Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Who is the Lobo



Who is the Lobo?
The Mexican gray wolf or “lobo” is the southernmost and most genetically distinct subspecies of gray wolf in the North America. In the late 1800s, there was a national movement to eradicate wolves from the wild landscape. Wolves were trapped, shot, and poisoned. Bounties were paid. By the mid-1900s, Mexican wolves had become extinct in the wild.


Who is the Lobo?
Once numbering in the thousands, Mexican gray wolves thrived in the United States throughout southeastern Arizona, southern New Mexico, western Texas; and also across the border in northern Mexico. Lobos are smaller than their northern kin in the Rocky Mountains, Midwest, Alaska and Canada. Weighing between 50 and 85 pounds, they are the smallest subspecies of the gray wolf in North America. Mexican wolf packs are relatively small, consisting of an adult alpha pair, a couple of yearlings, and that pups of the year. Prehistorically, wolf populations were likely stable and limited predominately by prey numbers. Human-caused mortality caused the near extinction of Mexican wolves and remains the primary reason that they remain critically endangered today.


Who is the Lobo?
Wolves are carnivores. As predators, they must hunt other animals in order to survive. When Mexican wolves were exterminated in the wild southwest, mule deer populations rose. The overabundance of deer resulted in habitat degradation. By regulating grazing and browsing wildlife populations and affecting prey behavior, wolves safeguard the habitat, enable many other species to flourish, & allow the system to support a natural level of biodiversity. Changes in Mexican wolf populations have trickle-down effects on other populations, a scientific phenomenon known as a “trophic cascade,” and certifiable indicator that wolves are an ESSENTIAL piece of the landscape.


Who is the Lobo?
Fifteen years ago 11 captive-reared Mexican gray were released to the wild for the first time in the Blue Range Recovery Area – a small portion of their ancestral home in the wild southwest. It’s is within this small area that Mexican wolves have struggled for a decade and a half, failing to ever reach the population goal of 100. Artificial boundaries, state politics, and USFWS’s designation of all wild lobos as a “experimental, nonessential” population, have put recovery in a choke-hold.


Who is the Lobo?  I am the lobo. And I need your help.
Although critically endangered Mexican wolves are exempt from this nationwide delisting proposal, they will be subject to other provisions that are very problematic – including the recovery area’s artificial boundaries and their re-designation as an “experimental, nonessential” population.  Now is the time to demand progress – USFWS management actions are urgently required for the long term survival of Mexican gray wolves.

There are 2 ways to take action:
  • Submit comments to USFWS online (Effective talking points re: Mexican wolves here)
  • Help in person - Join the Wolf Conservation Center and our coalition partners on November 20 in Albuqueque, NM and/or in Pinetop, AZ on December 3. MORE INFO.
Speaking up on behalf of the lobo is not only crucial to the recovery of the species, it’s also the appropriate action ecologically and morally.  Thank you!

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom



"I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion."  
~ Henry David Thoreau

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hate, Intolerance, and Wolves


Folks hating wolves is nothing new. And with recent wolf hunts being such a contentious issue, one might expect a certain vitriol with regards to wolves that might not be present in, say, duck hunters. It seems, however, the loathing within many has taken on an air of depravity. Some have gone so far as asking "Is wolf hatred gateway bigotry?" Wolf hunts are in full swing in ID, MT, WY, and WI and social media sites are flooding with aggressive photos and language.


One photo that recently emerged reflected a small group posing with a dead wolf in front of an American flag. The people were armed and their faces masked under white hoods.




"The vilification of predators has taken on a new hue: one associated with righteous patriotism. But all true Americans should be concerned about this tenor of violence and hatred toward other living beings... What lessons are we teaching young people when we show such blatant disrespect and denigration of wildlife?"

A very bad lesson...

Read more from Project Coyote's Camilla Fox here.

Please help counter this movement of hate and violence and voice your support for wolf recovery. Comment links and effective talking points are below.

Nationwide Delisting Proposal
  • Voice your opposition to the Nationwide Delisting proposal – Comment here.
  • Effective talking points re: delisting plan here.
Proposed Rule Changes that Govern Mexican Wolf Reintroduction
  • Tell USFWS that Mexican wolves are essential  – Comment here.
  • Effective talking points re: Mexican wolves here.
Thank you!

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Reprieve for Some Wolves and an End for Others


On June 7, 2013, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) officially announced proposals that will impact the future of America’s gray wolves.

1) Nationwide Gray Wolf Delisting Proposal: USFWS’s proposes to remove Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in the contiguous United States.

2) Proposed  Rules for Mexican Wolf Reintroduction & Recovery: USFWS plans to re-designate wild Mexican gray wolves as “experimental, non-essential,” allowing recreation and industry to trump their recovery.

Thankfully, the agency announced that the comment period deadline on the above proposals have been extended from October 28th to December 17th. While this is GOOD news, we encourage you continue to urge those you know to comment today.

"Green Right Now" writer  Barbara Kessler reminds us, "...while the potential wholesale delisting of the gray wolves in the lower 48 states (minus a swath of Arizona and New Mexico) has been pushed back, there’s been no respite for wolves in the rifle scopes of hunters in states where the wolves have already lost federal protections."

So far this season close to 300 wolves have been killed in the lower 48.
  • Latest Posted Idaho Wolf Hunt Kill total : 78
  • Latest Posted Montana Wolf Hunt Kill Total : 37
  • Wyoming Wolf Kill Total : 47
  • Latest Posted Wisconsin Wolf Hunt Kill Total: 127
And hunts will soon begin in MI & MN.

Wolves nationwide urgently need our help.  Please take a moment to voice your support for wolf recovery and encourage others to do so as well.  Enough is enough.  Comment lonks and effective talking points are below.

Nationwide Delisting Proposal
  • Voice your opposition to the Nationwide Delisting proposal – Comment here.
  • Effective talking points re: delisting plan here.
Proposed Rule Changes that Govern Mexican Wolf Reintroduction
  • Tell USFWS that Mexican wolves are essential  – Comment here.
  • Effective talking points re: Mexican wolves here.
Thank you!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Only 4 Days Left to Help America's Wolves

 

It's Time to Howl!

Beyond its role as a living symbol of our natural landscape, the wolf is a keystone species. Its presence is critical to maintaining the structure and integrity of native ecosystems. Federal protections for wolves are essential to help this animal recover and expand into still-suitable parts of its former range.

On June 7, 2013, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) officially announced proposals that will impact the future of America’s gray wolves.

1) Nationwide Gray Wolf Delisting Proposal: USFWS’s proposes to remove Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in the contiguous United States.

2) Proposed  Rules for Mexican Wolf Reintroduction & Recovery: USFWS plans to re-designate wild Mexican gray wolves as “experimental, non-essential,” allowing recreation and industry to trump their recovery.

Wolves nationwide urgently need our help!  Please take a moment to voice your support for wolf recovery and encourage others to do so as well. Time is running out - USFWS is accepting comments until Monday, October 28th.
 
Nationwide Delisting Proposal
  • Voice your opposition to the Nationwide Delisting proposal - Comment here.
  • Effective talking points re: delisting plan here.
Proposed Rule Changes that Govern Mexican Wolf Reintroduction
  • Tell USFWS that Mexican wolves are essential  - Comment here.
  • Effective talking points re: Mexican wolves here.
Thank you!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Clean Bill Of Health for Some Brawny Red Wolves


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. WCC staff and volunteers rarely disturb our thirteen Mexican gray wolves and five red wolves, but when autumn rolls around, we get up close and personal with these most elusive animals for the wolves' annual medical exams. Yesterday was the first of three "check-up capture days" scheduled this season.

WCC's extraordinary volunteer veterinarian Paul Maus DVM joined WCC staff, volunteers, and WCC founder Hélène Grimaud early Tuesday morning to meet the challenge of catching five elusive red wolves. 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, Dr Maus proceeds with the exam. The actual exam takes only minutes, the real challenge is capturing the frightened wolves. Thankfully, red wolves F1291, M1394, F1397, M1803, and M1804 (a.k.a. "Ruby," "Harper," "Witch-hazel," "Moose," and "Thicket") ran into their boxes without a hitch. All the wolves looked in tip-top shape, M1803 weighed in at 83 lbs - looks like their diets of road killed deer makes for some pretty hefty red wolves!

Once our day's mission had been accomplished, our team gathered for a group photo and was pleased to have a magnificent guest drop in. A bald eagle soared overhead. A wild ambassador symbolizing the importance of the Endangered Species Act and reminder of why our work for red wolves remains so essential.


Big thanks to our great team of volunteers who came out for the task as well as our generous veterinarian, Paul Maus, DVM from North Westchester Veterinary Office, for volunteering his time, expertise, and labor yesterday morning and to all the red wolves you are unknowingly contributing to the recovery of their rare species.

To learn more about the critically endangered red wolf and the WCC's participation in its recovery, please watch our new educational video.


Wednesday's Words of Wisdom


"Autumn is a second spring when every wolf is a flower." ~ Atka

Monday, October 21, 2013

Three Wild Lobos Slated to Live Their Days in Captivity

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has ordered the trapping of three critically endangered wild Mexican gray wolves accused of livestock depredations. If captured, the alpha male and female of the Paradise Pack in Arizona and a male of the Fox Mountain Pack in New Mexico will live out there days in captivity.
Cattle grazing on public land
Since 1998, the USFWS has removed 54 wolves from the wild even though Federal agencies still don’t require livestock owners using public lands to take basic steps to prevent conflict, such as removing carcasses of dead cattle and other proven successful prevention measures.
Please act today to #SaveTheLobo. With only 75 Mexican wolves in the wild, every wolf is essential to the recovery of their rare species.
Call the USFWS and your members of congress and tell them these wolves deserve to live their lives out in the wild. Share this message with everyone you know and ask them to do the same. Effective Lobo Talking Points.

It’s a critical time for all wild lobos, USFWS’s proposed rules for Mexican wolf reintroduction includes provisions that are very problematic – including the recovery area’s artificial boundaries and their re-designation as an “experimental, nonessential” population. Please submit your comment today in support of lobo recovery to help turn the tide for wolves. Time is running out.

Comment here.

Talking points here.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Climate Change, Wolves, and their Future on Isle Royale



Though several factors have played a role in the Isle Royale wolves’ demise, Biologists Rolf Peterson and John Vucetich assert that the most prominent cause of their plight is something far less direct.

The wolves, they say, are dying because of climate change.

Lake Superior average temperature has increased by 4 degrees in 25 years. With warming temperatures, the ice bridge that used to connect Isle Royale to Canada, and which allowed wolves to walk back and forth, has all but disappeared.

Read why biologists are arguing over whether or not to rescue this unique island population of wolves and the methods proposed to do so.  Rolf Peterson wants the National Park Service to try a “genetic rescue” to save the inbred population. He wants to bring new wolves to the island to mate with the current packs and literally clean up the gene pool. While several biologists like Dr David Mech is adamantly opposed to rescuing them, Rolf Peterson sees an attempt to rescue as an opportunity “to inject positive human influence for once.”  Well said, Dr Peterson!

Read more

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Among Wolves: Gordon Haber's Insights into Alaska's Most Misunderstood Animal

 
Among Wolves: Gordon Haber's Insights into Alaska's Most Misunderstood Animal allows the reader a unique opportunity to learn from the late Dr. Gordon Haber and his fascinating 43 year study of Alaska’s wolves that resulted in an unwavering commitment to advocating for their preservation in the wild. Although the crash of Dr. Haber’s research plane in Denali National Park in 2009 ended his life in an untimely manner, reading his field notes and journals, and hearing stories from friends, enables the reader to feel a powerful connection to his passion and dedication to this remarkable keystone species and to learn about some startling findings that can affect the future of wolves everywhere.

Marybeth Holleman, co-author of the book, has lived in Alaska’s Chugach Mountains for twenty-five years.  The valuable insights she captured of late Dr. Gordon Haber's unique and critically important research highlights the negative impacts human hunting and trapping has on the social fabric of a wolf family. The book also points up the critical challenges wolves face in and around Denali National Park today. “When his plane went down in 2009, I became determined that his work wouldn't go down with his life. His findings are too important, and too essential to what wolves—and we humans who live alongside them—are facing today.”

The Wolf Conservation Center was fortunate to ask Ms. Holleman three critical questions about Dr. Haber’s message as it relates to present day issues affecting wolves in our nation, including the current proposals by USFWS to delist all gray wolves in the lower 48 states.

Wolf Conservation Center - Gordon's research, field notes and stories continue to be relevant. Why do you think this is so? What do you believe is Gordon's most important message to all of us?

Marybeth Holleman –  Gordon’s work is relevant because it’s true. Gordon’s conclusions still fall on deaf ears in Alaska and in much of the United States because people don’t like to hear what they don’t want to hear. They don’t want to hear that wolves are complex, fascinating beings who can’t be managed by the simplistic models most commonly used in wildlife management. They want to stick to their old worn pathways. As Voltaire wrote, “Those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing the new road.”


But the results of Gordon’s 43 years of on-the-ground, up-close intensive research continue to hold true. The truth will win out.


And Gordon’s essential message is: When it comes to wolves, it’s not about numbers. It’s about family. A wolf is a wolf when it’s part of an intact, unexploited family group capable of astonishingly beautiful and complex cooperative behaviors and unique traditions. If a family group is left unexploited (that is, not trapped, shot, poisoned or otherwise killed by humans) it will develop extraordinary traditions for hunting, pup-rearing, and social behaviors that are finely tuned to its precise environment and that are unique to that particular long-lived family group.
 
Wolf Conservation Center - Today, with predator control, hunting, and trapping of wolves at a new high throughout Alaska and the western United States, with national park wolves at risk when they cross outside park boundaries, and with the threat of delisting for the entire country, how should Gordon's legacy guide our advocacy as it relates to these contentious issues?

Marybeth Holleman - We can take hope in the resiliency of wolves as a species, but we must shift the conversation to emphasize the vital importance of intact family groups.


Today, there are no unexploited intact wolf family groups in our country. Not even in Alaska. Not even in our most esteemed national parks, like Denali and Yellowstone. Even there, wolves are at risk whenever they cross the invisible boundaries.


A healthy wolf population is more than x number of wolves inhabiting y square miles of territory. The notion that we can “harvest” a fixed percentage of an existing wolf population that corresponds to natural mortality rates and still maintain a viable population misses the point. According to Gordon, it’s not how many wolves you kill, it’s which wolves you kill.


Natural losses typically take younger wolves, whereas hunting and trapping take older, experienced, wolves. These older wolves are essential because they know the territory, prey movements, hunting techniques, denning sites, pup rearing and teaching—and because they are the breeders. Gordon observed this several times: an alpha wolf was killed by humans, setting off a chain of events that left most of the family group dead and the rest scattered, rag-tag orphans.


It’s a sad spectacle. And we’ve seen it happen in Denali and Yellowstone several times in recent years. Just think how often this is happening to family groups all across the continent.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal to delist gray wolves nationwide is flawed because it’s based on numbers. No one knew this better than Gordon, who called such numbers-based management “ecological nonsense.”


You can’t manage wolves by the numbers. You can’t just count the numbers of wolves over a particular area and decide whether it’s a “healthy” population. That’s because the functional unit of wolves is the family, a multigenerational extended family group.


We need to realize, and push for, this fact: Wolves are no longer endangered when these family groups have permanent protection, when we manage according to this essential functional unit, and when wolves have adequate habitat and prey.  If we leave wolves alone, they will manage their numbers in concert with their environment.


And another thing Gordon concluded: If we leave wolves alone, we’ll be the ones to benefit – for the presence of wolves in our natural world, he wrote, “evokes the sense of wonder that helps us not just to live, but to be alive.”

Wolf Conservation Center - As a writer in Alaska, why did you believe it was so important to write this book about Gordon?

Marybeth Holleman - Thirty years ago, I moved from North Carolina, where red wolves were being reintroduced into the wild, to Alaska, where people were gunning wolves from the air. The contrast wasn’t lost on me, and has threaded through countless essays and poems since.


Times I’ve seen wild wolves stand out in memory like the most crisp photographs: my first fall in Alaska, watching wolves thread up a new-snow-covered mountainside; in Denali when my eight-year-old son saw wild wolves for the first time, padding beside the Toklat River.


Then there was the first time I heard Gordon Haber speak, when I’d been in Alaska less than two years. I was thunderstruck not just by his incredibly intimate knowledge but by his extraordinary passion for this animal that he wrote “enlivens the landscape.”


I followed his work, got to know him, and remained in awe of his sense of wonder and his dedication to continue his research in some pretty harsh environmental conditions, but even more so to continue his advocacy in the far harsher conditions of Alaska wildlife politics.


Very few wildlife biologists today do the kind of whole-systems observational research that Gordon practiced; few spend as much time with their subjects, and thus few have Gordon’s unassailable experiential authority.


What’s more, very few scientists have the courage and conviction to take what they learn about their area of expertise and speak out in defense of it, to really educate the public and help us make more informed, intelligent decisions. Gordon did this time and again; he never gave up.

The world needs his voice, now more than ever. The world needs his example. We need more Gordons, and my hope is that this book might inspire them.

When his plane went down in 2009, I became determined that his work wouldn't go down with his life. His findings are too important, and too essential to what wolves—and we humans who live alongside them—are facing today.


Among Wolves: Gordon Haber's Insights into Alaska's Most Misunderstood Animal is a highly recommended and compelling read that encourages us to closely witness Dr. Haber’s work on behalf of wolves and to become inspired by important guiding principles should influence our work to preserve the future of this keystone predator in the wild.

Purchase the book here.

Enjoy Marybeth Holleman's interview on Alaska public radio.

If you have yet to submit comments to USFWS re: the agency's nationwide delisting proposal and/or rules governing Mexican wolf recovery, please take action today.  USFWS is accepting comments re: the proposals until October 28th.
  • Voice your opposition to the Nationwide Delisting proposal HERE.
  • Tell USFWS that Mexican Wolves are essential HERE
Thank you!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Audit Reveals Utah's Anti-Wolf Contract Lacks Accountability


 What's up with UTAH?

Although wolves have found the wild way between the northern and southern Rockies, UTAH has taken suspect measures from letting wolves recover in the "Beehive State."

Some History:

Wolf 314F
In 2009, a female gray wolf known as 314F crossed into the state of Utah. The 18-month-old wolf was a member of the Mill Creek pack in Montana and she was equipped with a GPS collar. The satellite data provided by her collar detailed her epic journey from Montana through Yellowstone National Park and the Bridger-Teton National Forest in western Wyoming. She then went through southwestern Wyoming, southeast Idaho and northeastern Utah before crossing into Colorado. Biologists believe that she dispersed from her pack in search of a mate. Unfortunately, the wolf that made a 1,000-mile trek from Montana to Colorado was found dead in April of 2009.

Wolf 253M
One of the most famous Yellowstone wolves to land in Utah was also the first confirmed wolf in that state in over 70 years. His name was 253M, also known as "Limpy" or "Hoppy". As a young male 253M left the safety of his pack, the Druids, and traveled across southern Wyoming until he crossed into Utah. 253M was caught in a trap in November of 2002 and was released into the wild of Grand Teton National Park two days later. Wolf 253M continued to make headlines until he was shot in Montana on March 28, 2008 during a period of time when wolves of the northern Rockies were without federal protections.

The amazing journeys of 314F and 253M helped reveal the valuable connection between Colorado, Utah and the Northern Rockies wolf population. Will others have the opportunity to follow their lead? Not likely.

UTAH and wolves

In 2010, a number Utah lawmakers took steps to make war on wolves by introducing a bill that would require Utah to kill or capture any wolf that comes into the state.  Utah has also awarded $800,000 during the past four years to anti-wolf lobby groups Big Game Forever (BGF) and Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife to help strip the gray wolf of federal protections.  A new audit leaves Legislative Auditor General John Schaff troubled. "The upfront payment, lack of accounting review and lack of a current-year plan lead us to believe that the contract lacks sufficient safeguards."

Perhaps Utah should be less concerned with wolves and more alarmed at how their tax dollars are spent.

If  U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) carries out their nationwide delisting proposal, they’ll be opening the door hunting in more states, definitely in Utah. If you have yet to submit comments to USFWS, please take action today.  USFWS is accepting comments re: the proposals until October 28th.
  • Voice your opposition to the Nationwide Delisting proposal HERE.
  • Tell USFWS that Mexican Wolves are essential HERE
Thank you!

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom


WHAT DOES IT MATTER? (WOLF HUNTING AND TRAPPING)

Originally posted By on San Diego Loves Green on October 15, 2013.

History has demonstrated clearly that societal values and perceived needs ultimately determine the treatment and often survival of species such as the wolf.  Appropriately, public sensitivity to the killing of all large predators has now made any killing of wolves a contentious issue and placed management agencies under intense scrutiny.

With notable exceptions such as parks, the management philosophy and policies of most government agencies are narrowly directed towards treating wolves as a “resource” to kill.  Most government agencies have adopted policies skewed towards preserving opportunities for recreational killing rather than conservation or preservation of ecological integrity.  Ignoring biology and the intrinsic value of species, wildlife agencies have resolutely judged wolves as animals in need of management, adopting policies that treat them as a problem, rather than as respected members of the biological community.

This traditional management ethic favors an anthropocentric view that humans are an exceptional species and, aside from their utility for humans, other species are of little or no consequence in the large scheme of things.  In traditional wildlife management, human domination over nature is the natural order.  Nature is a commodity that is owned, and used by people, in pursuit of personal interests.

Management strategies regarding wolves in North America range from full protection to hunting and control.  The lethal strategies are supported by efficient technologies (e.g., aircraft hunting, poisoning, and snowmobile hunting).  The idea that wolves can affect mortality rates and densities of their prey has provided much of the basis for killing wolves.  Some government agencies cull wolves to reduce real and perceived conflicts between wolves and livestock.

Wolves are also killed by recreational hunters and commercial trappers.  The primary motivation of this recreational trophy hunting is gratuitous killing for pleasure.  Likewise, commercial trapping is done for profit but the method of capture and killing causes intense suffering in wolves.
On moral grounds, killing for pleasure or willing infliction of pain is highly questionable behavior, considered aberrant and deviant by most people.  Certainly, society has long recognized that taking pleasure in killing an animal or knowingly inflicting pain are all “red flags” that signal the need for professional intervention.  This is especially true when the person has the cognitive maturity to understand that what s/he is doing is wrong – and repeatedly does it anyway.

Many human activities harm wolves, both individuals and populations, in direct and indirect ways.  Direct effects include lethal culling, hunting, trapping, poisoning, and the destruction of food supplies.  Indirect effects include changes to habitat or movement patterns that result in death or disrupt social relationships.

Importantly, harmful direct actions can have broader indirect effects.  For example, in animals like wolves, culling some individuals in a social group can also cause indirect harms by disrupting the transfer of cultural and genetic information between generations, and altering group stability and breeding structures in the population.  Although direct harms are more obvious and more likely to attract public attention, both direct and indirect harms need to be recognized as important determinants of animal welfare and conservation.

In making moral judgments, people tend to regard harm as more serious if it is deliberate rather than unintentional.  Both recreational and institutional killing of wolves, for example, are viewed as more serious acts than unintentional killing.  Similarly, people may regard harm as less significant if done for a seemingly worthwhile purpose.  This is a slippery slope, however, because social and moral justifications are often used to sanctify harmful practices by investing them with worthy purposes.  Disengagement of moral self-sanctions enables people to pursue detrimental practices freed from the restraint of self-censure.

I think it is undeniable that we are harming wolves by knowingly inflicting physical and psychological pain and suffering, which often results in their deaths.  Sometimes we do this for our own pleasure, sometimes for dubious pragmatic reasons, but usually for reasons that are gratuitous and selfish.

Some of us are well-informed participants, deliberately pursuing harmful activities that serve our own interests.  We justify our behavior through moral disengagement by switching off our conscience to exonerate and sanitize our malpractice in the name of worthy causes.  Others are uninformed or unmindful bystanders.  But all of us are accountable.

From an ethical perspective that considers the intrinsic value and welfare of individual animals and populations, most killing of wolves is morally indefensible and should be stopped.

Further, wildlife conservation aims to ensure that populations and species survive, and that ecological and evolutionary processes continue.  For evolution to continue, however, individuals are important because natural selection acts on individuals.  Many subspecies of wolves have no evolutionary future because of misguided lethal management practices that ignore the fundamentals of biology and fail to consider individuals.  Animal welfare, however, is concerned with the well being of these individuals.

Accordingly, many conservationists and managers are embracing and incorporating ethical considerations of animal welfare.  Likewise, animal welfarists who have direct connections to ecology and place are drawing upon information from environmental research.  The mutual recognition is that although wildlife science and animal welfare constitute different paths to knowledge, they are rooted in the same reality and affirm one another.

The article above was written by Dr. Paul Paquet and originally a Plenary Session of the 2013 International Wolf Symposium. Dr. Paquet is Senior Scientist and Carnivore Specialist with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation & Science Advisory Board Member of Project Coyote.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It's National Wolf Awareness Week


It's National Wolf Awareness Week! A time to recognize the importance of wolves as an ESSENTIAL part of our natural landscapes and to engage others to become interested & active in wolf survival. Today the Wolf Conservation Center celebrates America's lesser known wolf - the RED WOLF!  Please enjoy this video and help educate others by sharing it with your peers.  For the kiddos out there, click here to download red wolf coloring sheets.

Please also take a moment to recognize the wolves across the aisle, America's GRAY WOLF! Gray wolves nationwide urgently need our help and people of all ages can #StandForWolves.  U. S. Fish & Wildlife  is accepting comments re: recent proposals threatening gray wolf recovery until October 28th.
  • Voice your opposition to the Nationwide Delisting proposal here.
  • Tell USFWS that Mexican Wolves are essential here.
If your child wants to speak up for wolves, please download our Letter Template for Kids and send it to:
 
Wolf Conservation Center
PO BOX 421
South Salem, NY 10590
Thank you!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Harvest is For Crops, Not Corpses


Who else thinks it's time to stop referring to the number of wolves killed in a hunt as a "harvest?"  Wolves are not corn...

Wolf hunts have already begun in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, and soon to begin in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan.  As of Monday the Wolf Hunt Kill Totals (sadly referred to as "harvests") were as follows:
  • Posted Idaho Wolf Hunt Kill total: 39
  •  Posted Montana Wolf Hunt Kill Total: 17
  • Wyoming Wolf Kill Total: 35

If  U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) carries out their nationwide delisting proposal, they'll be opening the door hunting in more states. If you have yet to submit comments to USFWS, please take action today.  USFWS is accepting comments re: the proposals until October 28th.
  • Voice your opposition to the Nationwide Delisting proposal HERE.
  • Tell USFWS that Mexican Wolves are essential HERE
Thank you!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Children Changing Minds About Wolves



With kids like 8-yr-old Turner Burns, the future looks bright.  Turner is featured in October's Ranger Rick Magazine because he wants to tell readers that wolves are important! When Turner was 6 yrs old, he shared a howl with the Wolf Conservation Center's ambassador wolves Atka, Alawa, and Zephyr, and his life hasn't been the same since.  After being bitten by the "wolf bug," Turner became an enthusiastic advocate for wolves, he even started his own Facebook page called "Kids for Wolves" to help his peers understand why wolves are an essential part of the wild landscape.


Connecting with children like Turner reminds WCC staff and volunteers why education remains key.  Although most supporters think working among wolves is what makes our work  special, it actually making a difference for children like Turner that has the bigger impact.

Turner knows that wolves nationwide urgently need our help and people of all ages can #StandForWolves.  USFWS is accepting comments re: the proposals until October 28th.
  • Voice your opposition to the Nationwide Delisting proposal here.
  • Tell USFWS that Mexican Wolves are essential here.
If your child wants to speak up for wolves, please download our Letter Template for Kids and send it to:
Wolf Conservation Center
PO BOX 421
South Salem, NY10590
Thank you!
Posted in Ta

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom


"With the right hat, nothing else matters." ~ Ambassador Wolf Atka

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Congressional Champions for Wolves Reach Out to Colleagues



Last week Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ) sent a "Dear Colleague" letter to fellow House representatives asking them to sign on to their letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.  In the letter, the republican and democrat oppose the proposed rule to remove Endangered Species Act protection from gray wolves in the lower 48 states. They're appealing for members to join them in sending a strong message to Secretary Jewell that we must finish the job and fully restore wolves to the American landscape. The deadline for signing on is Monday, Oct. 21. Please encourage your representative to sign on too!
Please visit http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ to find your representative and their contact info.

Wolves nationwide urgently need our help so if you have yet to submit comments to U.S. Fish & Wildlife (USFWS), please #StandForWolves and take action today.  USFWS is accepting comments re: the proposals until October 28th.
  • Voice your opposition to the Nationwide Delisting proposal HERE.
  • Tell USFWS that Mexican Wolves are essential HERE
Thank you!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Three Weeks Left To Stand For Wolves


Beyond its role as a living symbol of our natural landscape, the wolf is a keystone species.  Its presence is critical to maintaining the structure and integrity of native ecosystems.  Federal protections for wolves are essential to help this animal recover and expand into still-suitable parts of its former range.

On June 7, 2013, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) officially announced proposals that will impact the future of America’s gray wolves.

1) Nationwide Gray Wolf Delisting Proposal:  USFWS’s proposes to remove Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in the contiguous United States. Although USFWS director Daniel M. Ashe declared victory for gray wolf recovery by stating  “Wolves are recovered and they are now in good hands,” 16 scientists with expertise in carnivore taxonomy and conservation biology voiced their concern that the delsiting rule is terribly premature in a letter sent to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on May 21st.  They argued  that the delisting rule flouts “the fundamental purpose of the Endangered Species Act to conserve endangered species and the ecosystems upon which they depend.”  The ESA let our country give wolves a second chance.  With second chances so hard to come by, should we be willing to throw them away?

2) Proposed  Rules for Mexican Wolf Reintroduction & Recovery: USFWS plans to re-designate wild Mexican gray wolves as "experimental, non-essential." Although critically endangered Mexican wolves are exempt from the nationwide delisting proposal, they will be subject to other provisions that are very problematic.  With only 70+ wild lobos left, every Mexican wolf is an essential part of recovering this unique subspecies of wolf.  USFWS must put the rest of its proposed rule on hold and speed up approval for more direct releases into additional areas.  The USFWS must also complete a comprehensive recovery plan and let the public see it before changing the current rule.
Wolves nationwide urgently need our help and people of all ages can #StandForWolves.  USFWS is accepting comments re: the proposals until October 28th.
  • Voice your opposition to the Nationwide Delisting proposal here.
  • Tell USFWS that Mexican Wolves are essential here.
Standing for Wolves is a family affair!  Ten-year-old Desiree from NY (pictured above) knows wolves are essential.  In her letter to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, she writes:

"Please preserve and save the wolves because without them the food chain will get messed up and their prey's population will explode.  So please save the wolves so nothing in the world will change drastically."

If your child wants to speak up for wolves, please download our Letter Template for Kids and send it to:
 
Wolf Conservation Center
PO BOX 421
South Salem, NY10589

Thank you!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Don't Let the Shutdown Silence Our Howls

Stand for Wolves at the Save the Lobo Rally & by Commenting Online

Many Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) supporters have voiced concern about the impact of the government shutdown on the Albuquerque public hearing regarding USFWS's national delisting draft rule and proposals affecting the future of Mexican wolf recovery.

Undeterred by the shutdown, wildlife supporters WILL express their support for wolves on October 4th (this Friday) at the "Save the Lobo" Rally, the "citizen's online hearing," and by submitting COMMENTS ONLINE. Six-year-old Eleanor (above) joined the WCC to howl for wolves at September 30th's DC rally/hearing, please consider adding your voice, so our "song" rings LOUD!

DATE
This Friday, October 4th

LOCATION
Embassy Suites, 1000 Woodward Place NE, Albuquerque, NM 87102

SCHEDULE:

3:30 p.m.  Tabling, free refreshments, sign-making, children’s art activities

4:00 p.m.  Training by Defenders of Wildlife – learn how to be an effective advocate for wolves!

5:00 p.m.  Save the Lobo Rally - with informative and inspirational speakers on the need for continued protection of wolves. Speakers include Center for Biological Diversity's long-time wolf advocate and author, Michael Robinson; The Rewilding Institute's David R. Parsons, a wildlife biologist who formerly led the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Mexican wolf recovery program; Dave Foreman, a well-known activist, speaker and writer on matters involving wilderness and humanity; Jean Ossorio, a citizen advocate and USFWS volunteer; and Wolf Conservation Center's own Maggie Howell.

6:00 p.m.  Citizen's online hearing
You and other supporters of the Mexican wolf are all that stand between extinction and survival for these critically endangered, beautiful, and essential animals. Please help in person on October 4th or online TODAY.

Comments are due by October 28th and your participation is needed!  Click HERE for the comment link and effective talking points for Mexican wolves and HERE to voice your opposition to the nationwide delisting proposal. THANK YOU!

Comment Online HERE!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

An Important Message From Mexican Wolf F810



You and other supporters of the Mexican wolf are all that stand between extinction and survival for these critically endangered, beautiful, and essential animals. Please help in person on October 4th or ONLINE TODAY.

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom



Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.
~ Frank Lloyd Wright