Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Strength of the Wolf is the Pack

Here's to You!

Every voice raised in support of wildlife and wild places can make a difference. And when we all work together we can make big things happen! It is because our pack, supporters and champions like YOU, that the Wolf Conservation Center has become a national leader in wolf education, advocacy and the protection of wolf populations in the wild.

So as we close 2015, we thank you for your support and rededicate ourselves to our mission. Because many challenges remain...

 \Wolves continue to be subjected to aggressive hunting and trapping in states where their federal protections have been lifted. Wild Mexican wolves and red wolves face serious recovery challenges that will affect their future success. Finally, if USFWS’ proposed national delisting rule is passed, it will threaten the recovery of recolonizing wolves that are just beginning to make a comeback in parts of their historic range.

But we won’t give up. The WCC sees a world where vibrant populations of wolves roam wild landscapes across the continent; where no species of wolf cowers on the edge of extinction; and where every child learns of, and respects, these essential creatures.

As a pack, we're making a difference. 

See you in 2016!


Monday, December 28, 2015

Celebrating The Endangered Species Act - 42 Years Strong



The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was passed 42 years ago today because Americans believed that protecting our wildlife was an obligation to future generations, our nation’s environmental health, our fellow creatures, and the heart of the American way of life. It included wildlife ranges and habitats irrespective of political boundaries because these habitats, which are vital to species survival, cross arbitrary lines.

With extinction there is no turning back, no second chance. Thankfully, the ESA has given thousands of at-risk species a second chance for over four decades and has worked successfully to prevent the extinction of 99% of the species placed under its protection.

Although the ESA is often considered the most successful piece of environmental legislation ever passed, it remains contested and controversial, particularly on the question of balancing economic and environmental health. Sadly, many of the industries and special interests responsible for the original habitat destruction which inspired the ESA have been fighting for years to destroy the Act itself, and have seized upon the wolf and other politicized species in need as the excuse to finally exterminate it.

In recognition of this milestone, join us in honoring the values Congress embraced four decades ago and rededicating ourselves to preserve the spirit and integrity of this robust and effective federal law. 

Thank you, Endangered Species Act.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Wolf Conservation Center Mourns Endangered Mexican Gray Wolf F749



Dear Friends,

It is with a heavy heart that I share sad news about a special wolf. Mexican gray wolf F749, nicknamed “Mama” and "Bella," passed away today. Although the F749 was rarely visible to Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) guests (she resided off-exhibit for most of her years) the beautiful loba crept into our homes and hearts via webcam, opening the door to understanding the importance of her endangered kin and our efforts to recover them. She was strong and spirited until earlier this month when her health began to decline. Yesterday, she was unable to get up for food. We had to euthanize her early this morning.

Her necropsy (autopsy for animals) revealed that her decline was the result of intussusception. Intussusception is basically the small intestine telescoping on itself causing a blockage. Kidney failure was the secondary cause.




F749 joined the WCC family in 2009. She was flown from her home at a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Pre-Release Facility in New Mexico's Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge to our center in New York on a cold December evening.

Because the entire existing Mexican wolf population descended from just seven founders rescued from extinction, genetic health is the primary consideration governing all breeding wolf pairings. During her time at the WCC, F749 was deemed one of the most genetically valuable Mexican gray wolves in the country. Thus she was chosen to breed annually despite her poor record for raising healthy litters. Her most recent pups born in 2013 were among the very few to survive, a likely result of being hand-raised and then placed with captive Mexican gray wolf foster parents. Today her sons remain potential parents themselves. Mexican wolf M1298 (a.k.a. Mack) is getting the opportunity to breed this season at the Endangered Wolf Center. In February 2015, F749 was spayed and her remaining viable eggs are currently being conserved for future use in the Mexican wolf in vitro fertilization program.

Our hearts go out to her companion M1198 (a.k.a. Alleno), her sons M1133 (Rhett) and M1059 (a.k.a. Diego), and those of you who she had unknowingly touched.

R.I.P. sweet loba.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Arctic Wolf Treat Under the Tree



Thursday, December 24, 2015

Happy Howlidays from the Wolf Conservation Center


'Tis the night before Christmas
And Santa is prowling
We know that he's close
'Cause the wolves are all howling!


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Happy Winter Solstice


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Wild Predators: The New Normal of City Life



Predators are turning up in cities everywhere, and living among us mostly without incident. It's the new normal of urban living. They're living among people partly because they have fewer alternatives. And they're adapting to urban life quickly. But are humans equally capable of adapting to their wild neighbors?

We hope so.

"So we should hardly be surprised that predators and people wind up living side by side in cities. Cities have always been the salvation of the homeless, the unwanted, the wretched and the despised. The difference now is that these refugees come to us not just on two legs, but on four."

Read more from: Bright Lights, Big Predators - via The New York Times

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Wolves Howl Most To Those They're Most Bonded



Did you know that wolves howl more frequently to members of their family with whom they spend more time? This suggests that there is a link between relationship quality and howling frequency!

Learn more.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wolf Riders Dropped From Omnibus Bill


We asked for your help and you heard our howls!

Congressional leaders unveiled a $1.15 trillion fiscal 2016 spending bill overnight and the bill is largely devoid of policy riders targeting wildlife including proposals to remove Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for gray wolves in Wyoming or the Great Lakes!

Every voice raised in support of wildlife and wild places can make a difference. And when we all work together we can make big things happen! None of this would have been possible without your support.

So as we close 2015, we thank you for this success and rededicate ourselves to our mission. Because many challenges remain...

But today... LET'S CELEBRATE!


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Family: For Wolves it's Not An Important Thing, It’s Everything.



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.

Read more of Gordon Haber’s Insights into Alaska’s Most Misunderstood Animal.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Study Concludes that Coyote Sterilization Program Successfully Safeguarding Red Wolf Genetics



A new study finds that using the “placeholder” concept to reduce genetic introgression of red wolves is working!

 A main threat to the last remaining wild red wolf population comes from coyotes, which mate with the wolves to produce fertile hybrids. A new study has concluded, however, that there is a solution! Biologists have successfully prevented coyotes from interbreeding with red wolves by sterilizing coyotes and allowing them to act as “placeholders” to occupy territory until they displaced by a wolf. 

Learn more: Efforts to prevent ‘coywolf’ hybrids is working, study finds via Science.

The question now is whether the 15-year placeholder plan will continue... The finding of this program's success comes as state and federal officials mull whether to terminate the red wolf recovery program in North Carolina and thus render the red

Monday, December 7, 2015

Critically Endangered Mexican Gray Wolf Born in Westchester, NY Released in the Wild



The Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) is celebrating a small victory this month on behalf of the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf!

The combined and ongoing efforts to support and grow the wild population Mexican gray wolves resulted in the release of six wolves (parents and four pups born this spring) into the wild in Mexico’s Sierra Madre Occidental! The adult male in the family, Mexican gray wolf “M1141,” was born at the WCC with the goal of wild release. “With this release, we are attempting to augment the breeding wolf population in Mexico and also expand its genetic diversity,” explained WCC director Maggie Howell. “The importance of a keystone predator such as the Mexican wolf to a balanced and resilient ecosystem is undeniable and we’re honored to be a part of the effort to preserve North America’s wild heritage.”

The seven-year-old is one of six Mexican wolves born at the WCC in 2008, and although an average of 10,000 guests visit the Center annually, visitors have never seen him. M1141 is among the fluctuating population of rare wolves who have lived off-exhibit within the WCC's 16-acre Endangered Species Facility - a natural environment where these incredibly elusive creatures can reside with minimal human contact. This setting and a strict diet of whole carcass road killed deer safeguards their natural behavior and best prepares the endangered wolves for a wild future.

Since 2003 the WCC has played a critical role in preserving and protecting these imperiled species through carefully managed breeding and reintroduction. To date, the WCC remains one of the largest holding facilities for Mexican gray wolves and three wolves from the Center have been given the extraordinary opportunity to resume their rightful place on the wild landscape.

The Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) or “lobo” is the most genetically distinct subspecies of gray wolves in the Western Hemisphere, and one of the most endangered mammals in North America. By the mid-1980s, hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the extinction of lobos in the wild, with only a handful remaining in captivity. In 1998, eleven wolves were reintroduced into the wild of Arizona as part of a federal reintroduction program under the Endangered Species Act. A second reintroduction project was initiated in the Sierra Madre Occidental of Mexico in October of 2011 and in the spring of 2014, the first pups in over 30 years were born in the wild of Mexico as a result of this new reestablishment effort. Today in the U.S., there remains a single wild population comprising only 109 individuals. Unfortunately artificial boundaries, state politics, and illegal killings continue to put recovery in a choke-hold.

The Wolf Conservation Center a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit environmental education organization located in South Salem, NY. The WCC is committed to conserving wolf populations in North America through science-based education programming and participation in the federal Species Survival Plans for the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf and red wolf. Through wolves the WCC teaches the broader message of conservation, ecological balance, and personal responsibility for improved human stewardship of our World.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Simulated Archaeological Site Research at the Wolf Conservation Center: The Bones that Got Away

Chew on this!

Archaeologists dig up other peoples’ trash to try to say something interesting about them. But often other creatures came between the people who discarded the trash in the past, and the archaeologists who dig the trash up today. These creatures were often carnivores, who found tasty tidbits in the food debris that people left behind.

 

At the Wolf Conservation Center, Prof. Tom Plummer from Queens College, City University of New York and students laid out deer bones to simulate the residues from an archaeological site. Meat was cut off the limb bones, vertebral segments, ribs, and girdle bones, and additionally the limb bones were broken open to remove fat-rich marrow. This mimicked the butchery practices of humans and human ancestors known from archaeological sites around the world. The fragments from these processed bones were laid out in a grid in the enclosures of the ambassador wolves, who were then given leave to eat what they wanted for several days. Once the wolves lost interest in the bones, they were collected by Plummer and his team. By comparing the bones that were laid out with the ones that were recovered after wolf snacking, Plummer will be able to assess how wolf activity altered the simulated archaeological site bone assemblage. This in turn will help Plummer infer how carnivore activity may have altered bone assemblages from prehistoric sites.

 Stay tuned!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Play Like a Wolf



Although the most famous form of wolf communication is howling, wolves "talk" to one another in several ways. Wolves use body language to convey the rules of the pack, communicate intentions, and also initiate fun! When seeking to play, wolves will dance and bow playfully. Playtime can also include a game of chase, jaw sparring, and varied vocalizations. For wolves, playtime isn’t only fun, it strengthens family bonds.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

You Heard Our Howls! Thank You!


You did it! Yesterday the Wolf Conservation Center invited you to be a part of Giving Tuesday and you heard our howls! Over 400 supporters helped the WCC raise $45,356 and meet our matching grant of $20,000! We are humbled by your support and incredibly grateful for the generous matching grant provided by the Toscano family that gave your gifts an even bigger impact.

Thanks again for your encouragement and your commitment to wolves, ecosystem education, species preservation, and environmental advocacy!

Ambassador Wolf Atka howls his gratitude too!


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

70 Scientists Recommend Continuing Federal Protection for Wolves Under the ESA



Via an open letter, seventy scientists and scholars have recommended continuing federal protection for wolves under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the Great Lakes region and beyond.

In the letter the authors state, “wolves in Great Lakes region should remain protected under the ESA at this time and until the legal requirements for delisting are met. Delisting is possible, if and when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service uses the best available science that justifies delisting. Currently it does not.”

Read the letter HERE.

For further information please contact any of the following authors:
  • Adrian Treves, PhD, (atreves@wisc.edu, 608-890-1450 or 608-770-6873), Associate Professor, Nelson Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI 53705, Carnivore Coexistence Researcher, knowledgeable about all aspects of the letter
  • Jeremy T Bruskotter, PhD, (bruskotter.9@osu.edu, 614-595-7036), Associate Professor of Environmental Sociology, The Ohio State University, knowledgeable about all aspects of the letter
  • William Lynn, PhD, (wlynn@clarku.edu, 508-395-7764), Research Scientist in the Marsh Institute at Clark University, Senior Fellow for Ethics and Public Policy at Loyola Marymount University, ethicist and social scientist, knowledgeable about ethics and public policy regarding wolf recovery.
  • Michael Paul Nelson, PhD, (mpnelson@oregonstate.edu, 541-737-9221), Ruth H. Spaniol Chair of Renewable Resources and Professor of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy at Oregon State University, environmental ethicist, lead Principle Investigator of the HJ Andrews Long-Term Ecological Research program, knowledgeable about all aspects of the letter.
  • John Vucetich, PhD, (javuceti@mtu.edu, 906-370-3282), Professor of Wildlife Ecology, Wolf Biologist, Leader of Isle Royale wolf-moose research, knowledgeable about all aspects of the letter

Donations to the Wolf Conservation Center Have Double the Impact On Giving Tuesday

Give Greater Today!

Why is Ambassador wolf Alawa smiling? Because it's Giving Tuesday! TODAY ONLY your donation to the Wolf Conservation Center will have double the impact thanks to a generous matching grant of $20,000 from the Toscano family!

DONATE HERE

Your Support is Critical.
Wolves continue to be subjected to aggressive hunting and trapping in states where protections have been lifted. Wild Mexican wolves and red wolves face serious recovery challenges that will affect their future success. Finally, the very law that is meant to protect endangered species - the Endangered Species Act - is under fire like never before.

But we won’t give up.
The WCC sees a world where vibrant populations of wolves roam wild landscapes across the continent; where no species of wolf cowers on the edge of extinction; and where every child learns of, and respects, these essential creatures.

So we need your help. Your critical support will help the WCC continue its commitment to ecosystem education, species preservation, and environmental advocacy!

THANK YOU!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Wolf More Frolicsome than Fearsome

CAUTION

Watch this video of 13-year-old Ambassador wolf Atka and your heart will be his.



Atka is a captive-born Arctic gray wolf at the Wolf Conservation Center, a 501c3 non-profit organization, in South Salem, NY. Atka is among the four 'ambassador wolves' at the WCC that help teach the public about wolves and their vital role in the environment.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thankful for You



We want to wish a very happy holiday to all our friends, including visitors to the Center or those who know us from afar; all those who have donated time, energy and resources to us; and our dedicated volunteers. We have a lot to be thankful for because we wouldn't be here if it weren't for all of you! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

When It Comes to Wolves, It's Feast or Famine



The term "feast or famine" refers to the diet of wolves and many other large predators. Prey isn't always abundant, so wolves have a metabolism that helps them store fat and energy for long periods while prey is scarce. The most a large gray wolf can eat at one time is about 22 pounds. That would be a great feast, but an adult can go almost two weeks without food, making up the "famine" part of their diet.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Wolves and the Public Trust



The wildlife in our country is owned by its citizens. This legal concept implies that we all share equal, undivided interests in our wild animals. The government holds wildlife in trust for our benefit and it is empowered to manage it for the public good.

Thus, regardless of where we live, we all have the responsibility to learn about the issues that affect wildlife and to share our newly gained knowledge with others so that our circle of influence continues to grow. If you live in a 'wolf state,' we hope you actively participate in the debate. If you don't live in a 'wolf state,' we hope you participate in citizen campaigns across the country via calls, letters, etc. and urge others to join you. We all can vote for the candidates that reflect our values, and we can support our favorite organizations with our time, our talents and/or our contributions, too.

The greatest danger to the future of wolves and all wildlife is apathy. As always, we appreciate your help and active support. Thank you.

Predators and the public trust
  By Adrian Treves1, Guillaume Chapron, JoseV.L´opez-Bao, Chase Shoemaker, Apollonia R. Goeckner and Jeremy T. Bruskotter

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Wolves Get Off On the Right Feet!



With blocky feet and long pliable toes that conform to uneven terrain, wolves are well adapted to long-distance travel. The paws of a wolf are large, almost the size of an adult human hand, and thus able to perform like snowshoes carrying wolves effortlessly atop the crusty layer of deep snow.

Friday, November 20, 2015

My...What Big Teeth Wolves Have!


Wolves have 42 teeth. There are 20 teeth in the upper jaw (6 incisors, 2 canine, 8 premolars, and 4 molars), and 22 teeth in the lower jaw (6ncisors,2 canine, 8 premolars, and 6 molars). The canine teeth, or fangs, can be 2.5 inches long and are used for puncturing and gripping their prey. The front incisors are for nibbling small pieces of meat off the bone; the sharp carnaissial teeth work like scissors to sheer meat away from bones. Molars are for grinding and crushing.

They also make for a wild toothy grin!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Let Wolves Continue To Recover



By Maggie Howell / Executive Director, Wolf Conservation Center
Thursday, November 19th, 2015
Originally published by Albuquerque Journal

As representatives of facilities that breed endangered Mexican gray wolves in captivity in order to help re-establish this unique subspecies of the gray wolf in the wild, we urge the New Mexico Game Commission to allow the Ladder Ranch in Sierra County to resume holding wolves in pens that are remote from human contact.

The Ladder Ranch is one of only three Mexican gray wolf pre-release facilities in the U.S. Adjoining the eastern boundary of the Aldo Leopold Wilderness within the Gila National Forest, Ladder Ranch is uniquely situated to assist federal authorities in the recovery of Mexican wolves.

Through the generosity of owner Ted Turner, ever since reintroduction began in 1998 the Ladder Ranch’s secure pens and dedicated personnel have saved taxpayers money by holding wolves immediately after their removal from the wild and before releases into the wild.

The New Mexico Game Department’s May 7 denial of the Ladder Ranch’s permit to continue holding wolves – which the game commission is expected to uphold or overturn today in Roswell – comes just when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is finally, after 15 years of reviews and public meetings, poised to release captive-bred wolves into the Gila.

We do not speak for Ladder Ranch, but as partners in the American Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan we have long worked to breed Mexican wolves. Captive breeding kept the Mexican wolf from going extinct after the last five wolves were caught alive in Mexico between 1977 and 1980.

Three of these were successfully bred, and in 1995 their descendants were bred with those of four other Mexican wolves captured previously and until then maintained separately. By that time, there were no Mexican wolves known in the wild.

Recovery of the Mexican wolf must occur in the wild, and that is consistent with the Endangered Species Act’s first statement of purpose to conserve the ecosystems on which endangered species depend.

Wolves help maintain the health of their ecosystem through honing the fitness of the animals they seek as prey, ensuring the most alert and best runners pass on their genes; through keeping elk moving rather than sedentary and browsing on saplings along streams; through providing carrion for scavenging animals such as eagles and bears; and through controlling the number of coyotes, which the wolves regard as competitors, and thus helping keep smaller species of animals from over-predation by coyotes.

Mexican wolves in the wild face not only illegal shootings but also inbreeding from too few animals with few choices of mates. Inbreeding results in smaller litter sizes and fewer pups surviving to adulthood — one reason only eight breeding pairs of wolves survive in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico.

The solution is a resumption of releases that dwindled to just four captive-bred animals let go during the entirety of the Obama administration thus far. The Ladder Ranch’s facilities and personnel that have held over 90 wolves since reintroduction began, and its proximity to the recovery area, make it a trusted partner for federal biologists in both releasing and removing wolves.

Notwithstanding that in 2011 the New Mexico Game Commission withdrew from the cooperative interagency wolf management team, ceding the state’s place at the decision-making table, the commission should now affirm the value of cooperation and philanthropy in endangered species recovery.

Approving Ladder Ranch’s permit to hold wolves would demonstrate that these appointees of Gov. Susana Martinez recognize the broad public support for Mexican wolf recovery in New Mexico, nationwide and internationally, and do not want to get in the way of federal officials accepting the help that the Ladder Ranch continues to offer.

Also signed by Erin Hunt, director of operations, California Wolf Center; Virginia Busch, executive director, Endangered Wolf Center, Eureka, Mo.; and Darlene Kobobel, founder and CEO, Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center. The Wolf Conservation Center is in South Salem, N.Y.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Wolf Conservation Center Among Conservation Groups Calling for Veto of Extinction Riders


 
Letter Asks President Obama to Reject Attacks on the Endangered Species Act

The Wolf Conservation Center is among the 150 conservation groups that have signed a letter to President Obama asking him to oppose all policy “riders” that would undermine the Endangered Species Act during negotiations on final funding legislation for Fiscal Year 2016.

Congressional attacks on the Endangered Species Act and other critical environmental protections have increased with alarming frequency in recent years, and both the Senate and the House of Representatives included a record number of riders that weaken the Endangered Species Act in appropriations bills to fund the Department of the Interior for Fiscal Year 2016. These riders would remove vital protections for species at risk of extinction, prevent future protection for imperiled species, and otherwise dramatically undermine the Endangered Species Act.

This letter follows two recent letters from both the House and the Senate in which 92 members of the House and 25 senators, respectively, urged the president to steadfastly reject all riders that undermine the Endangered Species Act in Fiscal Year 2016 spending legislation.

From the conservation groups’ letter released today:

“The conservation challenges America faces today are far greater and more complex than they were when the Endangered Species Act was enacted over four decades ago. We face the reality of climate change and other enormous threats to our planet’s biodiversity—which in turn threaten our own survival as a species. Scientists predict that as many as 30 to 50 percent of all species could be heading toward extinction by mid-century.[1] Clearly, now is not the time to weaken the best tool our nation has to combat the planet’s sixth great wave of extinction.”

“As your Administration works with Congress to negotiate the Fiscal Year 2016 omnibus appropriations bill, we urge you to flatly reject all riders that undermine the Endangered Species Act in any way, including weakening or preventing protection for specific species. These harmful measures have no place in the appropriations context and only serve to chip away at one of America’s most popular and effective environmental laws. We look forward to working with your Administration to uphold the Endangered Species Act, continuing the legacy of conservation for which this great country is known.”

While Western governors, Congressional leaders, and lobbyists have spoken for major corporations and special interests, YOUR individual voice as a voting American counts just as much. Please urge your representatives to protect and preserve one of our nation's most effective environmental laws!

Please TAKE ACTION

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Why Do Wolves' Eyes Glow In the Dark?


Eyes that glow in the pitch-black night make for many a scary tale. But why do wolves' eyes glow in the dark?

Wolves have a special light-reflecting surface right behind their retinas called the tapetum lucidum that helps animals see better in the dark. When light enters the eye, it's supposed to hit a photoreceptor that transmits the information to the brain. But sometimes the light doesn't hit the photoreceptor, so the tapetum lucidum acts as a mirror to bounce it back for a second chance.

Learn more via NPR


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Lady Howls the Blues


She never sings a song the same way twice...

Alawa is a captive-born Canadian/Rocky Mountain gray wolf at the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC), a 501c3 non-profit environmental education organization, in South Salem, NY. She is one of the four 'ambassador wolves' at the WCC that help teach the public about wolves and their vital role in the environment.

If you want to watch Zephyr, Alawa, Atka or the WCC's critically endangered Mexican gray wolves in live time, visit our live WOLF WEBCAMS .

If you see something cool, let us know!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Conservation Groups Taking U.S. Fish and Wildlife To Court Over Red Wolves


Conservation groups filed a complaint late yesterday in the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina against the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for its failure to protect the world’s only wild population of red wolves and its illegal action in authorizing the killing of a breeding female red wolf.

They criticize USFWS, the very agency charged by federal law with protecting the endangered species, for failing to undertake the legal analysis required by the ESA and for its active role in allowing the illegal take of additional red wolves.

The conservation groups involved in the litigation include the Red Wolf Coalition,Defenders of Wildlife and the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), and are represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC).

More...

Red wolves remain among the world’s most endangered species. The current estimate puts the only wild population of red wolves at their lowest level (50 – 75) since the late 1990s.

Only one place on the planet are wild red wolf populations viable and secure – North Carolina. But the state’s Wildlife Resources Commission has asked USFWS to terminate the red wolf recovery program there, a move which would inevitably result in the loss of the last wild population of red wolves and render the species extinct in the wild.

While USFWS continues to review the program, it has halted all captive-to-wild releases and management activity critical to the success of this recovery program.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Rider Roundup: An Overview of Anti-ESA Riders – Day Eight

RIDER ROUNDUP #8

In Day Eight of the ‪#‎RiderRoundup‬, we introduce another anti-environment rider -- just one of many that seek to gut the Endangered Species Act and block its protections for wolves & other imperiled species.

H.R. 884 - To direct the Secretary of the Interior to reissue final rules relating to listing of the gray wolf in the Western Great Lakes and Wyoming.

This bill overturns two federal court decisions that reinstated federal protections for the gray wolf in four states thus opening the door to trophy hunting of wolves in the regions.The bill also waives judicial review for the reissuance of rules.

Please TAKE ACTION by urging your representatives to PROTECT the ESA and to oppose any legislation that takes aim at imperiled wildlife!

Thank you to all who have already participated in this action alert!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Rider Roundup: An Overview of Anti-ESA Riders – Day Seven

RIDER ROUNDUP #7

Despite the success and public support of the Endangered Species Act, some members of Congress have introduced dozens of anti-ESA riders that seek gut the ESA and block its protections for wolves & other imperiled species. 

In Day Seven of the #RiderRoundup, we introduce another anti-environment rider:

S. 1142 - Native Species Protection Act

This bill would prevent “intrastate species,” meaning species found entirely within the borders of one state, from being regulated under the ESA.

Please TAKE ACTION by urging your representatives to PROTECT the ESA and to oppose any legislation that takes aim at imperiled wildlife!

Thank you to all who have already participated in this action alert!

A Wild Salute

Howls of Thanks

"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

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Rider Roundup: An Overview of Anti-ESA Riders – Day Six


RIDER ROUNDUP #6

In Day Six of the ‪#‎RiderRoundup‬, we introduce another anti-environment rider-- just one of many that seek to gut the Endangered Species Act and block its protections for wolves & other imperiled species.

Sec. 110 of (S. 1645) Senate Interior Appropriations Bill of 2016; Gray Wolves

This provision would legislatively order the Secretary of the Interior to END federal protections for gray wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes states and thus allow trophy hunting of wolves to resume within these regions. To add insult to injury, Section 110 includes “no judicial review” clauses thus prohibiting any legal challenge.

Please TAKE ACTION by urging your representatives to PROTECT the ESA and to oppose any legislation that takes aim at imperiled wildlife!

Thank you to all who have already participated in this action alert!

Budding Conservationist Celebrates Wolves Through Art



Howls of thanks to 10-yr-old Madeline Convy - a young conservationist creating a brighter future by celebrating wolves through art! The dynamo has a passion for wolves and is working hard to inspire others to better understand the importance of predators in our world. Thank you, Madeline, for taking on environmental projects with great energy and imagination. You exemplify the great potential of your generation to make our world a better place!

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Rider Roundup: An Overview of Anti-ESA Riders – Day Five

RIDER ROUNDUP #5

Despite the success and public support of the Endangered Species Act, some members of Congress have introduced dozens of anti-ESA riders that seek gut the ESA and block its protections for wolves & other imperiled species.

In Day Five of the ‪#‎RiderRoundup‬, we introduce another anti-environment rider--- one of many that seek to gut the Endangered Species Act and block its protections for wolves and other imperiled species.

H. Amdt. 611 (H.R. 2822) House Interior Appropriations Bill of 2016; Gray Wolves

This provision blocks the protection of gray wolves in WA, OR and UT under the ESA, thwarting recovery efforts in three states with suitable habitat where gray wolves are just beginning to repopulate.

Please TAKE ACTION by urging your representatives to PROTECT the ESA and to oppose any legislation that takes aim at imperiled wildlife!

Thank you to all who have already participated in this action alert!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Wolf Conservation Center’s Endangered Red Wolves get a Clean Bill of Health


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.

Last Friday we completed the last of three health checks and all the “patients,” eleven red wolves, are in great health! In addition to the health exams, we also moved the wolves around. The Wolf Conservation Center currently houses two groups of red wolves - the multi-generational family of nine made popular by the WCC webcams live in one enclosure and the original matriarch of that family, Grandma F1397 (“Witch hazel”), and her companion, red wolf M1566, live in another. The two groups swapped enclosures so F1397 now resides in the familiar site where she raised her two boys, M1803 (Moose) and M1804 (Thicket). Thus red wolf family of nine will are no longer visible via webcam. However, this is TEMPORARY!



Thanks to supporters (including many of you!) we will have new webcams installed and streaming soon. A new dencam is already installed and we hope to have it streaming any day now. The second webcam is in the mail! So while some adjustment is required of the webcam community, viewers are now able to enter the secret life of the female red wolf who started it all. We hope everyone enjoys getting to know her (and her hubby!), we're hoping the pair will have pups this spring! So hold tight, cross your paws and before you know it you'll be able to tune in and visit all the red wolves who call the WCC home.

Howls of thanks to Pound Ridge Veterinary Center's Dr Renee Bayha for donating her time and expertise!

The Rider Roundup: An Overview of Anti-ESA Riders – Day Four

Rider Roundup #4

In Day Four of the ‪#‎RiderRoundup‬, we introduce another anti-environment rider- one of many that seek to gut the Endangered Species Act and block its protections for wolves & other imperiled species.

H. Amdt. 628 (H.R. 2822) House Interior Appropriations Bill of 2016; ESA Status Review

This provision blocks ESA protections for listed species if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does not complete its 5-year review on time as required by the law. The agencies are often prevented from completing these reviews on time due to lack of funding, or due to competing priorities, thus this amendment would devastate conservation and recovery efforts.

 Please TAKE ACTION by urging your representatives to PROTECT the ESA and to oppose any legislation that takes aim at imperiled wildlife!

Thank you to all who have already participated in this action alert!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Rider Roundup: An Overview of Anti-ESA Riders – Day Three

RIDER ROUNDUP #3

Despite the success and public support of the Endangered Species Act, some members of Congress have introduced dozens of anti-ESA riders that seek gut the ESA and block its protections for wolves & other imperiled species. 

In day three of the #RiderRoundup, we introduce another anti-environment rider- that seek gut the Endangered Species Act and block its protections for wolves and other imperiled species.

H.R. 2822 (Sec 121) House Interior Appropriations Bill of 2016; Gray Wolf

This provision would legislatively order the Secretary of the Interior to end federal protections for gray wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes states and thus allow trophy hunting of wolves to resume within these regions. To add insult to injury, Section 121 includes “no judicial review” clauses thus prohibiting any legal challenge.

Please TAKE ACTION by urging your representatives to PROTECT the ESA and to oppose any legislation that takes aim at imperiled wildlife!

Thank you to all who have already participated in this action alert!

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Rider Roundup: An Overview of Anti-ESA Riders - Day Two

RIDER ROUNDUP #2

Despite the success and public support of the Endangered Species Act, some members of Congress have introduced dozens of anti-ESA riders that seek gut the ESA and block its protections for wolves & other imperiled species.

On Day Two of the #RiderRoundup, we introduce:

H.R. 2910 - Mexican Wolf Transparency and Accountability Act. 

If passed, this rider will remove ESA protections from the Mexican gray wolf – the most endangered gray wolf in North America.

The Mexican gray wolf or “lobo” is one of the most endangered mammals in North America. By the mid-1980s, hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the extinction of lobos in the wild, with only a handful remaining in captivity. In 1998 the wolves were reintroduced into the wild as part of a federal reintroduction program under the ESA. Today in the U.S., there is a single wild population comprising only 109 individuals. If the lobo is ever to recover it must remain protected under the ESA.

Please TAKE ACTION by urging your representatives to PROTECT the ESA today!

Thank you to all who have already participated in this action alert!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Wolf Conservation Center Welcomes Endangered Mexican Wolves

After a long drive from the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, NY, Mexican gray wolf brothers M1058, M1059, and M1060 (Chico, Diego, and Durango) were introduced to their new home at the Wolf Conservation Center under the setting sun.



The Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) or “lobo” is the most genetically distinct lineage of wolves in the Western Hemisphere, and one of the most endangered mammals in North America. By the mid-1980s, hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the extinction of lobos in the wild, with only a handful remaining in captivity. In 1998 the wolves were reintroduced into the wild as part of a federal reintroduction program under the Endangered Species Act. Today in the U.S., there is a single wild population comprising only 109 individuals.

The Rider Roundup - An Overview of Anti-ESA Riders

RIDER ROUNDUP #1

Despite its success and public support, the Endangered Species Act is under attack like never before. Some members of Congress have introduced dozens of Riders that seek to gut the ESA, block its protections for wolves, other imperiled species and habitat, and obstruct our ability to enforce this robust federal law.

Over the coming days we'll be introducing some of the anti-ESA riders one by one. We encourage you to TAKE ACTION by urging your representatives to PROTECT the ESA!

H.R. 843 - Western Great Lakes Wolf Management Act of 2015:

If passed, this rider strips all federal protections from gray wolves in MN, WI, and MI and thus allows trophy hunting of wolves to resume in those states.

To add insult to injury, the rider includes “no judicial review” clause which prevents any legal challenge.

Please Take Action 

Thank you to all who have already participated in this action alert!

 ‪#‎RiderRoundup‬

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Call the White House to Protect Endangered Species


Stand up for the Endangered Species Act (ESA)! Make a difference now by urging President Obama to oppose anti-ESA provisions in must-pass spending bills.

Can you make a phone call to the White House and urge President Obama to stand up for existing protections for wolves and other imperiled species? Here’s the phone number to call:

Call the White House at (202) 456-1111 and ask to leave a message for President Obama.

When you call, you don’t need to say a lot - just let them know your name, where you’re calling from, and this main message: Hello. My name is [Full Name] from [City and State]. I respectfully request that President Obama reject all policy “riders” in government spending legislation that undermine the Endangered Species Act.

Please consider taking action online too.

Thank you!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Empowered Kids Making Change!



At the heart of the Wolf Conservation Center's core values is its belief that education can be a positive catalyst for change! Through wolves, we aim not only to teach people about the importance and plight of wolves in North America, we also strive to teach the broader message of conservation and one's personal responsibility for improved human stewardship of our World. We extend education programming always with the effort to link the wolf to global issues and empower our participants with the understanding of their ability to force change. Perhaps this is why it's is so exciting to discover how the educators at Lakeview Elementary School have been granting youngsters with the ability to change the world by introducing them to the power of philanthropy and service.

The inspiring fifth grade students from Mahopac, NY created their “WORKING FOR WOLVES PROJECT” whereby they performed at home “ 4 Good Deeds for $1.”

The kids filled in their “Wolf paw” listing the 4 good deeds that they did at home. Deeds included “helped my little sister with homework,” “helped my neighbor carry her groceries,” “swept the kitchen with Daddy,” etc… Upon completion of the deeds and “good deeds paw,” parents paid their children one dollar.



On Friday the students attended the WCC’s “Wolves of North America” presentation and by the program’s end, surprised the Center’s staff by presenting us with a donation of $1,210!

So it is our pleasure to send LOUD howls of gratitude to these pint-sized philanthropists. With kids like these, the future is looking bright.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Howl-o-ween!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Mexican Wolves Meet with a Kiss

Two weeks ago the Wolf Conservation Center welcomed an new member to the family - Mexican gray wolf F1226!

Since her arrival, the 4-year-old is beauty has been settling in adjacent to Mexican wolf M1133 (aka Rhett) to allow the pair to get to know one another through the enclosure's dividing fence. Well yesterday the pair were officially introduced to one another and it appears they have good chemistry! This is a good thing as we hope they will make a valuable contribution to the recovery of their rare species by having pups next spring.


Our webcams were trained on the couple during their very first moments together. Big thanks to one of the a dedicated members of the WCC webcam community for sharing capturing these moments.

Genetic diversity is the primary consideration in the selection of Mexican wolf breeding pairs. The Species Survival Plan (SSP) management group for the Mexican gray wolf determines which wolves should be bred each year by using software developed for the population management of endangered species. This is necessary because all Mexican wolves descended from just 7 founders rescued from extinction.

We won’t know the outcome of their union until “pup season” in April or May. But in the meantime, tune in to their LIVE webcam and let us know if you see anything interesting!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Protect the Endangered Species Act



Controversial efforts are being made to reform the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Congressional lawmakers and Western governors want to legislatively overhaul the law as it relates to habitat and species recovery. Critical habitat must be preserved for species survival and recovery, and the suggested modifications can potentially lead to the piecemeal destruction of essential landscapes to benefit big industry.

For a comprehensive review, please click here.

The ESA was passed in 1973 because Americans believed that protecting our wildlife was an obligation to future generations, our nation’s environmental health, our fellow creatures, and the heart of the American way of life. It included wildlife ranges and habitats irrespective of political boundaries because these habitats, which are vital to species survival, cross arbitrary lines. Today, many politicians have forgotten the values Congress embraced four decades ago, and they now attempt to undermine one of most successful bipartisan pieces of legislation our country has ever adopted.

With extinction there is no turning back, no second chance.  Thankfully, the ESA has given thousands of at-risk species a second chance for over four decades and has worked successfully to prevent the extinction of 99% of the species placed under its protection.  A national poll conducted this year found that the Endangered Species Act is supported by 90% of American voters.

Despite its success and public support, the ESA is under attack like never before.  Some members of Congress have introduced dozens of legislative proposals that seek to gut the ESA, block its protections for wolves, other imperiled species and habitat, and obstruct our ability to enforce this federal law.

Please urge your congressional representative and senators to preserve the spirit and integrity of this robust federal law and to oppose any legislation that takes aim at imperiled wildlife!

TAKE ACTION

This action is open to U.S. residents only.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Critically Endangered Wolves Get A Clean Bill of Health



Autumn is here, the season for pumpkin spice and annual medical exams for the Wolf Conservation Center’s critically endangered wolves. 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.

In order to examine each wolf, we 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. We administer vaccinations, take blood samples, and record their heart rate, temperate and weight.


Friday was the second of three health examination days and we're happy to report that all 4 wolves we examined (Mexican gray wolves F986, M804, F749 and M1198) appear to be in good health! 


Mexican wolves F986 and M804 have an exciting season ahead. Next month the pair will be transferred to a new home – Arizona’s Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center where the couple will be given a chance to breed. Although WCC staff and volunteers will be sad to see them go, we’re elated that the wolves will be given the opportunity to make a priceless contribution to the recovery of their rare species.

Big thanks to our great team of volunteers who came out for the task, to WCC's generous veterinarian, Kim Khodakhah, DVM from Miller-Clark Animal Hospital, and Mexican gray wolves who are unknowingly contributing to the recovery of their at-risk species.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Red Wolf vs. Night Intruder


A family of critically endangered red wolves living at the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) attempts to defend their turf from a trespassing camera and tripod. By nature wolves are very territorial animals and will defend the area in which the family lives, hunts and raises its offspring from other wolves.

The red wolf is one of the world’s most endangered wild canids. Once common throughout the southeastern United States, red wolf populations were decimated by the 1960s due to intensive predator control programs and loss of habitat. A remnant population of red wolves was found along the Gulf coast of Texas and Louisiana. After being declared an endangered species in 1973, efforts were initiated to locate and capture as many wild red wolves as possible. Of the 17 remaining wolves captured by biologists, 14 became the founders of a successful captive breeding program. Consequently, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service declared red wolves extinct in the wild in 1980.

By 1987, enough red wolves were bred in captivity to begin a restoration program on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern North Carolina.

The current estimate puts the only wild population of red wolves at their lowest level (50 – 75) since the late 1990s.

North Carolina remains the only place on the planet where wild red wolf populations are viable and secure.  But the state’s Wildlife Resources Commission has asked U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to terminate the red wolf recovery program there, a move which would inevitably result in the loss of the last wild population of red wolves and render the species extinct in the wild.

While USFWS, the very agency charged by federal law with protecting the endangered species, continues to review the program, it has halted all captive-to-wild releases and management activity critical to the success of this recovery program.

Please sign the petition to urge USFWS to restore the Red Wolf Recovery Program.

Sign here.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Wolf Conservation Center Welcomes New Mexican Wolf to the Pack!



The Wolf Conservation Center family just got a little bigger! Yesterday Mexican gray wolf F1226 arrived safe and sound after a seamless day of travel.

The 4-year-old is currently settling in adjacent to Mexican wolf M1133 (aka Rhett) to allow the pair to get to know one another through the enclosure's dividing fence. They'll be officially introduced to one another later this season in hope that they will make a valuable contribution to the recovery of their rare species by having pups this spring.

Genetic diversity is the primary consideration in the selection of Mexican wolf breeding pairs. The Species Survival Plan (SSP) management group for the Mexican gray wolf determines which wolves should be bred each year by using software developed for the population management of endangered species. This is necessary because all Mexican wolves descended from just 7 founders rescued from extinction.

We won’t know the outcome of their union until “pup season” in April or May. But in the meantime, throw back your head and let out a long welcoming howl for the newest member of the WCC family!

Mexican Wolves To Receive the Call of the Wild



Some GOOD news! In a direct snub to state officials, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday that it will release about 10 Mexican gray wolves into the wilds of southwestern New Mexico, even though state game officials have refused to issue a permit for the action.

Although the NM Game Commission has repeatedly sought to obstruct Mexican gray wolf recovery, it is the USFWS's obligation under the law to recover this species, and reintroductions into the wild from the more genetically diverse captive population are an essential part of that recovery process.

USFWS's decision comes after pressure from 43 groups including the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) along with scientists to call on Interior Secretary Jewell to hasten the release of endangered Mexican gray wolves in New Mexico. In a letter, we emphasized the urgency of the issue, pointing out that federal biologists and independent scientists have repeatedly made clear that without such releases, wolf inbreeding will worsen — crippling chances of recovery.

The WCC participates in the federal SSP recovery programs for the Mexican gray wolf and the red wolf, two of the rarest mammals in North America. Both species at one time were completely extinct in the wild.

Since 2003 the WCC has played a critical role in preserving and protecting these imperiled species through carefully managed breeding and reintroduction. To date, the WCC remains one of the three largest holding facilities for these rare species and four wolves from the Center have been given the extraordinary opportunity to resume their rightful place on the wild landscape.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Raising Awareness for Wolves With Webcams


Year round, visitors to the Wolf Conservation Center enjoy meeting Ambassador wolves Atka, Alawa, Zephyr, and Nikai, but the WCC is actually home to 26 wolves! Most of the WCC’s “other” 22 wolves, both Mexican gray wolves and red wolves, reside off-exhibit, but not necessarily out of view! Unbeknownst to the some of the wolves, live webcams invite an unlimited number of viewers to enter their private lives.

Before breeding season begins this winter, the WCC hopes to install three additional webcams and we need your help.

Webcams offer an opportunity for WCC staff to better care for wolves in their charge, raise awareness for an animal many may never see, and engage a global audience to become interested and active in wolf survival.

If you are able, please consider making a donation to help us in this effort. Every penny helps!

DONATE HERE

(Please add "webcam" in donation comment field) Thank you!

Why Webcams?

Year round, webcams offer a big contribution to our efforts.

The WCC participates in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) and Recovery Plan for the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupis baileyi) and the red wolf (Canis rufus), which are among the rarest mammals in North America. Both species at one time were completely extinct in the wild. Under the aegis of the Endangered Species Act, reintroduction efforts in the past two decades have established small, wild populations of about 50-75 red wolves and 110 Mexican grays.

Organizations participating in the SSP are tasked with housing and caring for the wolves, collaborating in the captive breeding program, and sharing observations and recommendations for release.

Wolves are naturally fearful of people, and a number of the WCC’s SSP wolves are candidates for release. Maintaining their timidity around people is essential if we want them to have a good chance of survival when they are released into the wild. Our SSP facility provides a natural environment where these most elusive creatures can reside with minimal human contact. Although this setting safeguards the natural behavior of these wolves, it also poses a great husbandry challenge for our staff: How to care for animals that we rarely see?

In the spirit of George Orwell’s “1984,” the WCC uses webcams to observe food and water intake and monitor the physical well-being of each wolf without the animals’ knowledge. The cameras allow staff to study family dynamics and thus make the best recommendations with respect to which wolves are most suitable for release.

The cameras also give an unlimited number of viewers an opportunity to learn about these critically endangered species and our efforts to recover them. Thanks to the webcams, the Center’s educational reach far exceeds the boundary of its gates in South Salem, NY! The webcams have been wildly popular among people (and cats?) all around the world!

So sit back, relax, and enter the private lives of these fascinating creatures.

TUNE IN!