Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Friday, March 29, 2013

Wolf Conservation Center Supporters List 15 Reasons Why Lobos Should Remain Protected


 On March 20, 2013 the Arizona Game and Fish Commission voted to support a letter written by Senators Hatch (R-Utah) and Lummis (R-Wyo), a decision that could prove devastating for the recovery of the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi). In a unanimous decision, the commission voted to back the effort by these Western lawmakers to strip federal protections for gray wolves nationwide. It is feared this move would include the rarest and most genetically distinct subspecies of gray wolf in North America, the lobo.



Fifteen years ago today on March 29, 1998, eleven captive-reared Mexican gray wolves were released to the wild for the first time in the Blue Range Recovery Area of Arizona and New Mexico. Missing from the landscape for more than 30 years, the howl of the rarest and most unique subspecies of gray wolf, was once again greeted by the mountains of the southwest. In honor of this milepost in lobo recovery, we're asking supporters to list 15 reasons why the lobo should remain protected. Nine-year-old Molly (and her four dogs - Magic, Hope, Herman, and Maria) sent this compelling video to us! Please send your list with a photo to maggie@nywolf.org and so we can share yours too! We also encourage supporters to send their Lobo Lists to their U.S. representative. Not sure of your congressional district or who your member is? Visit http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ to determine your congressional district and your member's website and contact page.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Wild is Calling, The Lobos are Ready


Associated Press - January 26, 2009 9:44 PM ET
PINETOP, Ariz. (AP) - Federal agents are investigating the suspicious death of a Mexican gray wolf near Pinetop. The female wolf was found on Jan. 19. It had died from a gunshot wound and was dumped along Highway 260. The wolf was part of the Moonshine Pack in the Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project in Arizona and New Mexico.

I was devastated when I read these words. I remember the day clearly, I was sitting at my desk in the Wolf Conservation Center’s (WCC) office in South Salem, NY thinking, we’re two for two. It was roughly two months after the wolf’s release into the Arizona wilderness when the five-year-old female was found dead. Her “name” was F836. She was beautiful. So was her sister, F838. I guess you can say that I “knew” them.

We were first introduced to the sisters in November of 2004 when the WCC welcomed four Mexican wolf yearlings from a facility in Minnesota. Our Center was selected to care for these wolves as a participant in the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan (MWSSP). We had the enclosure space available and the luxury of allowing them to reside off exhibit in a natural environment with minimal human contact. Although the wolves are identified by alphanumeric labels - F836, F837, F838, and F839, we called the sisters “the Minnesota Girls.” They were strong and elusive. I didn’t have a relationship with these wolves, in fact I rarely saw them, but I understood their weighty significance.

When the Minnesota Girls arrived, we were relatively new to the MWSSP program and were honored to be a part of the recovery effort. Less than a year later and with much jubilation we received the most exciting news: F838 was chosen for release to the wild Southwest. We transferred the two-year-old to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pre-release facility at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico where she was paired with a mate.

The following spring the wolves proved fruitful adding two pups to the limited Mexican wolf population. The family, dubbed the Meridian Pack, was placed in a temporary mesh holding pen in eastern Arizona on July 6, 2006. Perhaps with understanding of the liberty just beyond their grasp, the pack eagerly freed themselves within twenty-four hours.
From our office in New York, we closely followed the pack’s voyage. I challenged school children to imagine that they were F838 – the thrill of living without boundaries and fence-lines and the task of bringing an ecosystem back to balance. F838’s story enhanced our education programming and helped guests better understand the significance of the special wolves on our property that they were not allowed to behold.

Just a few months after her adventure had begun, we received the dreadful news that F838 was dead--illegally killed. Three years later, F836 was granted a life in the wild only to suffer the same fate as her littermate. Each wolf had only a few months to enjoy their rightful place in the wild. But a few months in the wild was the biggest gift we could have ever given to the girls from Minnesota. If not for some heartless criminals, they could have survived and contributed to the recovery of their species.

The deaths of the Minnesota Girls weigh heavy on our hearts, but our commitment to our mission and the recovery of Mexican gray wolves in the wild remains strong. While tragic, these shootings strengthen our resolve to restore these majestic creatures to their ancestral home in the wilds of the Southwest.

It’s been four and a half years since F836 received the call of the wild and no other captive Mexican wolf has received the opportunity to create a home on the wild landscape since. None of the WCC's wolves have been released since F836.  It’s time to release some wolves.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Growing Up Lobo


On April 20, 2008, the Wolf Conservation Center family got a whole lot bigger! Mexican gray wolf F613 quietly had six pups in her den on Earth day. These pups were not only adorable, they're also a contribution to the recovery of their species.
Curator Rebecca Bose give one of the pups its one-week checkup. At this age, pups are still blind, their eyes not opening until about 10 days of age. Since these wolves are a part of the Mexican wolf Species Survival Plan, it was important that they received as little human contact as possible so they retained their natural wariness of people.

WCC staff became reacquainted with the litter when the pups were two months old. This is also when the pups were officially given their alphanumeric "names."
Also at this age, beginning at about 5 weeks old, the pups emerge from the den to explore the world around them.  Because the tiny explorers cannot go far, adult wild wolves will travel less during this season, keeping most activities focused on the den or rendezvous site.  All ears and paws, the pups romp, play, bite, and tackle one another. This of course is great fun for the siblings, but it's also a way for the pups to sharpen important skills that they'll require as adults and lets them establish which sibling will be dominant in the pack hierarchy.  By the time the pups celebrated their first birthday in 2009, one male yearling was clearly his father's right hand man, shadowing every move of his handsome roll model.

All grown up now, this litter resides with their thirteen-year-old mother, F613.  The littler will be celebrating their 5th birthday on Earth Day.  I know what I want them to receive as a gift - an opportunity to bring their ancestral habitat back to balance.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

#LoboWeek: A Wild Perspective

Mexican Gray Wolf AF1056. January 2011

It's day three of #LoboWeek, a national movement honoring a milestone for Mexican gray recovery - the 15th Anniversary of the lobos’ return to the wild. Enormous thanks to Wolf Conservation Center friend and supporter, Melissa Ruszczyk, for offering a special point of view on lobo recovery in her own words  

A Wild Perspective
by Melissa Ruszczyk


Wolves embody so much of what humans have distanced themselves from. They reflect characteristics of our own primitive species, so much of what we are missing in ourselves. Maybe that’s why many of us are so fascinated with them; they represent something that we are missing, a raw wild spirit which we lost as our own species derived into what we are today. And for that same reason, maybe it’s also why many humans fear them. As we celebrate fifteen years of hard work and dedication since the reintroduction of Mexican gray wolves (Canis lupus baileyi) to their rightful home in the southwest, I’d like to share a story from the standpoint of being fortunate enough to work with the wild counterparts.

Growing up I wasn’t afraid of wolves. Public media and childhood stories thankfully didn’t imprint upon me to fear such a beautiful creature. When I was 15 years old I wrote a list of goals I’d wanted to accomplish in life. The number one goal was to “In some way help with the reintroduction of wolves”. At the time, I knew very little about wolves and had no clue how this grand idea would ever happen but I was drawn to this species and felt that since there weren’t many around… I would take it upon myself to help change that. In January of 2011, 14 years later, I found myself driving to Alpine, AZ for my new field job as an intern for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program. My first day on the job I held back happy tears as I remembered my list of goals and realized I was accomplishing a childhood dream.

I spent 5 exhilarating months learning about wolves, humans, and especially myself while traversing the beautiful landscapes of New Mexico and Arizona. It was a bit of a culture shock at first to be in an area where most people viewed wolves differently than I did which only made me work harder to want to help and protect this species. I had many duties that varied everyday and even changed as the seasons did. My main job was to use radio telemetry to track collared wolves. I had a job… tracking wolves. No better job in the world! The experiences and memories that occurred everyday made me feel so privileged to have gotten the chance to work on the project. After leaving in late May, my main objective was to return to the wolves as soon as possible. By chance in the summer of 2012, I was hired by the U.S. Forest Service as a field technician in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico, part of the same study area as the wolves. I wasted no time in contacting friends on the wolf project to see if I could volunteer on my 3 days off from my full time job. With that, became the summer I didn’t get any sleep; the best summer of my life. It was a busy season with new packs being named, the Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire (the largest fire in NM history) roaring through the Gila, daily monitoring and trapping, trying to obtain pack visuals for pup counts, and conversing with landowners about wolf-related conflicts. I spent most of the summer monitoring the Dark Canyon pack whose territory was affected by the fire. Then towards the end of summer I was asked to focus my efforts on the San Mateo pack to try and obtain a pup count. At the time San Mateo was comprised of 3 collared wolves: AF903, AM1157, and m1249 (the lowercase “m” meaning he was younger than 24 months). Their home range consists of serene landscapes of open fields and mesas intermittently laced with pinion pine and juniper ascending into mountainous views of ponderosa pine and gambel oak trees—prime wolf real-estate. By this time in the summer wolves are using rendezvous sites, safe havens for the pack to hang out and for adults to leave the pups alone or with another pack-mate while others hunt and patrol their territory. These sites can change frequently depending on availability of food, water, and security. The first time I set out to locate San Mateo I found all three collared wolves, via telemetry, in one location on a small slope across a bowl-shaped field. I was on the opposing slope about ¾ of a mile away from where the telemetry was picking up the wolves’ signals. Between us was a field full of about 50 elk and 15 pronghorn, as well as a large group of ravens and turkey vultures flying up from where the wolves seemed to be. Ravens and turkey vultures in large numbers are the telltale signs there is a kill in the immediate area. Since my objective was to obtain pup visuals, I was uncertain if this was a rendezvous site or just a kill site from which the contents would be brought back to where ever the pups waiting. Not wanting to cross the field, most likely making myself fully visible to the wolves, or walk around it only to create chaos by disturbing the ungulates and possibly alarming the wolves, I left the area so they could eat in peace. The following day I returned with a trail camera and some smelly lure to attract any passersby. My thought was to find trails they were using and set up the camera to try obtaining pup pictures that way. The good news was all three telemetry signals were still in the area. With my binoculars I scoured the opposing slope for wolves but didn’t see any so I set out to check for tracks or scat and a good place for my camera. In no time, I found an old forest road that my map depicted as leading to a stock tank in the area where the wolves currently were. I began searching the road. Right away I found fresh adult wolf tracks. I couldn’t see the stock tank from my location and again was cautious about disturbing the wolves especially if there was a possibility of catching them on my camera. The last thing I wanted to do was make them move their rendezvous site because of my presence particularly since they were in a good location with lots of wild prey and water. I set up my camera with a view of the trail, put lure on a bush opposite the camera, and then went off to search for the Dark Canyon pack.

The next day I returned to check my camera. The wolves were still in the same vicinity too which led me to believe this really was their rendezvous site! As I flipped through the memory card I was disheartened to only see one lone coyote sniffing the lured bush. The day was young though and the sun was warming the surroundings as a gentle breeze blew in my direction, perfect for not spreading my scent towards the wolves. I was envisioning them just hanging out on the opposing slope, relaxing under a tree and the potential pups playing with each other. So I grabbed my binoculars from the truck, found a tree on my slope, and laid on my belly with my binocs focused towards the wolves. Almost immediately I saw AM1157 walking along the high end of the slope! He’s easily recognizable because of his large size. I was elated and eagerly followed him visually. When he disappeared behind a bush I began searching the hillside for more hidden wolves. They were there for sure, I just had to be patient. It’s funny how many objects can look like a wolf when you’re focusing so hard to find just one. About 40 minutes later I noticed a dark spot under a tree that had just emerged from the ground. It was a wolf sitting up! Then the tall grass next to it violently shook as 4 legs appeared flailing about in the air… another wolf laying on its back having a good scratch from the ground. I could barely breathe with my excitement; I didn’t want to move a muscle in case I missed something! The two wolves then got up and sauntered over to AM1157 who appeared from his hiding place. All three collared wolves then found another tree to lie down under and vanished by seemingly melting into the grass. I knew I had played my cards right by holding back and not pushing to get a visual. It’s not too often that wolves are in an open area where you have the chance to observe them without them seeing or smelling you. Over the next few hours I sat watch and enjoyed the occasional scent markings and changing of day beds made by these three wolves. They were so content and so was I. When a late afternoon rain storm came through I felt it was time to go. The wolves had gotten up too once more and walked single-file across the slope and then turned onto a well worn path that went upslope and trailed off into the distance. They followed each other upslope and as the last wolf in line was to disappear it abruptly stopped and looked back downslope. Suddenly 4 small furry creatures emerged from the grasses and bounded upslope to follow the rest of the pack. Four wolf pups—I was speechless. So many thoughts ran through me at once. I couldn’t believe it! I had just seen something that very few people in the world have ever had the opportunity to see. Not only had I spent the day watching Mexican gray wolves in their natural habitat but just as the day ended they revealed their pups which until that moment, no one even knew existed! The emotions I felt were so heavy and I found myself wishing that others could have seen what I saw especially those who view these wolves in such a negative light. The events that day made me feel as if I was truly a part of nature. I’d felt the warm sun, the cool breeze, the rain as it began to fall, and I’d seen the wolves. Upon returning to the office and writing the number “4” on the white board next to the pup counts for San Mateo, I felt very proud. Proud that I accomplished something I set out to do but even more so because I was a part of something bigger that had a common goal. It wasn’t just me hanging out watching wolves all day, it was all the years, the millions of people, organizations, agencies, zoos and sanctuaries, and concerned public who put time, effort, and money into this project because they shared in the argument that the wolves deserved to be there. All the people who wrote letters, made phone calls, donated, attended meetings, reached out to make their sentiments known and worked together to educate those who wrongfully viewed the lobos. That’s the best way to describe my emotions upon seeing those pups. I felt like I was representing everyone involved since the beginning and they were seeing them through my eyes too. The start of 2012 had presented a minimum population estimate of 58 wolves for the 2011 year. At such a small number, adding 4 to it is spectacular news. This past January was the annual helicopter capture which resulted in the 2012 year end minimum population estimate of 75 wolves! The highest count yet over these past 15 years and a big increase from the 2011 count. The lobos still need help and continued support though. Seventy-five wolves is a vast improvement in one year but it’s still not enough of a population boost to have a self-sustaining wild population without continued support and protection under the Endangered Species Act. So much has gone into reintroducing this subspecies, a symbol of the American Southwest and northern Mexico, and there is still a long road yet to be traveled. The most important advice I can give is to be a voice for the wolves. Advocate on their behalf, educate those people in need, and continue to raise awareness to the plight of the Mexican gray wolf. With that, the wolves will still having a fighting chance to continue reclaiming their historic range in which their own voices will still be heard.

Ambassador Wolf Atka Endorses #LoboWeek


Saturday, March 23, 2013

#LoboWeek - An International Movement To Celebrate a Milestone in Wolf Recovery

 
#LoboWeek - Join the Movement!

On March 29, 1998, 11 captive-reared Mexican gray wolves (Canis lupus baileyi) were released to the wild for the first time in the Blue Range Recovery Area of Arizona and New Mexico. Missing from the landscape for more than 30 years, the howl of the rarest and most unique subspecies of gray wolf, was once again greeted by the mountains of the southwest. This month, marks the 15th anniversary of this historic event, a significant milestone for the lobo and wildlife conservation. In recognition of the anniversary, the WCC is among the rapidly growing group of partners participating  #LoboWeek, an international movement to educate people about the Mexican wolf or "lobo" and our efforts to successfully restore this critically endangered wolf to its ancestral home in the wild.  

Become a Partner!
Starting today, we're enlisting Wildlife Organizations, Zoos, Advocacy Groups, Businesses, and individuals like you to come together with one common purpose - to raise awareness for the most genetically distinct subspecies of gray wolf in North America, the Mexican gray wolf. #LoboWeek is harnessing the power of social media to broaden our reach to and create a national moment. All week (March 23rd-30th) #LoboWeek partners are dedicating time to the lobo on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and other social media; offering information, fun facts, special events, contests and more. Visit the WCC #LoboWeek Toolkit page for logos and links to get you started.  

Help the WCC Help Create a Powerful Voice for the Lobo!
With the mission to raise awareness, we're turning our attention to "The Last Pack: A Return to the Wild" - a documentary in the making dedicated to restoring the Mexican gray wolf back to our wilderness. The film's focus is educating the public on the important role that wolves play in nature and how to coexist with this critically endangered species. During #LoboWeek (today - March 30th) the WCC will donate 50% of all WCC "Adopt-a-Wolf" (adoptions not limited to Mexican wolves) revenue to the help this film become a reality.  

The Lobo List - 15 Reasons Why the Lobo Should Remain Protected On March 20, 2013 the Arizona Game and Fish Commission voted to support a letter written by Senators Hatch (R-Utah) and Lummis (R-Wyo), a decision that could prove devastating for the recovery of the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi). In a unanimous decision, the commission voted to back an effort by Western lawmakers to strip federal protections for gray wolves nationwide. It is feared this move would include the rarest and most genetically distinct subspecies of gray wolf in North America, the lobo. In honor of the lobo's 15th anniversary, we're asking supporters to list 15 reasons why the lobo should remain protected. We encourage participants to be creative! Lists can be as simple as a grocery list or even in video format! Please send your lists (with a photo too) to maggie@nywolf.org. We also encourage supporters to send their Lobo Lists to their U.S. representative. Not sure of your congressional district or who your member is? Visit http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ to determine your congressional district and your member's website and contact page.  

Happy Howls and Gracias!

 nywolf.org/loboweek

nywolf.org/loboweek-events

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Arizona Commission Backs Mexican Gray Wolf Delisting


March 20, 2013 - The Arizona Game and Fish Commission voted to support a letter written by Senators Hatch (R-Utah) and Lummis(R-Wyo), a decision that will prove devastating for the recovery of the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi). In a unanimous decision, the commission voted to back an effort by Western lawmakers to strip federal protections for gray wolves nationwide. This would include the Mexican gray wolf, the rarest and most genetically distinct subspecies of gray wolf in North America. How this commission decided that this critically endangered species does not warrant protection boggles my mind. There are only 30+ wild wolves roaming the landscape of Arizona, hardly a robust population. The Mexican gray wolf, or lobo, has met countless unnatural challenges since their reintroduction, politics proving the most formidable.


At first I thought the timing of this decision was really unfortunate. You see on March 29, 1998, 15 years ago next week, 11 captive-reared lobos were released to the wild for the first time in the Blue Range Recovery Area of Arizona and New Mexico. Missing from the landscape for more than 30 years, the howl of the most unique subspecies of gray wolf was once again greeted by the mountains of the southwest. In recognition of this anniversary, organizations, zoos, individuals, and businesses are joining the #LoboWeek movement. It's a unique effort aiming to harness the collective power of a wild group of partners to celebrate the return of wolves to their ancestral home in the wild of the southwest with educational incentives, fun facts, contest, events, and more. As a #LoboWeek partner, the Wolf Conservation Center still aims to educate and celebrate an important milestone for the lobo and wildlife conservation, but I believe the movement will also become an attempt to expand our educational reach with the effort to empower our supporters with the understanding of their ability to force change. Stay tuned, #LoboWeek begins March 23rd.

More about #LoboWeek from the Huffington Post.
More about Arizona Game and Fish Commission's decision.

The Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi), or “lobo,” is the smallest, southernmost occurring, and most genetically distinct subspecies of gray wolf in North America. Aggressive predator control programs at the turn of the century all but exterminated the Mexican wolf from the wild. With the capture of the last 7 remaining wild Mexican wolves approximately 30 years ago, a captive breeding program was initiated helping to save the Mexican wolf from extinction. Today, the captive population consists of over 300 animals, and encompasses close to 50 zoos and wildlife facilities throughout the United States and Mexico.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Atka Busts a Move? Why Wolves Scent Roll



 During the weekend Atka helped dozens of families at the American Museum of Natural History's "Seeping at the Museum" program learn about the importance of his wild brothers and sisters. Members of the audience were prepared to meet a real wolf and to learn about his wild counterparts, however, they didn't expect to behold an extremely lively, strange, and adorable performance that reminded one child of a break-dance routine! Although we would love to believe that Atka has been secretly working on his urban dance moves, his behavior reflects the typical wolf (or dog) response to an introduction to a novel odor. Scent rolling is method for wolves to bring information back to the pack. When a wolf encounters a new scent, rolling often ensues so when that wolf returns home to his family, he can share his discovery. It's like bringing home a souvenir. Atka was especially excited about rolling in the peppermint oil he discovered at the museum, he rolled in it several times. Maybe he enjoys smelling minty-fresh?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Wolf Conservation Center's Atka Wants Michigan's Wolves Protected



With just 687 wolves in Michigan and more than 50 years spent to recover them, Ambassador Wolf Atka believes we need to keep Michigan wolves protected! The Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) is among the 119 other organizations across the country that endorse an advocacy movement sparked by the great folks from Keep Michigan's Wolves Protected. Please visit http://www.keepwolvesprotected.com/ to learn about a campaign that aims to place a referendum on the Michigan statewide ballot in 2014 that would allow voters to choose whether or not to enact the legislature's wolf hunting law.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Shades of Gray, Wolf-Style


“…the best wolf habitat resides in the human heart. You have to leave a little space for them to live.” - Ed Bangs (Former Wolf Recovery Coordinator U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Yellowstone: The "little space" wolves were given in 1995 and 1996 when the federal government gave the green light to return wolves to portions of their native range in the West. The reintroduction of gray wolves to our first national park has been described as a near-miracle, having occurred at one of those rare moments when stars align in the political sky. A wildlife conservation effort with such positive environmental impact (and ongoing controversy) will likely go unmatched for a long time. But with the support of the American public almost two decades ago, a new chapter in Yellowstone's history began, with a homecoming that changed the Park.

Over the past decade and a half, wolves have been a hot topic in the northern Rockies. Although they alone have drawn an abundance of tourists to Yellowstone, National Parks Service estimates that wolf watchers bring $35M tourism dollars to the greater Yellowstone area annually, many communities are extremely opposed to having this keystone species in their midst.  The polarized debate surrounding wolf management , politics, and the search for a middle ground is the subject of a new investigative TV special Shades of Gray: Living with Wolves, produced by Link TV’s environmental news magazine Earth Focus

 .

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Remembering Apache


 Three years ago today Apache, the alpha of our ambassador pack, passed away. His big howl and warm heart were instrumental in educating thousands of people and helping the Wolf Conservation Center develop. Those who knew him will never forget him.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Suspense is "Mounting!" Update on WCC's Lobo Lovebirds


Love is in the air and we’ve been doing our best to watch for encouraging behavior among our three breeding pairs. Our bashful couples are unlikely to display amorous behavior for a crowd of spectators, most romantic activities occur behind closed doors. Thankfully, we need not rely entirely on eyewitness accounts, Wolf Conservation Center staff and supporters have been spying on one couple via live WildEarth.tv webcam! Thanks to the webcam following Mexican wolves M805 and F837, we've been able to gauge how our elusive wolves are feeling. For weeks the pair showed no indication that breeding season had begun, perhaps they didn't get the memo?

A few days ago, however, things began to "heat up." Although we have yet to catch the lobos in a copulatory tie, we've seen plenty of flirting and attempts! Please help us keep an eye on the pair via webcam and if you see anything interesting let us know!


Remember, it's okay to watch -- it's science! Tune in here.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Glee Club Gone Wild

Grab your dog(s) and hunker down for this wild adventure for your ears! It's a diverse group of singers: 1 Arctic gray wolf (Atka), 2 Canadian/Rocky Mountain gray wolves (Alawa &Zephyr), 7 red wolves, 15 Mexican gray wolves and a woodpecker too! Let us know if you beast joins and enjoy.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Throwing Teachers and Students to the Wolves

 
Steeped in myth, the wolf has become a misunderstood predator and too often evokes fear. By providing science-based information, the Wolf Conservation Center allows wolves and humans to better coexist in our fragile environment, improve our efforts to successfully restore endangered wolves to their ancestral homes in the wild, and offer direct exposure to an elusive predator people might not ever see in the wild. The WCC education and Ambassador wolf programs open the door to understanding. People can experience the WCC’s educational message in two ways: onsite programs at the WCC in South Salem, NY, and offsite WCC programs in schools, museums, libraries, and nature centers throughout the Northeast. 

The WCC conducted 344 onsite education programs during 2012, an increase of 100 over our 2010 count! We also extended 157 offsite programs. In total, over 38,000 people experienced our programming and learned about the crucial role that wolves play in the environment while beholding an elusive predator they would not likely see in the wild. Although our education impact grows every year, we aim to widen the impact of our education efforts by integrating WCC programming into the curricula of schools currently beyond our reach. This morning, WCC's curriculum team made impressive strides in the development of a wolf curriculum designed to satisfy common core standards. The wolf is a charismatic subject and will serve as an ideal topic of interdisciplinary study. Thanks to the collaborative effort of a diverse group of 5 teachers (with almost 150 years of teaching experience collectively), some very lucky teachers and youngsters will benefit from a wonderfully wild approach to education! Stay tuned.