Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Our tax-dollars at work... Paying to kill wolves to protect cows on public lands.

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Profanity Peak Wolf Pack Update: 6 wolves down, 5 to go. Washington state's wildlife agents have already killed six wolves and are searching for the rest of the pack. Two members of the pack were destroyed by aerial kill teams in early August, but wildlife agents are still hunting five members of the pack, which include pups. More.

Wolves are listed as endangered in Washington; there are roughly 90 wolves in the state. It is important to note that the Diamond M Ranch livestock operator ELECTED to turn out his cattle on Profanity Peak pack’s den site. For the third time in four years, the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife is exterminating a wolf pack to protect Len McIrvin’s cattle, a, Washington State University researcher says, after the rancher turned his animals out right on top of the Profanity Peak pack’s den.


Petition: Tell Governor Inslee to prevent further killing of the Profanity Peak pack.
Sign here.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Time Out For Trumpet


Beyond knowing how to push her mom's buttons, the almost 4-month old kiddo is essential to the recovery of her critically endangered species! Take action to ensure Mexican gray wolves remain protected.

Take action here.

On July 13, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two anti-wolf amendments (riders) to the Interior Appropriations bill - the federal spending bill that funds the Department of the Interior, the EPA and the U.S. Forest Service. The anti-wolf provisions are among some 45 amendments, many of them intended to stymie endangered species listings, new regulations on oil and gas drilling and new attempts to protect federal land.

The Newhouse (R-WA) National Wolf Delisting Amendment will block all Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for gray wolves (with the exception of the Mexican wolf) in the continental United States by 2017. While the return of gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains and the Great Lakes has been an incredible success story, this iconic American species still only occupies a small portion of its former range and wolves have only just started to re-enter areas like northern California, where there are large swaths of suitable habitat. By stripping federal protections from wolves nationwide, wolves in historically occupied areas like the southern Rockies and Northeast, may never be able to establish viable populations despite suitable habitat and availability of prey. A national delisting for wolves would reverse the incredible progress that the ESA has achieved for this species over the past few decades and once again put the gray wolf at risk of extirpation.

Pearce (R-NM) Mexican Gray Wolf Delisting Amendment will remove federal protections for the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf under the ESA even though a mere 97 remain in the wild. It will also limit recovery to the Mexican wolf’s “historic range,” a range that the supporters of this legislation interpret as “90% in Mexico.” Hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the initial extinction of Mexican gray wolves in the wild. If passed into law, this amendment will force lobos to face extinction again, but this time at the hands of Congress.

Although the House of Representatives approved the Dept. of Interior’s 2017 with these wolf-delisting riders included, the budget has not been signed into law. Thus, we urge all our supporters to join us in reaching out to President Obama and our respective senators to voice our vehement objection to these anti-wolf amendments and to encourage them to remove them before it is sent to President Obama for signature into law!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Wolves Are a Critical Keystone Species In a Healthy Ecosystem

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Wolves: A Critical Keystone Species

An ecosystem is a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment. It includes all of the living things interacting with each other and non-living environments (weather, earth, sun, soil, climate, atmosphere) in a given area.

In an ecosystem, all species rely on each other and each organism has its' own niche or role to play. A keystone species is a plant or animal that plays a disproportionately large role in the ecosystem - impacting both the prevalence and population levels of other species within their community. A keystone species is often, but not always, a predator. Outnumbered greatly by their prey, predators can control the distribution and population of large numbers of prey species.

Wolves are a critical keystone species in a healthy ecosystem. By regulating prey populations, wolves enable many other species of plants and animals to flourish. In this regard, wolves initiate a domino effect - "touching" songbirds, beaver, fish, and butterflies. Without predators, such as wolves, the system fails to support a natural level of biodiversity.

“I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer. And perhaps with better cause, for while a buck pulled down by wolves can be replaced in two or three years, a range pulled down by too many deer may fail of replacement in as many decades.” ~Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

Yellowstone: A Wild Homecoming

The recovery of the gray wolf after its eradication from Yellowstone National Park, nearly a century ago, serves as a demonstration of how critical keystone species are to the long-term sustainability of the ecosystems they inhabit. In the 70-year absence of wolves in the Park, elk had become accustomed to grazing tender, native willows along stream banks without much predation risk. The consequences of an elk population without a top predator included a decline of the deciduous trees elk eat, a decline of beavers due to the decline of willow and aspen, and a decline in songbirds. These consequences indicate that changes in the wolf population have trickle-down effects on other populations, a phenomenon known as a “trophic cascade”.

With the support of the American public two decades ago, the federal government gave the green light to return wolves to portions of their native range in the West in 1995 and 1996 - including Yellowstone. The wildlife conservation event opened a new chapter in Yellowstone's history, with a homecoming that changed the Park.

before and after YNP2After wolf reintroduction, scientists documented the return of willows and other vegetation. And where the willow returned, the researchers noted more diverse wildlife. Beaver dams and dried up wetlands returned, and wetland birds, waterfowl and other wildlife thrived again where they had been suppressed for decades. Over-grazed grasses flourished anew on upland prairies. So without keystone species, ecosystems can be dramatically different or cease to exist altogether.


Wolves: Nature’s Miracle Workers?

Ecosystems are complex and the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone might be far more complicated and nuanced than can be explained by trophic cascade. Trophic Cascades in the Yellowstone ecosystem have to do with a variety of environmental conditions including fire, wolf densities, human hunting of wildlife, weather patterns, stochastic effects, etc... Research done in all sorts of systems - from coral reefs to rain-forests to the rocky inter-tidal zone to lakes - shows the complexity of these relationships and demonstrates that there are situations where a keystone may be present but not driving a strong top-down effect. It is important to remember that we do not live in an exclusively top-down or bottom-up world. We live in a world in which these effects work together to structure plant communities. The wolf is a very powerful player in this, but is not the only factor that affects ecosystem structure and function. Context matters. While wolves definitely initiate trophic cascades that improve ecosystem function, wolves are not a panacea for all that's wrong in an ecosystem. This being said, wolves are an essential component of healthy ecosystems and thus should be conserved. To do anything other than that is really foolish, given all that science has taught us.

Wolves are wildlife managers, but not miracle workers, alas...


Friday, August 26, 2016

Wolf Pup Peace



These Mexican gray wolf pups represent the Wolf Conservation Center's active participation to save a species from the brink of extinction.

The WCC is one of 54 facilities in the U.S. and Mexico participating in the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan - a bi-national initiative whose primary purpose is to support the reestablishment of Mexican wolves in the wild through captive breeding, public education, and research.

Background
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 97 individuals - a decrease from 110 counted at the end of 2014.

Take action to keep the critically endangered kiddos protected.
Sign Here.

Wolf Family to be Exterminated After Rancher Elects to Turn Cattle Out on Pack's Den Site

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BREAKING
Diamond M Ranch livestock operator ELECTED to turn out his cattle on Profanity Peak pack's den site...

For the second time in four years, the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife is exterminating a wolf pack to protect Len McIrvin’s cattle — this time, a WSU researcher says, after the rancher turned his animals out right on top of the Profanity Peak pack’s den.

Robert Wielgus, director of the Large Carnivore Conservation Lab at Washington State University, has radio-collared 700 cattle and dozens of wolves, including animals in the Profanity Peak pack, as part of his ongoing study of conflicts between wolves and livestock in Washington. He also camera-monitors the Profanity Peak pack’s den.

“This livestock operator elected to put his livestock directly on top of their den site; we have pictures of cows swamping it, I just want people to know,” Wielgus said in an interview Thursday.

McIrvin, of the Diamond M Ranch, near the Canadian border north of Kettle Falls, Stevens County, in northeastern Washington, did not return calls for comment Thursday. The allotment Wielgus monitors, and McIrvin grazes, is on public land in the Colville National Forest.

The cattle pushed out the wolves’ native prey of deer, and with a den full of young to feed, what came next was predictable, Wielgus said.

At least 6 Profanity Peak wolves have been killed so far to protect this rancher's cows on public lands.

More from the Seattle Times.

Petition: Tell Governor Inslee to prevent further killing of the Profanity Peak pack.
Sign here.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Half Of Profanity Peak Wolf Pack Dead - Killed by WA State Officials to Protect Cows on Public Lands

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BREAKING

According to a Washington Dept of Fish and Wildlife email sent to stakeholders a few hours ago, 4 additional wolves from the 11-member Profanity Peak pack have been killed to protect privately owned cattle grazing on public lands. One wolf was a 4-month-old pup. A total of 6 wolves have been killed and the "removal operation" is ongoing.

More.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Grazing Cows on Public Lands is the Problem. Not Endangered Wolves.

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Washington Dept of Fish and Wildlife helicopters are in the air now to kill members of the Profanity wolf pack. Why? To protect cows grazing on public lands.

If this sounds familiar, it should.

This is the second time in four years that a pack of endangered wolves has received the death penalty because of the grazing of privately owned cattle on this remote, rugged, and relatively road-less area of public forest in the northeast corner of Washington state.


The public lands of the United States harbor some of the greatest resources of our nation and are owned by ALL Americans. Don't let history repeat itself. We should not allow another family of endangered wolves to be killed on OUR public lands to benefit the profit margins of a private business.

Petition: Tell Governor Inslee to prevent further killing of the Profanity Peak pack.
Sign here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Killing Wolves on Public Lands

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Two adult wolves have already been shot.

Now Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife aim to kill the remaining members of the Profanity Peak wolf pack including pups of the year. Why is the state targeting to exterminate this family?

To protect cows grazing on our public lands.

The public lands of the United States harbor some of the greatest resources of our nation. Federally managed lands, like this remote, rugged, and relatively road-less area of public forest in the northeast corner of Washington state, are owned by ALL Americans.

Should we allow the killing of this nation's wildlife on OUR public lands to benefit the profit margins of a private business?

Read more: Killing wolves on public lands is no longer acceptable. By George Wuerthner via the Wildlife News.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Supporters to Rally to Save Endangered Red Wolf

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Federal Wildlife Officials to Decide Fate of Native Carolina Species

RALEIGH, N.C.— With as few as 45 red wolves remaining in the wild, wildlife supporters and conservation organizations will gather in Raleigh at 12 noon on Wednesday, Aug. 24 in a rally to save this highly endangered North Carolina species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency tasked with recovering red wolves, is considering abandoning its red wolf recovery program this fall.


  • What: Rally for Red Wolves
  • What: 12 noon, Wednesday, Aug. 24 (pre-rally, wolf-education event starts at 10 a.m.)
  • Where: Pullen Park, 408 Ashe Ave., Raleigh, N.C. (Shelter No. 5, north side of the park)
  • Who: Speakers include Representative Pricey Harrison, a state legislator from Greensboro; Ron Sutherland, conservation scientist, Wildlands Network; Kim Wheeler, executive director, Red Wolf Coalition


Wolf experts will be on hand for a family-friendly, “pre-rally” educational event starting at 10 a.m. Following the noon rally, wolf supporters plan a short march through North Carolina State University and back to Pullen Park.

The Raleigh rally is the second of two planned rallies across the state this week — the first takes place on Tuesday in Washington, N.C. — to call attention to federal wildlife officials’ intent to abandon red wolf recovery. The rallies are sponsored by the Red Wolf Coalition, the Wildlands Network, the Endangered Species Coalition, North Carolina Wildlife Federation, The Wolf Conservation Center and the Center for Biological Diversity.

“Endangered species recovery is a matter of pride and concern for all U.S. citizens,” said Maggie Howell, executive director of the Wolf Conservation Center. “This is not an isolated issue for North Carolina. If USFWS abandons the recovery program, it would establish a dangerous precedent – effectively allowing any state to refuse recovery efforts for endangered species if they don’t feel like complying.”

“It’s simply jaw-dropping that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is consciously deciding whether to issue a death sentence — to knowingly allow a species found only in the United States to go extinct,” said Leda Huta, executive director of the Endangered Species Coalition. “The red wolf has been one of our greatest wildlife success stories, and it could be again.”

“It’s possible that the red wolf is the first species in history that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is simply going to let go extinct in the wild, when we know how to save it,” said Ron Sutherland.
Background

The red wolf is one of the most endangered species in the world, and can only be found in the wild in North Carolina. In 1987 red wolves were reintroduced into eastern North Carolina. From an initial 14 wolves, the population grew to 130 individuals by 2006. By 2012 the red wolf population had shrunk to 90 to 100 individuals, in part due to wolves being shot during coyote hunts. A 2014 injunction on coyote hunting dramatically reduced shooting deaths, but the Service's authorization of private landowners to capture and kill red wolves has become a primary concern in recent years.

Nearly 500,000 red wolf supporters signed a petition delivered last month to the Fish and Wildlife Service calling on the agency to continue to work to recover the dwindling red wolf population. Now, with only a reported 45 red wolves left in the wild, the Service is expected to make an announcement in the fall on whether it will continue the three-decade old red wolf recovery program.

You can find more information on the planned rally here:


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Mexican Wolf Pups Holding Paws


This is what love looks like.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Wolf Conservation Center Mourns Endangered Mexican Wolf M1140



Dear friends,

It's with a heavy heart that I share sad news about a beloved lobo. Mexican gray wolf M1140, affectionately nicknamed “Mateo” by Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) supporters, passed away today.

F1140 was born on April 22, 2008 at the WCC. He never received the opportunity to take his rightful place on the wild landscape like brother and litter-mate M1141 did in 2015. Nor did he ever wear the badge of parenthood like littermates F1143 and M1139. But he was loved. Loved by his family and treasured by hundreds of people he would never know.

For all his 8 years, M1140 resided off-exhibit with his family in a remote enclosure. Wolves are naturally fearful of people, and a number of our Mexican gray wolves are candidates for release. Maintaining their timidity around people is essential if we want them to have a good chance of survival if released into the wild. The WCC’s Endangered Species Facility houses five vast enclosures which provide a natural environment where these most elusive creatures can reside with minimal human contact. Most of these enclosures are equipped with wireless surveillance cameras to allow WCC staff to observe food and water intake and monitor the physical well-being of each wolf without the animals’ knowledge.


Because these webcams are available to the public, M1140 unknowingly crept into our homes and our hearts, helping to raise awareness for the importance and plight of his wild kin.

In late July, M1140 displayed respiratory symptoms. The following day WCC staff captured the elusive lobo to examine him in person. He looked healthy at a glance, but one could easily hear he was in a bit of respiratory distress.

WCC Volunteer Veterinarian Dr. Paul Maus examined M1140, drew blood, and took x-rays of his throat, head, and chest. Very little was revealed at first, so we returned M1140 to his home after administering a strong antibiotic. M1140 remained energetic in the following days, but his respiratory symptoms continued. We captured the reluctant wolf again a few days later to ensure a healthy intake of water and to administer steroids. Again, M1140 continued to look good – he displayed healthy behavior. But his breathing and blood-work reflected otherwise. We carried on monitoring M1140 while specialists continued to review his blood-work and medical images. Over the weekend our worst fears were confirmed. M1140 had cancer.

M1140’s respiratory issue was an early indicator of a fast-growing nasal tumor, a deadly ailment that is thought to be prevalent in the managed population of Mexican gray wolves due to low genetic diversity. All Mexican wolves descended from just 7 founders rescued from extinction. Since 1995 more than 25 cases of nasal tumors have been documented in the captive populations of Mexican wolves in both Mexico and the U.S.. Although cancer represents only 3.3% of the causes of death in the registered Mexican wolf populations; 44.4% of these neoplasms are nasal tumors. In its great majority these tumors are locally aggressive but rarely metastasize. Mexican wolf F1145 (a.k.a. Anastasia) fell victim to the same cancer, but faster growing, in August of last year. She was M1140’s sister and littermate.

Thus on August 16, WCC staff brought M1140 to be seen by WCC veterinarian Dr Charlie Duffy VMD where his cancer was confirmed to have advanced - aggressively grown inward. M1140 is no longer in pain now. We put the sweet wolf to sleep.

It’s never easy saying goodbye. Especially when there is such strength in one's will to live. But despite M1140’s tenacity, his wild grit had waned. His battle was lost.

As we remember M1140, we hope he had an awareness of the love and appreciation we have for him. He was a beautiful wolf, a loyal bother and son, and valued contributor to the recovery of his rare and at-risk species. His memory lives on and will serve to remind us of our obligation to restore Mexican wolves to their rightful places in our landscapes, in our hearts, and in our culture.

Our hearts go out M1140’s sister F1143, his niece F1505 (a.k.a. Trumpet), and those of you he had unknowingly touched. R.I.P., Sweet lobo.

Maggie Howell, WCC Executive Drector

Monday, August 15, 2016

Alaskans Petition Governor To Rein In Predator Control



Press Release: For Immediate Release

Monday August 15, 2016

Contacts:
  • Rick Steiner: (Biologist) richard.g.steiner@gmail.com;907-360-4503
  • Marybeth Holleman: (Writer) marybeth.holleman@gmail.com; 907-360-4512
  • Jim Kowalsky, (Chair, Alaskans For Wildlife); jimkowalsky@yahoo.com; 907-488-2434
  • Vic Van Ballenberghe (Wildlife Scientist; former Board of Game member); vicvanb@alaskan.com; 907-351-0371

Today, 150 Alaska citizens from 28 communities across Alaska submitted a joint letter to Governor Bill Walker asking him to rein in the state’s predator control / "Intensive Management" (IM) program. This is the first such citizen petition submitted to the Governor on the issue.

The petition cites public concern regarding the significant expansion of lethal predator control efforts by the State of Alaska since 2003, conducted somewhat secretively and out-of-sight of the public.

Signatories to the letter include several former Alaska Board of Game members, a former Fish & Game commissioner, a former gubernatorial Chief of Staff, scientists, writers, photographers, doctors, lawyers, artists, musicians, teachers, hunters, business owners, etc., from across the state. Under the state constitution all Alaskans have equal rights to Alaska’s wildlife, but many Alaskans feel their voices are ignored by state wildlife managers.

While the National Park Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service have recently restricted lethal predator control on national parks, preserves, and refuges in Alaska, most of Alaska remains open to this controversial wildlife management practice.

The citizen’s petition issues a blistering rebuke of the state's rationale for predator control, stating in part:

“Alaska’s lethal predator control/IM program, as currently practiced, is unscientific, unnecessary, ineffective, costly, unethical, inhumane, and controversial. “

Accordingly, the petition asks for three significant adjustments to the current predator control/Intensive Management (IM) regime in Alaska:

1. Replace lethal predator control methods with non-lethal methods;
2. Terminate the “collaring for later control,” or “Judas wolf” program;
3. Prohibit all IM within 5 miles of federal conservation units.

These reasonable adjustments are all within the discretionary authority of the administration -- governor and Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADFG) commissioner -- and would dramatically reduce the unnecessary killing of Alaska's wolves and bears.

Contrary to claims by state wildlife managers (ADFG and Board of Game) that they are required by statute to conduct these lethal control programs, the petition points out that statute and regulation actually allow the administration considerable discretion as to how, with what methods, or even whether, to implement predator control programs.

The petition notes the fact that the administration of former Alaska Governor Tony Knowles (1994-2002) did not employ lethal predator control or “Judas wolf” collaring, yet sustained healthy ungulate (caribou, moose, deer) populations for human use.

Alaska nature writer and co-author of Among Wolves Marybeth Holleman said: “These draconian measures have to stop. One look at that map shows how predator control has grown like a cancer, unchecked and unrealized and unwanted by most Alaskans. And the methods are worse than pre-statehood. Even though he promised to represent all Alaskans and bring about positive change, Governor Walker has so far simply continued this war on Alaska's wildlife started by the Murkowski administration. It's way past time for the Governor to live up to his promises and right this ship.”

Jim Kowalsky, Chair of Alaskans For Wildlife based in Fairbanks, said: "Keystone predators have a critical role maintaining healthy wildland ecosystems. Predator removal is turning Alaska's famous wildlands into moose and caribou farms."

Rick Steiner, conservation biologist and former Univ. of Alaska professor, said: "These adjustments to the Alaska predator control program will protect food security for Alaskans, restore responsible wildlife management, and begin to rebuild Alaska's reputation around the world. The petition tapped into an enormous reservoir of discontent, even outrage, regarding the state's unethical predator control practices across Alaska. We are anxious to hear the governor's response."

The petition also asks the Governor to convene an Intensive Management Working Group, to review all predator control efforts by the state. Alaska citizens are eagerly awaiting a positive response from Governor Walker.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Mexican Wolf Pup Can Dig It!

Dig it, dig it, dig it.
Dig it, dig it, dig it, dig it, dig it, dig it, dig it, dig it.... WHOA!


Beyond being super cute diggers, these Mexican gray wolf pups represent the Wolf Conservation Center's active participation to save a species from the brink of extinction.

The WCC is one of 54 facilities in the U.S. and Mexico participating in the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan - a bi-national initiative whose primary purpose is to support the reestablishment of Mexican wolves in the wild through captive breeding, public education, and research.

Background
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 97 individuals - a decrease from 110 counted at the end of 2014.

Red Wolf Born at the Wolf Conservation Center Has Wild Pup of His Own

Photo: John Murphy/USFWS


What's a healthy young red wolf to do to help perpetuate his critically endangered species? Fly to Florida to find a romantic partner, of course. Back in 2013, red wolf M1804, a.k.a. "Thicket," flew from the Wolf Conservation Center to St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge, a remote barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, to be introduced to a potential mate on the wild landscape.

Fast forward three years - M1804 is a DAD with at least one confirmed pup! Born at the WCC in 2010, M1804 and his brother M1803 (Moose) are both now wearing the badge of fatherhood. We cannot wait to alert M1803's kiddos that they have a WILD cousin!

So throw back your head and join us in sending congratulatory howls to M1804! In lieu of gifts, the new papa asks that you help #SaveRedWolves by signing up to join the red wolf #Thunderclap to call on Dan Ashe to do his job and continue the red wolf recovery program in North Carolina!

A thunderclap is a crowd-speaking platform that helps people be heard by saying something together. On September 9th, Thunderclap will blast out a timed Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr post from all who join, creating a wave of attention.

Background

The red wolf (Canis rufus) is the only wolf species found completely within the United States. 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. In 1980, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) declared red wolves extinct in the wild after the last wild red wolves were gathered to survive in captivity, their wildness caged. With the support of the Federal Red Wolf Species Survival Plan, a national initiative whose primary purpose is to support the reestablishment of red wolves in the wild through captive breeding, public education, and research, and under the aegis of the Endangered Species Act, red wolves were reintroduced in North Carolina in 1987. They were the first federally-listed species to be returned to their native habitat, and have served as models for other programs. But today, USFWS, the very agency charged by federal law with protecting endangered species, is walking away from recovering the last wild red wolves to satisfy a few very vocal opponents. The current estimate puts the remaining wild population at their lowest level in decades. Only 40-45 wild red wolves remain.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Washington's Profanity Peak Wolf Pack Under Fire

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Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife helicopters are in the air now to kill members of the Profanity wolf pack. Why? To protect cattle on public lands.

The decision was made under the guidelines of a new lethal removal protocol that was agreed to this spring by the state Wolf Advisory Group, a stakeholder group convened by WA Fish and Wildlife that includes agency staff and reps from the ranching, hunting and conservation community.

According to the protocol agreed to by the advisory group, lethal removal of wolves is considered after four confirmed depredations in one calendar year and requires that the affected ranchers have employed sanitation measures to avoid attracting wolves to livestock carcasses and have tried at least one proactive measure to deter conflicts with wolves at the time the livestock losses took place.

The kill order was issued following investigations concluding the wolves recently killed a fourth calf belonging to the Diamond M Ranch, the same operation that called for killing the Washington’s Wedge Pack in 2012. All the losses occurred on public lands grazing allotments in the remote and relatively roadless northeast corner of the state.

While the agency’s use of nonlethal measures to try to prevent conflict is a positive step, should we allow the killing of our nation’s wildlife on public lands? What say you?

Ways to take action.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Make no bones about it, the Mexican wolf pup triplets have Olympics Fever too!


Walk for Wolves Postponed to August 17


WEDNESDAY, August 17
1:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M.
(4 Reservation Rd, Cross River, NY 10576 Shelter 5)
FREE

With the threat of severe weather, we have postponed our Walk with Wolves event to Wednesday, August 17. We hope you too can join us next week to honor one of the world’s most endangered wild canids – the red wolf.

Children will be invited to participate in an outdoor adventure through a circuit of educational workshops focusing on the importance and plight of the critically endangered red wolf. In addition to earning free raffle tickets for exciting prizes at every station along the trail, children will be collecting information that will help them craft personal letters to the USFWS about the red wolf and the critical need to continue the red wolf recovery program in North Carolina. Ambassador wolf Atka will be there and we hope you will be too!



Monday, August 8, 2016

What Love Looks Like




Look at that adorable Mexican wolf pup smile!

Mexican wolf pup runt of the litter m1506 (Duffy) is all smiles while sharing a cuddle with his soft and huggy sister f1508 (K.B.).

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 97 individuals- and they need your help.

All of the Mexican gray wolves alive today are descended from just 7 founders of a captive breeding program, and years of delaying needed releases of wolves from captivity have caused a genetic crisis. This genetic loss is causing the wolves to have smaller litters and lowering pup survival. Eventually, if not corrected, it will lead to extinction.


URGENT: Please urge Secretary Jewell to have USFWS redouble its efforts and release more Mexican wolves to the wild.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Mexican Wolf's Fatherly Love


For wolves, happiness is playtime with your kiddo before sharing a bone. 

Mexican gray wolf f1505 (aka Trumpet) was born at the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, NY on May 4, 2016. Unbeknownst to the kiddo, Trumpet has been warming the hearts of a global audience via the WCC's remote webcams. But beyond being adorable, the pocket-size predator represents the Center's active participation in an effort to save a species on the brink of extinction. 

The WCC is one of 54 facilities in the U.S. and Mexico participating in the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan - a bi-national initiative whose primary purpose is to support the reestablishment of Mexican wolves in the wild through captive breeding, public education, and research.

Background 
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 97 individuals - a decrease from 110 counted at the end of 2014.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Stop Alaska from Killing Iconic Predators on National Wildlife Refuges


Conservation Update:
On Aug. 3, 2016, the USFWS joined its sister-agency, the National Park Service, in finalizing regulations for national wildlife refuges in Alaska that will effectively overrule an Alaska state law that encouraged the unethical killing of bears, wolves and coyotes to promote game animals.

The finalized rules ban nearly all predator hunting on national wildlife refuges that is not approved by the federal government. It prohibits "several particularly effective" ways to kill predators including killing cubs or sows with cubs; brown bears over bait; bears using traps or snares; wolves or coyote from May through Aug. 9; and bears from an aircraft or the same day air travel has occurred. It states hunter demands for more animals — moose, deer or caribou — no longer justify predator control on refuge lands. Rather, any control needs to meet refuge purposes and be based on "sound science in response to a conservation concern."

The new rule, which takes effect in early September, will protect predators like bears, wolves and coyotes, on a vast amount of land. National wildlife refuges in Alaska cover 73 million acres and include the 20 million-acre National Arctic Wildlife Refuge. The regulations exempt subsistence hunting.

The new rules "will ensure that all wildlife – including predators – gets a fair shake on Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuges, for which Congress has assigned us primary authority," stated USFWS Director Dan Ashe. "National Wildlife Refuges are not game farms managed for a slice of their diversity for the benefit of a few people who would call themselves hunters. Nor are they places where we can or should allow the practices authorized under Alaska’s “intensive predator management” initiative.” More: http://huff.to/2b3sRi7


The Challenge:
Alaska’s predator hunting has been a flash point in a growing battle between state and federal officials over who has authority over federal lands. The rule has drawn strong opposition from Alaska’s Board of Game and the state’s congressional delegation.

In fact, on July 14, 2016, Rep. Don Young [R-Alaska] inserted a rider into the Dept. of Interior’s 2016-2017 budget that would prohibit the USFWS from implementing its proposed Alaska rule. Thankfully, Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minnesota) strongly defended the finalized rules when they were debated on the House floor. [Video testimony > 5:07 to end].

In a press release on August 3rd, Rep. Young issued a statement strongly condemning the new regulations.

Citizens’ Action Alert:

Although the House of Representatives approved the Dept. of Interior’s 2017 with Rep. Young’s rider included, the budget has not been signed into law. Thus, we urge all our supporters to join us in reaching out to President Obama and our respective senators to voice our vehement objection to his anti-predator amendment and to encourage them to remove it before it is sent to President Obama for signature into law.


Take Action Here.







Friday, August 5, 2016

Mexican Wolf Pups: Essential, Endangered, and Oh So Snuggly!


Beyond being snuggly, these Mexican gray wolf pups represent the Wolf Conservation Center's active participation to save a species from the brink of extinction.

The Wolf Conservation Center is one of 54 facilities in the U.S. and Mexico participating in the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan - a bi-national initiative whose primary purpose is to support the reestablishment of Mexican wolves in the wild through captive breeding, public education, and research.

Background
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 97 individuals - a decrease from 110 counted at the end of 2014.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Mexican and Red Wolf Species Survival Plan Meeting 2016

red_lobo_collage

Collaborating to save the most endangered wolves in the world.

For the first time in history, members from two Species Survival Plans are joining together to work on behalf of two critically endangered species - the Mexican gray wolf and red wolf. Held in in Chico Springs, Montana, this meeting is brings together representatives from dozens of facilities participating in the SSPs, Fish and Wildlife Agencies from both U.S. and Mexico, state wildlife agencies, endangered species reproductive specialists, and many other organization representatives to tackle the myriad of issues associated with recovering the the most endangered wolves in the world. Items on the meeting agenda include:
  • Report on the status of Mexican wolf recovery in both Mexico and the U.S.
  • Report on the status of red wolf recovery
  • Report on both the Mexican wolf and red wolf SSP and the status of the global captive studbook populations
  • Report on reproductive research in 2015 and needs for 2016
  • Criteria for selection of breeding pairs
  • Select pairs for breeding in 2016-2017
  • Gamete banking plan and criteria for selection of candidates
  • Select semen and oocyte collection candidates for 2017
  • Select candidates for release
Stay tuned for reports from the meeting