Saturday, November 30, 2013

Wolf Conservation Center Talks Wolves and the Endangered Species Act on NBC News



The Wolf Conservation Center is featured in a story about the Endangered Species Act, Wolves, and  Politics on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

(To watch double click on “loading” after hitting play arrow)

In the 40 years since the ESA was established, it has protected more than 1500 domestic species.
However, congressional attacks could cause the Act itself to go extinct.

Senators Rand Paul, Dean Heller (R-Nev.) & Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) introduced a bill that attempts to undermine the Endangered Species Act’s authority. If passed, the ‘Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act’ will provide state governors with the power to decide how to regulate intrastate endangered species – so states can ignore the ESA if it best serves political interests.

Please SIGN/SHARE the WCC's POPVOX legislative campaign to show your OPPOSITION of this bill – here.

When you sign the Popvox campaign, your vote goes directly to the lawmakers who represent you! If you like, you can also send a short *optional* message along with your vote. Please ask your representatives to oppose the bill too.  Thank you!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Congressional Attack on the Endangered Species Act



Senators Rand Paul, Dean Heller (R-Nev.) & Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) introduce a bill that attempts to undermine the Endangered Species Act’s authority. The 'Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act' is a congressional attack on the ESA, providing state governors with the power to decide how to regulate intrastate endangered species - so states can ignore the ESA if it best serves political interests.

Sen. Paul explained, "The Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act ensures that local needs will be considered in the regulation process & places the decision-making into the hands of the states by allowing them to choose whether regulation occurs on the state or federal level."

More.
The ESA has been more than 99% successful at preventing extinction for wildlife under its protection for 40 years.  Learn what you can do to prevent the Act itself from going extinct!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Rep. Nita Lowey Introduces Bill to Safeguard Wildlife


Representative Nita Lowry (NY) has reintroduced a federal bill, the "Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act (H.R. 3513)" which seeks to end the use of body-gripping traps in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Please SIGN/SHARE the Wolf Conservation Center's POPVOX legislative campaign to show your SUPPORT of this bill - http://pvox.co/NM5f68

When you sign the Popvox campaign, your vote goes directly to the lawmakers who represent you! If you like, you can also send a short *optional* message along with your vote.

Why is this important? Traps are indiscriminate, capturing those not intended for the trap, including endangered animals, pets and people, and can leave permanent physical damage to anything that gets caught. Animals suffer pain, trauma and stress when held by traps, and immobilized animals can experience dehydration, hunger, panic-induced self-mutilation, exposure to weather and predation, all of which constitute animal cruelty.
Thanks an big thanks to Rep Nita Lowey!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom


Despite the vast effort, resources, and support invested in wolf recovery, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) is poised to make changes that will put the future of the gray wolf and its proven benefits to ecosystems at serious risk.

1) Nationwide Gray Wolf Delisting Proposal: USFWS’s proposes to remove Endangered Species Act  protections for the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in the contiguous United States despite wolves occupying only about 5 percent of their historic range.

2) Proposed  Rules for Mexican Wolf Reintroduction & Recovery: Although the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf, or "lobo," is exempt from USFWS's nationwide delisting proposal, lobos 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.

USFWS is accepting comments re: these two separate proposals until December 17th  and is also offers public hearings for people to comment in person. Last night was the first of four rescheduled public hearings and it was an affirming experience for those of us who care about wolves.  Here are some compelling statements recounted by our friends from WildEarth Guardians.

"I want my kids, their kids and their kids to get the privilege of seeing wolves." - Emile, under 10


"I am the voice of my generation, please listen to me.  We want wolves on the landscape."  - Mckenna, 7



"I'm a lifetime member of the NRA and I would like to see wolves protected."  - gentleman in his 60s

WildEarth Guardians estimates that fewer than 10 folks in the 400 were supporters of delisting. Mission accomplished in Denver, Albuquerque, here we come! 

If you're unable to attend a hearing, please comment online!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Wolf Conservation Center Advocates for a Wild Future



Only about 75 Mexican wolves survive in the wild, making them the most endangered wolf in the world. The “lobo” (Canis lupus baileyi) is the southernmost and most genetically distinct subspecies of gray wolf in the North America.

This critically endangered species has struggled for a decade and a half, failing to come close to reaching the Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan's population goal of 100.  According to WCC director Maggie Howell, "Artificial boundaries, state politics, illegal killings and USFWS's designation of all wild lobos as an “experimental, nonessential” population, have put recovery in a choke-hold.”

In a recent proposal, FWS has recommended that the Mexican gray wolf be relisted as a separate subspecies. It also proposes to make changes to the rules governing the recovery of Mexican wolves, as well. One good change allows more wolves to be released in more places; it is hoped that this measure will strengthen the population’s genetic health and lead this imperiled subspecies toward recovery. But, the proposal also “boxes” Mexican gray wolves in an arbitrarily defined area, preventing them from moving into the suitable habitat that scientists say is critical for recovery.  At least 2 more populations of Mexican gray wolves need to be established, but the best areas lie outside of the proposed “box;” this prevents the dispersal of new genes which is necessary to keep wolves healthy. Finally, the proposal would also limit the wild population to insufficient numbers for survival and opens up new loopholes for legal killing of these imperiled animals in certain circumstances. FWS needs to finish a science-based recovery plan and make certain that any changes to this plan support recovery instead of conflicting with it.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) will hold one of only two public hearings in the country on its controversial proposed changes to the Mexican gray wolf reintroduction program on November 20th in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The WCC participates in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) and Recovery Plan for this critically endangered wolf species, and its Director, Maggie Howell,  will be joining biologists and concerned citizens for this last opportunity to express their opinions about Mexican wolves and gray wolves nationwide to federal officials, a responsibility that is critical to the survival and recovery of this rare subspecies which is still vulnerable to extinction in the wild.

What You Can Do From Home:

#StandforWolves  - Comment online! USFWS is accepting comments re: these two separate proposals until December 17th.

1) Nationwide Gray Wolf Delisting Proposal: USFWS’s proposes to remove Endangered Species Act  protections for the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in the contiguous United States despite wolves occupying only about 5 percent of their historic range.
2) Proposed  Rules for Mexican Wolf Reintroduction & Recovery: Although the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf, or "lobo," is exempt from USFWS's nationwide delisting proposal, lobos 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.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Wolf Trophy Hunts in Progress in Six U.S. States


Trophy wolf hunts are in progress in 6 states. Although some canine cousins are able to prepare, 548 wolves were not so fortunate.

Latest Posted 2013 Wolf Trophy Hunt Kill totals:
Idaho - 124
Wyoming - 51
Montana - 82
Wisconsin - 210
Minnesota - 75
Michigan - 6
Total: 548

We cannot give these fallen individuals their lives back, but we still have a chance to prevent opening the door to more killing by telling U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service we oppose it’s proposal to strip ESA protections from wolves nationwide.

Read more and please #StandForWolves today by telling USFWS that you oppose its nationwide delisting plan.  The agency is accepting comments until December 17th.

• Delisting Comment link HERE.
• Talking points HERE.
Thank you and please spread the word!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Full Moon Fever

Catch it if you can.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Join the Wolf Conservation Center in Yellowstone!



Enjoy an Adventure of a Lifetime!

Join the WCC for a unique and educational summer adventure in Yellowstone National Park that is sure to impart lasting memories of a landscape rich with wildlife!  In July, the weather is wonderful and wildlife are abundant in the verdant valleys, herds of bison roam where wolves are close behind. Pronghorn, moose, mule deer, mountain goats, and elk are among many other wildlife species observable. Also, grizzly and black bears may be spotted foraging in the hills and lush forests. We'll be traveling with our friends from The Wild Side, Yellowstone Wildlife Biologists Nathan Varley, PhD, and Linda Thurston, M.S., who know the best places in the park to observe the diverse wildlife.  Nathan and Linda are phenomenal guides and are among a special group of Yellowstone "Ambassadors" who can't help but enhance the thrill one feels when beholding the environment and beasts we work so hard to safeguard.

We're offering two adventure in 2014:


July 11 - July 16

&

July 25- July 30

More info and registration here.


The trip is open to individuals and families but space is limited.

Cost: $1995/person - double occupancy (airfare is not included) and $500 of the fee is 100% tax deductible
Email spencer@nywolf.org or call 914-763-2373 for more info

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Rock Legend Iggy Pop Urges Mchigan Governor to Cancel Wolf Hunt

 

Michigan native Iggy Pop, a music legend and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has endorsed the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected campaign to stop the planned the state's first wolf hunt set to start Friday, November 15th.  Iggy Pop urges Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to cancel the state's controversial wolf hunt since it's clear that the "decision to approve wolf hunting was based on fraudulent information and not sound science.”

If Gov. Snyder continues to ignore the voice of the people, he'll go down in history as the ultimate "stooge."
Read more:

43 of Michigan's 658 wolves will be in the cross-hairs beginning tomorrow. Please join the Iggy and the Wolf Conservation Center and support Keep Michigan Wolves Protected.
Watch there great new add, "Gov. Snyder: Stop the Hunt" and please help spread the word!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Logging Pushes Rare Alaska Wolves Toward Extinction


Is Alaska letting the logging industry to do their dirty work?

As the feds delay an the Endangered Species Act status review for southeast Alaska’s Alexander Archipelago wolves, the situation of these unique forest wolves dramatically worsens, largely because of large-scale logging of old-growth trees on Prince of Wales Island in the Tongass National Forest.
Read more here.

Preeminent Alexander Archipelago wolf biologist and former Alaska state employee Dr. David Person believes “the Big Thorne timber sale, if implemented, will log the last remaining high-quality winter range in the central part of the island for deer — the wolves’ primary prey — diminishing the wolf population. The island’s predator-prey system, which includes hunters, will likely collapse; with less meat on the table in rural communities there will be “immense public and political pressure to kill wolves and bears.”

“This situation of an impoverished prey-base compounded by the persecution of wolves because of the diminished deer population will put wolves in a double jeopardy of extinction on the island, and the Big Thorne project is a major factor in that reality,” said Greenpeace forest campaigner Larry Edwards. “Dr. Person points out that wolf populations on Prince of Wales have declined precipitously and already face the possibility of extinction there.”

Without habitat, there is no wildlife!  

The Wolf Conservation Center joins Cascadia Wildlands in urging the Secretary of Agriculture and the Forest Service to stop the reckless Big Thorne old-growth timber sale in Alaska's Tongass Forest. If this sale goes through, it can potentially wipe out winter habitat for the Sitka deer which constitutes roughly 90% of the diet of a fragile population of southeast Alaska’s rare Alexander Archipelago wolves.

Critical support is needed from the lower 48 states. Please sign/share Cascadia Wildlands' petition at - http://bit.ly/HSzJPR  

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom





“Getting an inch of snow is like winning 10 cents in the lottery.” ~Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Alaska's Southeast Wolf Control Program On Hold


Back in January, 2013, the Alaska Board of Game voted to proceed with two studies which would ultimately initiate "experimental" predator control measures on rare Alexander Archipelago wolves to increase the population of deer for hunters. The proposed experimental control programs called for reducing the wolf population at least by 80% in this area.

We are happy to report that this Southeast Wolf Control program has been put on hold.  State game managers say they are still collecting info on deer and wolf populations before deciding whether to go ahead with the wolf kills or other options. Although there has been support among southeast hunters for the programs, an overwhelming number of opponents from around the globe urged the state not to kill wolves. Read more here.

Background: Archipelago wolves are found only in the old-growth forests of Southeast Alaska and British Columbia. There is currently a petition pending before the U.S. Department of the Interior to include these wolves on either the threatened or endangered species lists under the Endangered Species Act. Read more.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Wild Salute


"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Sunday, November 10, 2013

New York City Bar Association Committee Opposes Nationwide Gray Wolf Delisting



The Committee on Animal Law of the New York City Bar Association (an independent non-governmental organization of more than 23,000 lawyers, law professors and government officials, predominantly from New York City and also from throughout the United States and fifty other countries) opposed U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's nationwide gray wolf delisting proposal in an October 24th  letter to USFWS Director Daniel Ashe.

The Committee argues that gray wolves should remain listed as endangered because:

1) It is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range
2) It is over utilized for recreational hunting and trapping in the lower 48 states
3) Its population suffers substantially from both disease and human predation
4) The existing state regulatory mechanisms are inadequate to protect the Gray Wolf from extinction.

The Wolf Conservation Center sends howls of thanks to the Committee on Animal Law for adding its voice of support at this critical time. You can add your voice to this discussion. Please tell USFWS that you #StandForWolves today by submitting your comment via the link below:

• Delisting Comment link
Talking points
Thank you!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Secretary of Interior: 'Wolves are Essential' & 'Extinction is Forever'


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.

Wolves were once federally protected, but now they can be hunted again, making their future more controversial than ever before. Although critically endangered subspecies of wolves remain federally protected, they also face unique challenges that impact their wild future. Despite the vast effort, resources and support invested in reintroduction, the future of the wolf and its proven benefits to ecosystems remains at risk.

In recognition of this crisis, the Wolf Conservation Center aims to be a catalyst for change among a new generation of stewards who can reverse this trend before it is too late.

The Timing is Perfect

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell is traveling to Minnesota and California this week to talk about the value of conservation, highlight the economic importance of public lands, and the need to connect the next generation to America’s great outdoors. While on tour she plans to kick-off her ambitious youth initiative to engage the next generation through education, employment and volunteer opportunities on public lands.  Jewell aims to engage kids through education? We can provide her with access to our voices! Now is the time to tell the Secretary of the Interior that 'Wolves are Essential' & 'Extinction is Forever' and make it a family affair! Please join your children and contact the Secretary of the Interior TODAY.  Not only can you  be a voice for wolves, you can also empower your children with the understanding of their ability to force change.

Contacting U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell
Choose the method you and your family is most comfortable with!
  • Email: feedback@ios.doi.gov
  • Phone: 202.208.3100
  • Snail Mail: You can download our Letter Template for Kids and send it to:
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240

Your Message
You can keep it simple with a single sentence (examples below):
  • Wolves are essential
  • Extinction is forever
  • Don't give up on wolf recovery before the job is done
  • Wolves are not recovered in key parts of their range
  • Also see excellent talking points re: the nationwide delisting proposal & Mexican gray wolf rule changes.
  • Federal wildlife refuges create $2 BILLION for economy & non-consumptive use IS the more powerful economic engine! (more info)
Thank you and have fun!



Tuesday, November 5, 2013

WCC's Mexican Gray Wolves Get a Visit from the Vet


This time of year Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) staff and volunteers are often prying into the private lives of the critically endangered wolves that call the WCC home. It's the season for annual medical exams.  People often ask us how we monitor the health of our wolves. Needless to say, the well-being of our wolves is a top priority, so we constantly take stock of their health, monitoring the shy animals as much as we possible in person and also via webcam. We also conduct periodic veterinary checks for hands-on assessments, vaccinations, and blood-work. Under Species Survival Plan protocols, our Mexican Gray Wolves and Red wolves must be checked by a veterinarian on an annual basis.

Late last month we "processed" (administered vaccinations, took blood, and weights) of the five red wolves that call the WCC home without a hitch.  It was the first of  three "check-up capture days" scheduled this season. Early this morning, the WCC crew gathered for the second scheduled event to meet the challenge of catching six elusive Mexican gray wolves. In order to examine 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, our volunteer veterinarian proceeds with the exam. The actual exam takes only minutes, the real challenge is capturing the frightened wolves.

Thankfully, Mexican wolves F810, M807, M804, F628, and M904 ran into their boxes without too much hesitation.  Eleven-year-old Mexican wolf F749 was the only one that gave us the run around.  Definitely a good sign that she's feeling pretty great!  Fourteen-year-old F628 was also especially impressive, she might be one of the oldest wolves at the WCC but she's as spry (and dare we say feisty) as ever! All six wolves appeared to be in good health and we'll have confirmation of this once their blood test results return from the lab.

 

In addition to doing health exams in the fall, we also prep for the oncoming season of romance! Every summer the Species Survival Plan management group for the Mexican gray wolf determine which wolves should be bred each year by using software developed for the population management of endangered species. Wolves are “mono-estrus” -- breeding only once a year during the winter months, so autumn is the season to make some introductions between our match-made couples.

Two pairs of Mexican gray wolves will be given the chance to breed this season:  M807 and F986, and, for the second consecutive year, M804 and F749.  Of course if we expect any of the couples to prove fruitful, we'll have to make sure that at the very least they've met one another!  After completing M807's check up, we transferred the lovely lobo to a new enclosure to live with his new mate-to-be, F986 who just arrived at the WCC earlier this fall from the Utica Zoo.  The pair will live off exhibit side by side with a fence-line between them for a few weeks before we formally introduce them. Only time will tell if they're a "love connection," but we're hoping they fall head over paws!

Big thanks to all the WCC volunteers including Dr Renee Bayha from the Pound Ridge Veterinary Center for volunteering their time, expertise, and labor this morning, and also to the lobos that are a part of something much bigger than they might ever realize - the recovery of their rare species.

Some moments from today’s event captured by WCC’s Diane Bentivegna.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Wolf Conservation Center Honored As 2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

 
"When it was time for the wolf Atka to come into the room during a recent Wolf Conservation Center presentation, my body reacted instantly. I was surprised that I had any response whatsoever, since I knew that he’d be coming out, but I immediately felt that I was sharing space with a regal, important and mystical being. I have seen so many animal events, but this one was powerful to me. I learned a lot about the importance of wolves to the balance of life. I knew they played a critical role, but after the presentation, I really understood how wolves fit into the big picture."
~ WCC supporter who attended a Wolf Conservation Center offsite program.  

New GreatNonprofits.org Award is Based on Positive Online Reviews

It is with howls of gratitude that the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) announces that it has been honored with a prestigious 2013 Top-Rated Award by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews about nonprofit organizations.

We are really excited to be named a Top-Rated 2013 Nonprofit,” says Maggie Howell, WCC Executive Director. "This year alone we've made great strides in our duel mission of education and wolf recovery." Through wolves the WCC teaches the broader message of conservation, ecological balance, and personal responsibility for improved human stewardship of our World. "The WCC has become a catalyst for change among a new generation of stewards who can take on the environmental challenges of the future. We're especially excited about our new 'Interdisciplinary Curriculum in Wolf Education: Tracks to the Future.' It affords elementary and middle school students differentiated opportunities to learn and master many of the required common core academic standards while using wolf conservation as its integrating theme."

The Top-Rated Nonprofit award was based on the large number of positive reviews that the WCC received – reviews written by volunteers, donors and clients. People posted their personal experience with the nonprofit. For example, one person wrote, "One of the center's important roles is to reach young people through onsite and offsite programs. These folks can share their knowledge and appreciation of wolves with others throughout their lives."

While the Top-Rated Awards run through the end of October, the WCC was part of the inaugural group to qualify for the year.

“Savvy donors want to see the impact of their donations more than ever,” said Perla Ni, CEO of GreatNonprofits, “People with direct experience with the WCC have voted that the organization is making a real difference.”

Being on the Top-Rated list gives donors and volunteers more confidence that this is a credible organization. The reviews by volunteers, clients and other donors show the on-the-ground results of this nonprofit. This award is a form of recognition by the community. Do more to support the WCC's work here.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Wild Time

Daylight Savings is tonight at 2AM. For some of us that means an extra hour of sleep. For others, an extra hour of opportunity.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Wisconsin, Wolves, and What We Can Do



For over a century, wolves were demonized, tortured, shot, and trapped in the U.S. until without understanding the serious ecological consequences, we almost totally exterminated wolves in most of their former range. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) gave us a chance to right our past wrongs. With second chances so hard to come by, why are we throwing this one away?

In Wisconsin, the wolf hunting/trapping season began on Oct 15th and 181 wolves have been killed so far. This represents an average of 11 wolves killed/day.  We cannot give these fallen individuals their lives back, but we still have a chance to prevent opening the door to more killing by telling U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service we oppose it's proposal to strip ESA protections from wolves nationwide. 

Read more and please #StandForWolves today by telling USFWS that you oppose its nationwide delisting plan.  The agency is accepting comments until December 17th.

• Delisting Comment link HERE.
• Talking points HERE.

Thank you and please spread the word!