death.
2) Prove it: Conduct an independent review of the evidence to determine that wolves were at fault for the injuries, and publish the review’s findings. If the wolves are at fault, there should be no problem in proving it publicly.
3) Start slow: If the review finds that the wolves are at fault, use non-lethal deterrents first. Sending sharpshooters after wolves should be the absolute last resort, not the go-to option.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Join Atka on the Red Carpet at "True Wolf" in NYC

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. Sound familiar?
The compelling film has been screened in a number of states and tomorrow “True Wolf” is coming to the Big Apple for ONE WEEK ONLY (Aug 17 – 23)!  Join Atka & the great folks from the National Wolfwatcher Coalition tomorrow at  7:35PM at Cinema Village 22 East 12th Street for this red carpet affair.
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 its website at:

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

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

WCC's Supporters Win A New Toyota for Ambassador Wolf Atka

For 100 consecutive days, between May 14 and August 21, 2012, Toyota's 100 Cars for Good program is giving up to 100 charities a chance to compete for one of six Toyota models compliments of Toyota Financial Services! Everyday 100 Cars for Good profiles five finalists at and Facebook subscribers are invited to vote for which ever nonprofit they think can do the most good with a new vehicle.  Well, the Wolf Conservation Center was up on August 12th, day 91, and at the end of the 14-hour voting period, the WCC had received the most votes! We are beyond elated to have been given this opportunity and incredibly grateful to all of our supporters who made our victory a reality. Our pack is bigger than we ever could have imagined, and now the our traveling Ambassador wolf Atka can continue to reach thousands of people throughout the Northeast in a new set of wheels!

To follow Atka and the Wolf Conservation Center on Facebook, please "like" us at:

Thursday, August 2, 2012

National Wolfwatcher Coalition Wants Hunt/Trap-Free Zones Around YNP

Agate's Pack 471F (photo: Brandi Nichols)
The great folks from National Wolfwatcher Coalition (NWC) are very concerned about Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wolf hunting and trapping plan for the upcoming 2012-13 season. At the very least they're asking for a hunt and trap-free buffer zone enacted immediately to surround Yellowstone National Park to protect this shrinking population of wolves. Their fears are not unfounded, in 2009's Montana wolf hunting season Yellowstone's Cottonwood Pack was among the casualties. The loss of this pack was a huge blow to wolf watchers and researchers from around the world who flock to Yellowstone to behold wild wolves in action. The Cottonwood pack's breeding female, 527F, was daughter of legendary breeding pair 21M and 42F, two famous Yellowstone wolves many have seen on PBS and the Discovery Channel.

NWC is not alone. The Greater Yellowstone Coalition is also speaking out, requesting a trap-free buffer in Montana to protect wolves roaming outside Yellowstone National Park.

If your hackles are up, please take just a few seconds to sign NWC's Yellowstone Buffer Action Alert to protect the wolves of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

For questions and information, email National Wolfwatcher Coalition at