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.