Saturday, April 22, 2017

Wolf Conservation Center's Regan Downey Discusses Why Science Matters

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Every voice raised in support of the science can make a difference. And when we all march together we can make big things happen! Today on Earth Day, the Wolf Conservation Center took to the streets of New York City to participate in the Science March. It was a great turnout - the WCC group alone was 70 people strong!

Enjoy this great 360 video from the The New York Times featuring WCC's Regan Downey discussing why science matters.

Friday, April 21, 2017

A March for Science is a March for Wolves



The March for Science is taking place tomorrow all across the country. We will be marching for science, and most of us will be marching for the environment, too, because that day is also the 47th anniversary of Earth Day.

As citizens of the 21st century, our nation and world are at a crossroads when it comes to ensuring the future sustainability of our air, water, wild lands and wildlife for future generations. Our nation’s future relies on a well-educated public to be wise stewards of the very environment that sustains us – now and for future generations. The recent efforts to constrain and muzzle scientific research and shroud well-established scientific ideas in “uncertainty,” signals a dark turning point that is sure to touch us all.

The war on science is shaping the political policies governing our daily life. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the health of our oceans, streams, wild lands and wildlife.

At its heart, the current attack on science aims to de-regulate industry, weaken, and even repeal environmental laws – including one of most successful bipartisan pieces of legislation our country has ever adopted, the Endangered Species Act. The ESA is the world’s “gold standard” for conservation and protection of animals and plants. It 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. According to a national poll conducted in 2015, 90% of American voters support the Act.

Despite its success and public support, anti-environment interests in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate are currently crafting some of the most serious threats ever posed to the cornerstone of our nation’s conservation law.

Science has concluded that we have entered an unprecedented period of climate change and human-caused Sixth Mass Extinction. Earth has lost half of its wildlife in the past 40 years. With species vanishing at this alarming rate, it is critical that our environmental policies be motivated by science.

This Earth Day on April 22nd, we will march on behalf of wolves, wildlife, wild lands and water. We will march for the Endangered Species Act. We will march for our children. Tomorrow’s leaders need to be equipped for tomorrow’s challenges. If we allow science to be silenced, we fail ourselves – now and for future generations.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Ambassador Wolf Milestone: Happy Birthday Alawa and Zephyr!

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Throw back your head and let out a long celebratory birthday howl for Alawa and Zephyr! It’s hard to believe our rambunctious pups are entering their spectacular sixes! An inspiration from their adorable start, the stunning siblings continue to thrive in their “Ambassador” roles. They open the door to understanding the importance and plight of their wild kin and remind us of our personal responsibility for improved human stewardship of our World.

Happy 6th Birthday, Kiddos!




Help support the WCC’s efforts to protect and preserve wolf populations in North America by adopting the birthday boy! We offer several adoption levels. No matter what the level, each adoption kit includes an 8×10 wolf photo, wolf biography, adoption certificate and a subscription to our newsletter. Learn more.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Children to Give Name to Wandering Wolf from Mexico, Captured in Arizona

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Mexican gray wolf f1505, a.k.a "Trumpet"
Tucson, AZ. – A female Mexican gray wolf, born in captivity and released in Mexico, and who was captured in southeastern Arizona on March 26, will receive a more memorable name than her identification number, “f1530.” In a contest sponsored by Mexicanwolves.org, children will choose a name for the lone wolf in a public naming contest that starts today.

“This wolf has earned an evocative name to match her amazing journey,” said Maya Rommwatt of Mexicanwolves.org, which maintains a website that provides information to thousands of people who root for the survival of the Mexican wolf. The naming contest will remain open for two weeks and is accessible from Mexicanwolves.org and from the Facebook page “Mexican Gray Wolves.”

The eleven-month old female wolf was born in captivity in Mexico, and released in Chihuahua in October. She roamed north, crossing the international border into Arizona near the Chiricahua Mountains, and was captured after killing one cow; seven other dead cows nearby, on which she might have scavenged, died from non-wolf causes. She is now being held in captivity in New Mexico.

Contrary to the recommendations of scientists, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Arizona Game and Fish Commission have maintained that recovery of the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf can be achieved by exchange of individuals between the two existing populations in the Southwest and Mexico, with no resort to establishing additional populations farther north.

“Recovery requires at least three populations of wolves with numbers that are sustainable and free movement by wolves from one population to the other, said Sandy Bahr, chapter director for Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon (Arizona) Chapter. “Recovery will fail if the government removes every wolf who attempts to move between Mexico and the U.S. or if it erects additional impediments, such as a wall.”

“We hope that whatever name this wolf eventually receives, that she will be known by that name throughout a long life to be continued in the wild,” said Rommwatt.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Wolves: The 'Best Natural Defense' Against Chronic Wasting Disease

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MYTH: Predators are bad for wildlife.

The scientific community agrees that this claim is quite wrong, yet it’s surprisingly pervasive belief in rural Western culture. Misconception such as this can unfortunately cause real harm, as they drive political discourse and policy.

FACT: Wolves make prey populations healthier.

The preponderance of scientific evidence supports the view that wolves generally kill prey that are vulnerable, such as weak, sick, old, or young animals. By killing sick prey individuals, wolves remove infectious agents from the environment, reducing transmission to prey.

Scientists and wildlife managers agree that wolves “are the best natural defense” for the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a degenerative neurological illness that is similar to mad cow disease, among wild ungulate populations.

Beyond wolves, perhaps no issue is as controversial in the hunting community right now as CWD. So wolves becoming an unexpected ally in protecting the West’s most popular big game animals could be a hard reality to swallow for some hunters and hunting groups who have long opposed the predators. More...

QUESTION:


So the question remains, why are some states spending millions in tax dollars to eliminate predators that help keep wildlife diseases in check?

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Move Over Easter Bunny... Wolves Have this Covered

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With 42 specialized teeth for slicing, tearing, and grinding, wolves are supremely well-equipped carnivores. A wolf could make short work of a helpless Easter egg, but Atka, an ambassador Arctic gray wolf, instead takes a slower, perhaps even epicurean, approach when presented with an egg as a treat. Enjoy!


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Arctic Beauty. Worth Fighting For

Go on a journey to the frozen north with wildlife photographer Vincent Munier. Spotlighting foxes, wolves, hares, owls, and even a polar bear, these photographs capture the beauty of the Arctic.

Mexican Gray Wolf M1133 Turns Nine Years Old


Mexican wolf M1i33 with daughter, F1508 (a.k.a. K.B.)
Birthdays abound! Wolves are mono-estrus, breeding only once a year during the winter months. So springtime is birthday season! Today we celebrate Mexican gray wolf M1133!

In October of 2015, Mexican Gray Wolf M1133 (affectionately nicknamed “Rhett” by the Wolf Conservation Center’s community of webcam watchers) met a voluptuous loba – Mexican gray wolf F1226 (a.k.a. Belle).

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. Genetic diversity is the primary consideration in the selection of Mexican wolf breeding pairs and M1133 and F1226 are a great match on paper with an extremely low inbreeding coefficient.

Sometimes saving a species isn’t very romantic, but it turns out that M1133 and F1226 are a vibrant, loving, and playful pair that make it look like a whole lot of fun!

The terrific twosome bonded effortlessly. The day the wolves were officially introduced, a global audience witnessed (via webcam) the lovely lobos meet with a kiss! Their wild chemistry blossomed further when they welcomed three pups on May 25, 2016. Beyond being adorable, his daughter and two sons represent the Wolf Conservation Center's active efforts to save a species from extinction.

Today, with his well-earned badge of fatherhood, M1133 is poised to repeat last year's feat with a second litter sometime next month.

Ss here’s hoping M1133 gets a chance to rest up on his 9th birthday. With potential pups on the way, he'll need as much energy as he can get!

Happy birthday, M1133!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Ambassador Wolf Nikai Turns Three

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Throw back your head and let out a long celebratory birthday howl for Nikai! Welcome to the terrific twos, kiddo! The Wolf Conservation Center‘s youngest Ambassador has been an inspiration from his adorable start. Within a month of joining the WCC family the little beast huffed, puffed, and hiccupped his way into the hearts and minds of a global audience. His viral video “Wolf Pup Hiccups” almost broke the internet!


As an important part of the Ambassador Pack, the stunning ambassador continues to awe WCC guests and help open the door to understanding the importance and plight of his wild kin.

Happy Birthday, Kiddo!

Help support the WCC's efforts to protect and preserve wolf populations in North America by adopting the birthday boy! We offer several adoption levels. No matter what the level, each adoption kit includes an 8×10 wolf photo, wolf biography, adoption certificate and a subscription to our newsletter. Learn more.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wolf Words of Wisdom


Monday, April 10, 2017

Federal Wildlife-killing Agency Agrees to Halt Use of M-44 “Cyanide Bombs” in Idaho

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HAILEY, Idaho – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program – which kills thousands of predators across the country annually – announced today it has abandoned use of M-44 cyanide bombs in Idaho in response to a petition filed by 19 conservation and wildlife organizations (including the Wolf Conservation Center ) two weeks ago. In a letter transmitted to conservation groups today, the USDA agency Wildlife Services announced that it has ceased the use of M-44 cyanide bombs on all private, state, and federal lands in Idaho, and has removed all M-44s that were deployed in the state.

“This is an important victory, at least a temporary one, for both wildlife and for public safety across Idaho,” said Erik Molvar, executive director with Western Watersheds Project. “We thank Wildlife Services for doing the right thing by removing these deadly and indiscriminate killing devices, and urge them to make the moratorium permanent.”

The petition to stop using M-44s was filed in response to an incident near Pocatello, Idaho where a 14-year-old boy was sprayed with cyanide and his dog was killed.

"This could well be the tipping point that leads to a nationwide ban of these extraordinarily dangerous devices via the legislation introduced in Congress last month," said Brooks Fahy, executive director of the national wildlife advocacy group, Predator Defense. “As the recent cases in Idaho, Wyoming and Oregon amply demonstrate, M-44s endanger non-target wildlife, pets and children, no matter how they are used."

M-44 devices are spring-loaded and tipped with deadly sodium cyanide. The device blasts poison on any animal or person that triggers them.

“We’re glad to see these indiscriminate killing devices being pulled from Idaho – that’s an important step toward protecting wildlife, people and pets from these cyanide bombs,” said Andrea Santarsiere, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “We hope this ban becomes permanent not just in Idaho but across the country, because there are no place for these devices where the lives of innocent people and animals will not be at risk.”

In November 2016, Wildlife Services committed to a moratorium on the use of M-44s on public lands in Idaho, but the Pocatello poisoning incident, resulting from an M-44 placed in February 2017, occurred on BLM lands nonetheless. The letter expands the moratorium to lands of all jurisdictions and ownerships, including state and private lands.

“Although a step in the right direction, the federal government must do more to ensure the safety of all Americans, our dogs and wildlife,” said Michelle Lute, wildlife coexistence campaigner for WildEarth Guardians. “We won't rest until a national, permanent ban on M-44 cyanide bombs is instituted and strictly enforced."

Despite the sweeping nature of the moratorium and the removal of M-44s throughout the state, it might not amount to a permanent ban. In its letter, Wildlife Services informed the groups that “WS will notify you 30 days prior to placing any new M-44s in Idaho.”

“We welcome the news of a temporary ban, although we remind activists and taxpayers that Wildlife Services has made no commitment to cease the use of M-44s for any definite period,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund executive director Stephen Wells. “These deadly, inhumane devices could go back into use as soon as next month, so we must remain vigilant.”

“We intend to inform the public right away if Wildlife Services notifies us that they intend to reverse the moratorium and place M-44s anywhere in Idaho,” Molvar said.

The groups petitioning for the M-44 ban were Western Watersheds Project, Predator Defense, WildEarth Guardians, the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Clearwater, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Western Wildlife Conservancy, Nevada Wildlife Alliance, Gallatin Wildlife Association, Environmental Protection Information Center, the Wolf Conservation Center, Wilderness Watch, Klamath Forest Alliance, Northeast Oregon Ecosystems, Yellowstone to Uintas Connection, Footloose Montana, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Project Coyote, Voices of Wildlife, and the Mountain Lion Foundation.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

She came. She saw. She needs a name.

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Last month, an adventurous Mexican gray wolf broke new ground.

As a part of ongoing reintroduction effort in Mexico, a family of critically endangered wolves was released in the wild approximately 90 miles south of the international border. Last month, one of the wolves, an adventurous yearling, broke new ground. The 11-month-old female crossed the international border to arrive in Arizona. Her name is “f1530.”

Her wild milestone is a demonstration of the great potential for Mexican wolf recovery and the critical need to protect the wildlife corridors she employed.

After crossing that border, she was captured and placed in captivity – a federal pre-release facility in New Mexico. It’s our hope she will be paired with a companion and returned to the wild soon. But in the meantime, she needs a name! Can you help us find a fitting name for this courageous young wolf?

Learn how here.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

WCC Among 20 Environmental Groups to Demand Wildlife Services Ban M-44 Cyanide Bombs in Idaho

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FEBRUARY 26, 2017 -- Wolf OR-48 of the Shamrock wolf family was killed on private land in northeast Oregon after an "unintentional take" by the USDA’s Wildlife Services.

OR-48 was killed by one of the most lethal tools in Wildlife Services' arsenal: an M-44 device (a.k.a. "cyanide bomb") - a spring-loaded metal cylinder baited with scent that fires sodium cyanide powder into the mouth of whatever tugs on them.


The device was in place as part of Wildlife Services operations to control coyotes and prevent coyote-livestock conflict on private land in northeast Oregon. This operation is just part of a larger taxpayer-funded wildlife eradication campaign wherein Wildlife Services, on behalf of the federal government, slaughters millions of wild animals every single year.

Since the killing of wolf OR-48, there have been two separate incidents involving cyanide bombs administered by Wildlife Services. The poison killed three dogs and injured a 14-year-old Idaho boy is lucky to be alive.


Just 300 yards away from their home, the boy and his beloved dog encountered a cyanide bomb planted by Wildlife Services intended to control coyote activity. The boy survived the incident, but only to watch helplessly as the poison killed his dog.

In response to these events, on March 28, 2017, a coalition of wildlife and conservation groups (including the Wolf Conservation Center) petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Wildlife Services and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to immediately ban M-44 devices in Idaho.

The petition specifically calls on the agencies to:
Cease all use of M-44 explosive cyanide devices on all land ownerships in the State of Idaho, and
Immediately remove any and all M-44s currently deployed on all land ownerships in Idaho.

Since 2000, Wildlife Services has killed more than 50,000 members of more than 150 non-target species, including federally and/or state-protected animals such as Mexican gray wolves, grizzly bears, kangaroo rats, eagles, falcons, California condors, red-tailed hawks, great horned owls, armadillos, pronghorns, porcupines, long-tailed weasels, javelinas, marmots, snapping turtles, turkey vultures, great blue herons, ruddy ducks, sandhill cranes and ringtail cats.

Moreover, these lethal actions were paid for by tax-payers like you and me.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Why Are Wolves Important?

Vital. Not Vicious.

Wolves are a critical keystone species in a healthy ecosystem. A keystone species is often, but not always, a predator - like the wolf. Outnumbered greatly by their prey, predators can control the distribution, population, and behavior of large numbers of prey species.

By altering prey movements, browsing patterns, and foraging behavior (predation risk effects), wolves have an indirect effect on plant and tree regeneration. In this regard, wolves have a trickle-down effect on animals and plants, a phenomenon known as a “trophic cascade." The presence of wolves indirectly impacts plants, trees, songbirds, beaver, fish, and even butterflies.

Without predators, such as wolves, the system fails to support a natural level of biodiversity, and may cease to exist altogether. The preservation of keystone species is essential for maintaining the historic structure and function of the ecosystems they inhabit.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Life and Times of Mexican Gray Wolf ‘Trumpet’

Rebecca Bose holds Trumpet in 2016, when the pup is only a week old.
Meet Trumpet, the adorable Mexican gray wolf pup that is one of the last of her kind.

Born on May 4, 2016 to parents F1143 (Rosa) and M1059 (Diego), critically endangered Mexican gray wolf pup f1505—affectionately nicknamed “Trumpet” for her loud calls—is a beautiful blend of both her parents. F1505 and her family live at the Wolf Conservation Center in New York state, an education and breeding facility that focuses on helping wild wolf populations.

Read her story here.

Originally published March 31, 2017 on Earthjustice.org. This is a guest blog post by Rebecca Bose, curator of the Wolf Conservation Center.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Red Wolf F1568 Turns 10 Years Old!

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This is the first year red wolf F1568 (affectionately nicknamed “Argo”) has celebrated a birthday at the Wolf Conservation Center; she’s a relatively new member of the WCC family arriving in December of 2016. She resides off-exhibit in one of the WCC’s spacious SSP enclosures and will hopefully be joined by some pups later this spring!

The Species Survival Plan (SSP) management group for the red 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 red wolves descended from just 14 founders rescued from extinction. Genetic diversity is the primary consideration in the selection of red wolf breeding pairs and F1397 and one of the WCC’s resident male red wolves, M1803, are a great match on paper with a low inbreeding coefficient.

Unfortunately, the pair proved to be incompatible. While they now reside in separate enclosures, they were still given the chance to aid in the survival of their critically endangered species through artificial insemination. WCC staff helped M1803 make an “investment” in the recovery of the red wolf species by collecting his semen in early February 2017 and then inseminating F1568. The gestation period (length of pregnancy) for wolves is 63 days so we won’t know the outcome of their union until mid-April.

So join us in sending congratulating howls to F1568 for celebrating another year of life. And who knows… perhaps she’ll celebrate her 10th birthday with a new litter of elusive, beautiful pups!

Happy birthday, F1568!

Happy Birthday, Jane Goodall



Today is Dr. Jane Goodall's birthday! The famed anthropologist and conservationist has a birthday wish - she wants everyone to stand up to those working to undermine scientific research by joining this month’s “March for Science.”

The Wolf Conservation Center will be joining the March for Science in New York City this Earth Day on April 22. Join us!

Learn more.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Wolves Howl in Local Dialects


Although wolves use varied vocalizations to express themselves, if you ask anyone about wolf sounds, it's likely the howl that comes to mind.

But did you know that wolves across the world speak in 21 different dialects, with differences depending both on species and location?

The largest ever study of howling in the 'canid' family of species – which includes wolves, jackals and domestic dogs – has shown that the various species and subspecies have distinguishing repertoires of howling, or "vocal fingerprints": different types of howls are used with varying regularity depending on the canid species.

Researchers used computer algorithms for the first time to analyse howling, distilling over 2,000 different howls into 21 howl types based on pitch and fluctuation, and then matching up patterns of howling.

They found that the frequency with which types of howls are used – from flat to highly modulated – corresponded to the species of canid, whether dog or coyote, as well as to the subspecies of wolf. Read more via PHYS.ORG.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Youth Activist Working to Protect the Endangered Species Act



TWO THOUSAND MILES from the small population of wild Mexican gray wolves, Turner Burns of Kids for Wolves is working hard to protect the lobo - the world's most endangered gray wolf - and the federal law that saved them from extinction.

Earlier this week Turner met with the staff of U.S. Senator Bob Casey to talk about Mexican wolves and the importance of protecting the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Under the guise of "modernizing" the ESA, wildlife opponents in Congress have introduced dozens of proposals to weaken this vital federal law to benefit powerful corporate interests.

Turner might not be old enough to vote, but he recognizes that Congress' efforts to "modernize" the ESA is just another “alternative fact!” So, Turner called on Senator Casey for his help. He explained how the ESA has given thousands of at-risk species a second chance and has worked successfully to prevent the extinction of 99% of the species placed under its protection. Turner then presented the Senator with a photo and paw print of Mexican gray wolf M1133 (Rhett) as an example of the ESA's success and importance.

Enormous thanks to Turner - you are amazing - an inspiration! And big thanks to U.S. Senator Bob Casey for pledging to support the ESA!

Please visit Turner's Facebook page - Kids for Wolves -to learn how your kiddo can join the effort to protect the ESA via his post card campaign.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Court Upholds ESA Protections for Intrastate Species

In a sweeping victory for our nation’s endangered species, the federal Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld federal Endangered Species Act protections for the Utah prairie dog this week – a win for the prairie dog, all other endangered intrastate species (like the red wolf), and the ESA itself.

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The decision overturns an unprecedented 2014 lower-court ruling, which found that the ESA did not have the authority to mandate protections for species that are only present within one state, like the Utah prairie dog. This 2014 ruling was a severe blow to the ESA. By providing state governors with the power to ignore ESA regulations, the ruling allowed political interests to decide the fate of intrastate endangered species instead of science as mandated by federal law.


This week’s ruling marks the sixth time a federal appeals court has considered and rejected similar challenges to the ESA – one case pertaining to the critically endangered red wolf in North Carolina.

This being said, it will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court, but the 10th Circuit's decision may make it less likely that the high court takes up the issue.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Mexican Gray Wolf's Song of the Wild


Listen to wild Mexican gray wolf m1455 sing - what a mysterious and wonderful sound! If you listen very carefully you might hear a very distant wolf respond.

Howling helps keep family members (or pack-mates) together. Because a pack territory range over vast areas, it’s not unusual for members of the pack to become separated from one another. Wolves can call to one another over great distances by howling. A howl’s low pitch and long duration is well suited for transmission on the wild landscape – a wolf’s howl can be heard up to 10 miles away in open terrain! Wolves can howl to locate other wolves, advertise the size of their pack or territory, to warn other family members of danger using a bark howl, and more.

Just like us, each wolf has a unique voice so distinctive features of each individual's howl allow wolves to identify each other. And when every member of the pack joins the chorus, the singular howls and their harmonies give the listener the impression that pack is larger than it actually is.

Mexican wolf m1455, run free, howl often, and stay safe!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wild Anniversary for the Critically Endangered Mexican Gray Wolf

The Mexican Wolf (2013) from Lincoln Athas on Vimeo.

Nineteen years ago today, 11 captive-reared Mexican gray wolves (a.k.a. lobos) were released to the wild for the first time in Arizona and New Mexico. Missing from the landscape for more than 30 years, the howl of the rarest and most unique subspecies of gray wolf was once again greeted by the mountains of the southwest.

We hope you enjoy the Wolf Conservation Center's story of the Mexican Wolf as we carry out the work of their recovery.

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Lobos Are Howlin' and the Wild is Callin'!


These critically endangered Mexican gray wolves represent one of the two potential lobo pairs chosen for release by USFWS! Later this summer, Mexican wolves F1362, M1196, yearling f1494, and pups of the year should be released in the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico. No more fence-lines, just the vast wilderness to explore and bring to balance.

But someone is poised to block their freedom, and she's not a scientist...

Under Governor Susana Martinez, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in May and obtained an injunction barring the federal agency from releasing wolves into the wild in the state. The federal government and conservation organizations have appealed that injunction, but while the appeal is being decided the Mexican wolf’s genetic plight is worsening.

The Service has a responsibility under federal law to facilitate recovery of the critically endangered species and releases are a central part of that effort. Here's hoping the federal appeals court agrees.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

It's #LoboWeek - Celebrating A Milestone in Mexican Wolf Recovery

It's safe to come out, lobos... #LoboWeek begins today!

On March 29, 1998, 11 captive-reared Mexican gray wolves (Canis lupus baileyi) were released to the wild for the first time in Arizona and New Mexico. Missing from the landscape for more than 30 years, the howl of the rarest and most unique subspecies of gray wolf was once again greeted by the mountains of the southwest. This March marks the 19th anniversary of this historic event, a significant milestone for the lobo and wildlife conservation.

In recognition of the anniversary, the Wolf Conservation Center is among the rapidly growing group of partners participating #LoboWeek, an international movement to educate people about the Mexican wolf or "lobo" and our efforts to successfully restore this critically endangered wolf to its ancestral home in the wild.

All week long, the WCC will be celebrating the wild anniversary with interesting lobo facts, ways to take action, special events, "Lobo Loot" giveaways and more!

Learn how you can take part in the celebration and download free #LoboWeek photos!



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Inhumane Wildlife Management Practices Upheld on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska

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Moments ago, the Senate passed S.J. RES. 18 by a vote of 51 to 47 to allow the killing of denning wolves and pups, hibernating bears, and other predators on national refuges land in Alaska

Alaska’s unethical predator hunting has been a flash point in a growing battle between state and federal officials over who has authority over federal lands. On August 3, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took a big positive step and joined its sister-agency, the National Park Service, in finalizing regulations for national wildlife refuges in Alaska that effectively overruled an Alaska state law that encouraged the extreme and excessive killing of bears, wolves and coyotes to promote game animals.

In passing S.J. RES. 18, the Senate joined the House and voted to nullify this important rule and allow cruel and inhumane wildlife management practices on Alaska's wildlife refuges.

These lands are OUR lands, not Alaska's. As long as our collective tax dollars help to support them, we, through our representatives, have every right to speak on behalf of science-based management.

We will not give up.

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

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring Calls For a Wardrobe Change for Wolves

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Today is the first day of spring! Although the official start to spring can be found on the calendar, subtle cues from Mother Nature are indicators too! Ambassador wolves Atka, Alawa, Nikai and Zephyr are telling us that spring has sprung – they’ve begun to shed their winter coats.

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A sample of the insulating undercoat
In the coming weeks, their insulating undercoats will begin to fall from their bodies like sheets of soft wool to allow them to live comfortably during the dog days of summer. What triggers the shedding process? This time of year both male and female wolves have rising levels of a hormone called prolactin. Prolactin levels increase with the onset of long days, and during the short days of winter the hormone levels decrease. It is believed that prolactin has many key roles.



High levels of the hormone contribute to the following:
  • Development of the mammary gland for expectant wolf mothers 
  • Maintenance of lactation – helps milk production in wolf mothers 
  • Promotion of parental behavior in both males and females and thus enhances pup survival 
  • Shedding of the undercoat! 
So longer days alter the chemical makeup of wolves and help ensure that they spend the spring and summer months in comfort with their happy healthy packs.

Arctic Wolf Atka Comments on First Day of Spring


Happy Vernal Equi-NOT! Only 275 days until winter!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A March for Science is a March for Wolves

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The Wolf Conservation Center will be marching for science in New York City on Earth Day.

Will you?

As citizens of the 21st century, our nation and world are at a crossroads when it comes to ensuring the future sustainability of our air, water, wild lands and wildlife for future generations. Our nation’s future relies on a well-educated public to be wise stewards of the very environment that sustains us – now and for future generations. The recent efforts to constrain and muzzle scientific research and shroud well-established scientific ideas in “uncertainty,” signals a dark turning point that is sure to touch us all.

The war on science is shaping the political policies governing our daily life. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the health of our oceans, streams, wild lands and wildlife.

At its heart, the current attack on science aims to de-regulate industry, weaken, and even repeal environmental laws - including one of most successful bipartisan pieces of legislation our country has ever adopted, the Endangered Species Act. The ESA is the world’s "gold standard” for conservation and protection of animals and plants. It 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. According to a national poll conducted in 2015, 90% of American voters support the Act.

Despite its success and public support, anti-environment interests in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate are currently crafting some of the most serious threats ever posed to the cornerstone of our nation’s conservation law.

Science has concluded that we have entered an unprecedented period of climate change and human-caused Sixth Mass Extinction. Earth has lost half of its wildlife in the past 40 years. With species vanishing at this alarming rate, it is critical that our environmental policies be motivated by science.

This Earth Day on April 22nd, we will march on behalf of wolves, wildlife, wild lands and water. We will march for the Endangered Species Act. We will march for our children.

Tomorrow’s leaders need to be equipped for tomorrow's challenges. If we allow science to be silenced, we fail ourselves - now and for future generations.

If you're interested in joining the Wolf Conservation Center at the March for Science NYC, let us know by emailing info@nywolf.org!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day


Thursday, March 16, 2017

National Wildlife Refuge System at Risk

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Just two days after the USFWS National Wildlife Refuge System celebrated its 114th birthday, we learned President Trump's Fiscal Year 2018 Budget is filled with dramatic and damaging cuts to conservation programs. Instead of a birthday gift that would alleviate the current budget crisis in the Refuge System, the budget proposal would close refuges, stop much needed conservation initiatives and bar the public from enjoying nature's last vestiges of wild.

Do you cherish America's wilderness?

Without a natural legacy, we leave nothing to future generations. Please consider taking action - call your federal reps and ask them to oppose slashing the National Wildlife Refuge System budget.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Arctic Wolf Attitude


It's a good day to be an Arctic wolf.  Have fun, Atka!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

For wolves, playtime isn’t only fun, it strengthens family bonds.


 This is what family looks like.

Not only do wolves use body language to convey the rules of the family (a.k.a. pack) and communicate intentions, they also use it to 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. Can you identify the dominant brother?

Learn more.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Remembering Apache

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Today we remember an old friend.
Seven years ago today, Ambassador Wolf Apache passed away at the age of 12.

Although his powerful essence was hard to define, people understood it when they saw him. Apache was a head turner. When he howled, everyone listened. When he led, everyone followed. When he left, everything changed.

Apache touched all who were lucky enough to hear his howl.

R.I.P. Apache. We miss you.
(May 5, 1997 - March 10, 2010)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Never Underestimate the Power of an Alpha Female


In celebration of International Women's Day, we honor 11 female conservation leaders who helped drive the 20th century conservation movement.

Read about them here!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Lobo Love Bodes Well For Mexican Wolf Recovery


Big News!

It’s an exciting time for wolves and the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) — it’s the season of romance! Hormones are racing and earlier this afternoon we witnessed Mexican gray wolves F1226 (Belle) and M1133 (Rhett) engage in a copulatory tie via webcam!

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Mexican wolf F1226 with her pups born May 2016
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. Genetic diversity is the primary consideration in the selection of Mexican wolf breeding pairs and M1133 and F1226 are a great match on paper with an extremely low inbreeding coefficient.
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Proud Papa, Mexican gray wolf M1133
Sometimes saving a species isn’t very romantic, but it turns out that F1226 and M1133 are also a perfect pair "off paper!" They're a vibrant, loving, and playful pair that make parenthood (the couple had three pups in May of 2016) and saving a species look like a whole lot of fun!

We won’t know the outcome of this union until May. So until then, please keep your paws crossed that F1226 and M1133 will be making some more and adorable contributions to the recovery of their rare species later this spring!

Join the couple via webcam.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

To look into the eyes of a wolf is to see your own soul


To look into the eyes of a wolf is to see your own soul - I hope you like what you see. ~Aldo Leopold.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

When it comes to wolves, it's all about family.


This is what family looks like.
For wolves, bath-time isn't only fun, it helps strengthen family bonds. When Ambassador wolf Zephyr licks and nibbles his younger brother Nikai, not only is big brother keeping Nikai's fur clean and free of debris, his grooming efforts are gestures of intimacy that reaffirm the unique emotional bonds that shape the foundation of the family. Because when it comes to wolves, it's all about family.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Federal Court Puts Wyoming Wolves Back in the Crosshairs, Decision Poised to Impact Wolves Beyond the State

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A federal appeals court today upheld the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 2012 decision to remove gray wolves in Wyoming from the endangered species list to allow trophy/predator hunting to resume immediately.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that USFWS reasonably found that Wyoming had adequate plans to ensure a healthy population.

The decision reverses a lower-court ruling that restored federal protections for the wolves in 2014, and is poised to impact wolves far beyond Wyoming's borders.

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Background

Just over four years ago in 2012, the USFWS officially stripped federal protections from Wyoming's wolves and handed management over to the state, a controversial decision, and contradiction of the agency's stance in the past. Although USFWS had previously criticized Wyoming's state wolf plan on the grounds that unregulated shooting in most of the state would reduce the state’s wolf population below federally required levels, the agency took a significantly altered position, announcing that these wolves no longer warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The following day, management was handed over to the state and Wyoming's inaugural wolf hunt commenced.

A few weeks later, a coalition of conservation groups represented by Earthjustice officially filed suit in federal district court in the District of Columbia asking "the court to declare this rule illegal, and put wolves back on the endangered species list until Wyoming adopts a responsible management plan that ensures the continued survival and recovery of wolves in the region."
Wyoming wolves receive a reprieve in 2014

On September 23, 2014, Judge Amy Berman Jackson invalidated USFWS' s 2012 statewide delisting. The ruling reinstated federal protections and ended management of wolves by Wyoming, a state with a kill-on-sight approach to wolf management. In its 2012 management plan Wyoming promised to maintain more than the required 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs outside the national parks. The judge took issue with an addendum in the plan assuring that it would maintain a buffer of wolves above the required number because it did not specify how many wolves or make the buffer binding by law. Because the addendum was legally unenforceable, the judge found the buffer to be a violation of the ESA.

Broader Implications of Today's Decision - Nationwide Delisting

The decision, which reverses a lower-court ruling that restored federal protections for the wolves in 2014, and is poised to impact wolves far beyond Wyoming's borders. The decision to return wolf management to Wyoming paves the way for USFWS to issue their national wolf delisting rule -- meaning all wolves in the lower 48 (except Mexican wolves and red wolves) can lose protection at a time when they have claimed less than 10% of their historic range.

Moreover, Wyoming’s wolf management policies can influence expectations about wildlife management in other states.

"USFWS caved to Wyoming’s insistence on keeping the predator zone," said Wolf Conservation Center's Maggie Howell. "With the service on the cusp of delisting wolves across the United States, any concessions that are allowed in Wyoming by the federal government could set a precedent for other states to bargain with. It's both wrong and dangerous to allow a state with a history of hostile and extreme anti-wolf policies to set an example for other states to follow. Today's ruling to uphold the USFWS's 2012 decision is bad news for wolves beyond the state's borders."

Stay tuned for updates.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Endangered Mexican Gray Wolf Left Her Mark


Mexican wolf F613 (a.k.a. Mama Gray), was a legendary loba, a powerful mother, and tireless leader. She experienced tremendous accomplishments and longevity in her life despite the political challenges that come with being a Mexican wolf.

A year ago we said goodbye, but her compelling story and tenacious spirit continues to empower us to press on in fight to safeguard the wild legacy she left behind.

Her story.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Wolves and Howling



Although wolves use varied vocalizations to express themselves, if you ask anyone about wolf sounds, it's likely the howl that comes to mind. Howling helps keep family members (or pack-mates) together. Because a pack's territory can range over vast areas, it’s not unusual for members of the pack to become separated from one another. Wolves can call to one another over great distances by howling. A howl’s low pitch and long duration is well suited for transmission on the wild landscape – a wolf’s howl can be heard up to 10 miles away in open terrain! Wolves can howl to locate other wolves, advertise the size of their pack, to warn other family members of danger using a bark howl, and more. Just like us, each wolf has a unique voice so distinctive features of each individual's howl allow wolves to identify each other. And when every member of the pack joins the chorus, the singular howls and their harmonies give the listener the impression that pack is larger than it actually is.

What do you think Zephyr is saying?

Alaska Board of Game Votes Rejects Denali Wolf Buffer

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Despite Denali's plummeting wolf population and the EXTINCTION of a particularly famous wolf family who called the national park home, in an unanimous vote yesterday the Alaska Board of Game rejected the proposed wolf trophy hunting/trapping ban in the eastern and northern boundary of Denali National Park. More.

Sadly, Denali wolves, bears and wolverines will continue to be lured to bait stations, trapped, snared and shot, in the backyard of Alaska's most popular national park.

With Denali hosting over a half-million visitors each year, does it make sense for Alaska to kill the very animals they're hoping to see?


Snapshot today, snap trapped tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Killing wolves and their pups on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska?

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Urgent - Alaska's Wolves Need Your Help

Killing wolves and their pups, shooting mother bears and cubs in their dens, aerial gunning, snaring... on OUR National Wildlife Refuges?

On February 16, 2017, the House voted on H. J. RES. 69 which aims to repeal a federal rule that prohibits the inhumane slaughter of Alaskan wolf and bear populations on National Wildlife Refuges.

Find out how your Rep. voted here. The Wolf Conservation Center expresses its gratitude to the lawmakers who voted “no” on this misguided resolution.

H.J. Res. 69 is now before the Senate, where it must be passed and sent to President Trump for signature before it can take effect.

Please urge your Senators to stand up for America's wildlife and the National Wildlife Refuge System by opposing H. J. Res. 69. Thank you!

Take Action.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Economic Benefits of Federal Lands in the West

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A newly published study challenged arguments that public lands kill economic opportunity and job creation. The study evaluated data from 276 rural counties in 11 Western states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. You can read it here: Federal Lands in the West: Liability or Asset?

It found that population, employment and personal income, on average, "grew significantly faster" in Western rural counties "with the highest share of federal lands compared to counties with the lowest share of federal lands." Federal lands in the study include national parks, wilderness, national conservation areas, national monuments and national wildlife refuges - the home of America's wildlife.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

We are not trophies. We are brothers.



URGENT

Please urge your representatives to OPPOSE the War on Wolves Act (H.R. 424 & S.164) - legislation slated to allow wolves to be hunted and trapped for trophy in 4 states.

Take Action.

Not only is the War on Wolves Act (H.R. 424 and S.164) poised to strip federal protection for wolves in four states to allow trophy hunting/trapping to resume, it also undermines the integrity of our nation’s most significant environmental law - the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The ESA requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to base all listing and delisting decisions on the best available science. Thus, when determining whether to end endangered species protection, federal law requires that an independent panel of scientists provide an objective scientific review of the federal agency's proposals. The War on Wolves Act blatantly ignores this federal mandate and stands to weaken the ESA itself.

Science has concluded that we have entered an unprecedented period of climate change and human-caused Sixth Mass extinction. As conservationists in the 21st century, we face the growing challenge of helping imperiled species heal and flourish and supporting biodiversity for future generations, not dismantling the cornerstone of our nation’s conservation law.

If we destroy the ESA, we are killing more than a law. We are killing endangered species. And no species should have to face extinction at the hands of humanity, much less twice.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

New Bill Aiming to Hijack Lobo Recovery Planning

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Senator Flake (R-AZ) today reintroduced the deceptively named "Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Plan Act," a bill that would give unchecked power in Mexican gray wolf recovery planning to special interests and Arizona and New Mexico - states that have repeatedly obstructed efforts to recover the critically endangered species.

Hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the extinction of Mexican gray wolves in the wild, with only a handful remaining in captivity. Now the species is facing extinction a second time, but at the hands of politicians.

Happy Valentine's Day


Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Snowy Wolf is a Happy Wolf


Wolves are designed by the pressures of nature to be well adapted to survive on the cold and snowy landscape. Ambassador wolf Zephyr, like his wild counterparts, has two layers of fur: the long guard hairs that form the visible outer layer of of the coat and the soft dense undercoat. The coarse guard hairs determine a wolf's appearance/color and works like a raincoat, protecting a wolf from rain, snow, and sleet. The insulating undercoat is usually gray in color and keeps the animal comfortable in cold temperatures. 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. Zephyr's fluffy tail can also keep his nose warm and cozy. Thanks to these special features, wolves can thrive in temperatures well below freezing!

Friday, February 10, 2017

New Data Supporting Paradigm Shift in Carnivore Conservation From Control to Coexistence

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“…this is why the caribou and the wolf are one; for the caribou feeds the wolf, but it is the wolf who keeps the caribou strong.” 
~ Eskimo legend as told to Farley Mowat (Mowat 1973:85)

For 90 years, the American Society of Mammalogists (ASM) has made science-based challenges to widespread lethal control of native mammals, particularly by the U.S. federal government targeting carnivores in the western states.

A consensus is emerging among ecologists that extirpated, depleted, and destabilized populations of large predators, like wolves, are negatively affecting the overall biodiversity and resilience of ecosystems.

An interdisciplinary group of wildlife biologists and social scientists has just published a series of papers presenting new evidence of the greater efficacy and social acceptability of nonlethal deterrents to livestock depredation by large carnivores, as well as the lack of justification and possible harm to populations and ecosystems resulting from lethal control of these predators. A Special Feature on Predator Control in the February 2017 issue of the Journal of Mammalogy compiles evidence of these effects on wolves in Idaho, Wisconsin, and Michigan, and dingoes in Australia, and also provides new evidence of the growing intolerance for lethal control in the attitudes of the American public.

More.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Protect the Endangered Species Act




Hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the extinction of Mexican gray wolves in the wild, with only a handful remaining in captivity. The Endangered Species Act gave these Mexican wolf pups a second chance.

It appears evident that some politicians have forgotten the bipartisan values that Congress embraced four decades ago when it first passed the Endangered Species Act. This federal law has given thousands of at-risk species a second chance and has worked successfully to prevent the extinction of 99% of the species placed under its protection. A 2015 national poll found that 90% of American voters support the ESA.

Despite its success and public support, the strongest and most important federal law protecting imperiled wildlife and plants is under attack - deemed by its opponents as a burdensome regulation.

Science has concluded that we have entered an unprecedented period of climate change and human-caused Sixth Mass extinction. As conservationists in the 21st century, we are faced with the growing challenge of helping imperiled species heal and flourish and supporting biodiversity for future generations, not dismantling the cornerstone of our nation’s conservation law.

When you dismantle the ESA, you are killing more than a law. And no species should have to face extinction at the hands of humanity, much less twice.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Howling Mad Protest For Mexican Gray Wolves




Mexican gray wolf supporters, including our own Executive Director, Maggie Howell, and Youth Education Director, Regan Downey, gathered today in Santa Fe, New Mexico to protest roadblocks to saving endangered Mexican gray wolves enacted by Govornor Susana Martinez.
More.

Under Gov. Martinez, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in May and obtained an injunction barring the federal agency from releasing wolves into the wild in the state. The federal government and conservation organizations have appealed that injunction, but while the appeal is being decided the Mexican wolf’s genetic plight is worsening.

Please join us in howling across the miles to support these voices for wolves as they raise awareness for lobos that remain at the brink of extinction.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Wisconsin DNR underreports gray wolf poaching says new study


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For years, wolves have been shot illegally, struck by cars and trucks or legally killed by authorities acting on reports that wolves were killing and threatening livestock and pets.

But in a study published Monday in the Journal of Mammalogy, UW researcher Adrian Treves and a group of scientists found higher levels of illegal killing of wolves in Wisconsin than reported by the Department of Natural Resources.
In the paper, the researchers say that failing to accurately account for wolf deaths, especially in future hunting and trapping seasons, is “risky.” Also, if officials continue to underreport poaching, it “will risk unsustainable mortality and raise the probability of a population crash,” they write.

“My argument is that scientifically you have to put your best foot forward,” said Treves, founder of the Carnivore Coexistence Lab at UW-Madison. “And when the DNR didn’t, they were doing it with an illegal activity (poaching).”

Learn more.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

M.V.P. Most Valuable Predator


Beyond being ecologically important as a critical keystone predator, Atka is the cutest QB there will ever be.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Make Big Things Happen


Every voice raised in support of wildlife and wild places can make a difference. And when we all howl together we can make big things happen.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Endangered Red Wolves Make Valuable Contribution to Genetic Health of the Species

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Red wolf yearling M2116 coming out of anesthesia (Thank you, kiddo!)
Today 5 critically endangered red wolves made very personal and valuable contributions to the genetic health of their rare species. Under the leadership of reproductive specialists Cheri Asa, Karen Bauman from the Saint Louis Zoo, and Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine's Soon Hon Cheong, Wolf Conservation Center staff and volunteers collected the wolves’ semen for potential future use.

Via gamete cryopreservation, the samples will remain “on ice” in a “frozen zoo" - the term of endearment used by scientists for the bank of wolf sperm and ovaries stored in cryogenic vaults where some of the most precious genes are being held for future reproductive use.


Although the "frozen zoo" is an effective (and fascinating) tool to preserve rare wolf genes, other recovery strategies need to occur immediately to rescue the wild red wolf population from the brink of extinction. Only 45 red wolves remain.

Please consider urging USFWS, the very agency charged by federal law with protecting endangered species, to recommit to red wolf recovery in the wild. Before it is too late... --

Take action here.