Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wedge Pack Wolves Under Fire


Washington's Wedge Pack remains in the news and in harm's way. Although many of us spoke up on behalf of this wolf family over a month ago, the future is bleak for the wolves of the Wedge. Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) announced last Friday that they aim to eliminate the entire pack to end livestock conflict (WDFW's Press Release). Yesterday WDFW announced that marksman killed two wolves from a helicopter in Northeast Washington as part of an effort to eliminate the pack. NBC News covered the Wedge Pack's story and now people nationwide are contacting us, with hackles raised, wondering what they can do. Many wildlife advocates are contacting WDFW via email (commission@dfw.wa.gov and wildthing@dfw.wa.gov) asking the department to reconsider. Others are looking forward to avoid a similar situation from happening again.

There is a solution to prevent the lethal removal of wolves who have been charged of depredation on livestock on public land - it is called H.R. 3432 or the Rural Economic Vitalization Act (REVA) - a bill that allows ranchers, environmentalists, and taxpayers to finally take some common sense steps to ensure our public lands are safe for our wildlife. To learn more about REVA and how you can support the bill and ask your Congressperson to do so as well, please register on National Wolfwatcher Coalition's POPVOX Legislative Campaign - https://www.popvox.com/orgs/wolfwatcher/_action/4028. If you vote to support the bill, an immediate message is sent directly to your Congressperson.

For the Wedge Pack.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Happy First Day of Autumn


Let the pumpkin hunting begin!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Vermont Cries Wolf

Over the weekend, the Wolf Conservation Center crew was summoned to the mountains to participate in the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum's annual Wildlife Festival. It's not often that folks from NY go to Vermont for an hour, but the trek was fun for staff and beasts alike. The crew consisted of WCC staff members Maggie Howell, Rebecca Bose, Kai the German Shepherd, and Ambassador wolf Atka.

We met at the Center in South Salem, NY around 10AM and as if he somehow got the memo re: the day's destination, Atka emptied his bladder before boarding our minivan. He also had a bit of fun exploring the many tents that were still up from the previous night's "Sleeping with Wolves" program. One tent proved to be roll-worthy and thankfully, wolf-proof as well.


The drive was nice, as we headed north the leaf colors varied, our ears popped, and the temperature dropped! After we passed a "Moose Crossing" sign on the highway, Kai kept on the lookout.

After our 3 hour trip, we finally arrived at the the festival on a hilltop in West Marlboro, VT. The panoramic views and the Museum's feathered ambassadors who greeted us were breathtaking. The festival was abuzz with about 300-400 people visiting all the exhibits and enjoying some great tunes from world renown musician and entertainer Bill Shontz. Soon after arriving it was our turn to take the stage.

As a special treat, we presented Atka with raw chicken giblets. Before eating from his poultry platter, Atka entertained all by rolling repeatedly on the feast, staining his glowing white coat with liver schmutz. Ew!

The enthusiastic crowd asked Atka to sing with howls of their own but Atka politely declined. We didn't give up there, though. Perhaps Atka needed a professional to be properly inspired to perform. Bill Shontz then stepped up to the plate with oodles of talent and and an oboe too. He serenaded our beast with some lovely melodies and Atka appeared to dance, letting his curiosity lead. Atka never did join in the music making that afternoon, but everyone, especially Atka himself, seemed to enjoy our attempts. At days' end, we returned to the Center with our VT souvenirs. Rebeca and Maggie had their treats from a VT country store and Atka with some liver behind the ears. To see if Atka will be in your neck of the woods soon, please visit "Where's Atka."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Litigation Pending for Wyoming Wolves


Almost 2 weeks ago, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) announced 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 is incredibly controversial. It 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

Thankfully, on September 10th a coalition of grassroots conservation groups filed a notice of intent to sue the UUSFWS for its decision to prematurely rescind ESA protection for wolves in Wyoming.

Please read the official Press Release.

If you agree that this delisting decision turns the fate of Wyoming’s wolves over to a hostile State government, please take a moment to thank the organizations fighting to protect these wolves.

National Wolfwatcher Coalition
WildEarth Guardians
Alliance for the Wild Rockies
Biodiversity Conservation Alliance
Conservation Congress
Friends of Animals
Friends of the Clearwater (Idaho)
National Wolfwatcher Coalition
Western Watersheds Project

Rebecca Bose talks about the Wolf Conservation Center Foundation

Visit with Wolf Conservation Center Curator, Rebecca Bose, to learn why you should vote for the Wolf Conservation Center Foundation (WCCF) in the Chase Community Giving competition - all while watching the release of M1483, a member of the red wolf species Survival Plan, arrive at the WCC and the antics of ambassador wolves Alawa and Zephyr. Please help the wolves at the WCC get a "Den of Their Own." Thank you!!

Vote Now


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Red Wolf News: Controversial Coyote Night-Hunting Rule Challenged in Court

Earlier this summer, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) announced their plan to allow night hunting of coyotes throughout North Carolina including the five-county red wolf recovery area, an area inhabited by the only wild population of this endangered wolf species. Night hunting within the red wolf recovery area poses a serious threat to wolves who, despite their larger size and other differentiating characteristics, can look similar to coyotes. This move had hackles raised among many of our supporters and thankfully The Red Wolf Coalition, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Animal Welfare Institute are taking action.

Yesterday, the Southern Environmental Law Center filed a court challenge against the NCWRC to stop the temporary state rule. Accidental shootings resulting in death or injury are a primary concern outlined in the challenge filed on behalf of the Red Wolf Coalition, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Animal Welfare Institute.

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 and 6 red wolves call the Wolf Conservation Center home.

Read more about the Court Challenge

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Vote for the WCCF in the Chase Community Giving Grant Competition


With your support, the Wolf Conservation Center Foundation (WCCF), a foundation to provide public and financial support to solely benefit the WCC, has a chance of receiving grant money through the Chase Community Giving Program! Chase Community Giving is a program where you choose which charities should win grants from Chase by voting between September 6 and September 19, 2012 at 11:59:59 PM, ET. Each person only gets two votes and we hope you use one to support the WCCF!


The WCCF was established to support the WCC - especially for major initiatives that will allows the WCC to better fulfill its mission.



Timeline:
  • 1999 – Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) founded; education program included 3 ambassador wolves.
  • 2002 – 11 acres adjacent to WCC for sale.
  • 2003 – Wolf Conservation Center Foundation (WCCF) founded & $500K+ raised. WCCF gives WCC funds to purchase adjoining 11-acre lot. Step 1 achieved toward securing a permanent “Den of Our Own”.
  • 2012 – WCCF gives WCC funds to purchase strategically important 8-acre lot. Step 2 achieved toward securing a permanent “Den of Our Own”.
  • Now – WCCF seeks to raise funds so WCC can purchase 6-acre lot with house.
Final Step toward securing a permanent “Den of Our Own”: Realization of the dream.

Please help the Foundation raise money for the WCC to secure a “Den of Our Own” by voting for the Wolf Conservation Center Foundation on September 6th!

Thank you!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Rural Economic Vitalization Act (REVA) - For the Wedge Pack


We heard some very upsetting news from Wolf Haven International this afternoon. Many of us spoke up on behalf of the Wedge Pack, and now the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife announced they and could kill up to four wolves in this family for killing a calf.

"The latest news on the Wedge wolf pack is that two injured calves were discovered on August 30 on the Diamond M Ranch. One calf was severely injured and died over the weekend, and the other was less seriously wounded. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife staff and outside experts including Carter Niemeyer confirmed that the attacks were from wolves. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will initiate lethal control today, and could kill up to four wolves in the Wedge Pack."

This news is discouraging but there is a solution to prevent the lethal removal of wolves who have been charged of depredation on livestock on public land - it is called H.R. 3432 or the Rural Economic Vitalization Act (REVA) - a bill that allows ranchers, environmentalists, and taxpayers to finally take some common sense steps to ensure our public lands are safe for our wildlife.

To learn more about REVA and how you can support the bill and ask your Congressperson to do so as well, please register on National Wolfwatcher Coalition's POPVOX Legislative Campaign - https://www.popvox.com/orgs/wolfwatcher/_action/4028https://www.popvox.com/orgs/wolfwatcher/_action/4028. If you vote to support the bill, an immediate message is sent directly to your Congressperson.

For the Wedge Pack.