Saturday, October 28, 2017

Endangered Mexican Gray Wolf, “Esperanza,” Applies to Join Arizona Game Commission

SPRINGERVILLE, AZ— An application to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey for a seat on the Arizona Game and Fish Commission was submitted today on behalf of the alpha female of the Panther Creek Pack of Mexican gray wolves. Named “Esperanza” (“hope” in Spanish) by school children when she was a pup, the applicant is a lifelong resident of Greenlee County and a fifth-generation Arizonan who avidly supports the right to hunt. The application was accompanied by testimonials from other wolves, including her offspring, and a letter of support from over a dozen conservation organizations long concerned about the commission’s anti-wolf record.

“Pro-wolf Arizonans have felt underrepresented by the current commission and their votes to limit Endangered Species Act protections for Mexican wolves,” said Greta Anderson, deputy director of Western Watersheds Project. “The Game and Fish Commission has consistently ignored the majority of Arizonans that want to see wolf populations recover and expand throughout the state.”

For the past two years Esperanza and her Panther Creek Pack fostered pups from captive wolves; the biological parents of the cross-fostered pups were not released with their offspring because of an Arizona Game and Fish Commission policy that has blocked adult releases. Esperanza raised these pups as her own and mentored them in subsistence survival, all the while knowing instinctively that her species’ survival depends on increased adult wolves being released from captivity.

"The Game and Fish Commision has repeatedly approved the reintroductions of non-native species or species outside of their ranges for the sole purpose of sport hunting or fishing and yet, when it comes to a native, endangered species in Arizona that needs the available habitat in the Grand Canyon region to be recovered, they push for an arbitrary boundary that would allow no wolves north of Interstate 40," said Emily Renn, executive director of the Grand Canyon Wolf Recovery Project.

“Having gotten to know the forests and meadows of the Panther Creek Pack’s home territory, and having sat through Arizona Game and Fish Commission meetings more times than I wish, I’m reluctant to subject Esperanza to the commission’s ugly politics,” said Sandy Bahr, director of the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club. “Unfortunately, the future of Esperanza and her pack as well as other endangered lobos will be significantly affected by the anti-wolf agenda of the commission, so we need someone on the panel to counter it and to represent the pro-wolf majority.”

Conservationists tout Esperanza’s qualifications including her work as a hunting guide, excelling in her business despite healthy competition, and her history of volunteering on management hunts to limit excessive elk herbivory on sensitive riparian vegetation in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. She’s well informed about Arizona’s public lands and is passionate about game management issues.


Follow Esperanza on Facebook to learn more and stay up to date on her candidacy.

More information about the applicant and the plight of Mexican wolves in the southwest can be found at Images are online and available for media use.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Ten Reasons Why Wolves Are Essential



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 among animals and plants, a phenomenon known as a “trophic cascade.” When present in an ecosystem, wolves have been noted to indirectly impact trees, rivers, 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. Thus the preservation and of keystone species is essential for maintaining the historic structure and function of the ecosystems they inhabit.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Environmental Commissioner of Ontario Says Province is Failing Rare Algonquin Wolf

Algonquin canid by Steve Dunsford of Impressions of Algonquin
October 24, 2017 -- Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) Dianne Saxe released her Environmental Protection Annual Report, an assessment on whether ministries have fulfilled their responsibilities under the Environmental Bill of Rights, and whether their environmentally significant decisions were consistent with the purposes of the law. The ECO is province’s environmental watchdog, an independent officer of the Legislature. In her 2017 Environmental Protection Report,"Good Choices, Bad Choices: Environmental Rights and Environmental Protection in Ontario", the ECO examines eight environmental issues this year, including Ontario's failure to protect a threatened species - the Algonquin wolf.

"Hunting and trapping is a central threat to the long-term survival of the Algonquin wolf, which is a threatened species at risk. Ontario’s Endangered Species Act prohibits threatened species from being killed or harmed, but the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has chosen to exempt the Algonquin wolf from this important protection across much of its range. The ministry has opted to only protect Algonquin wolves from hunting and trapping in and around a few isolated provincial parks. Scientists have concluded that the Algonquin wolf stands little chance of recovery unless the ministry bans hunting and trapping of wolves and coyotes throughout its range."

The report finds that between their small population — there could be as few as 154 adult Algonquin wolves in all of Ontario — and lax rules around their protection, it’s conceivable they could entirely disappear from the landscape.

Read the report here. Visit Earthroots for additional information.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Ambassador Wolf Atka Honored at Bedford 25 Event

Here in Westchester County, NY, we have among us a wide range of dedicated, influential, and creative neighbors. They can be counted on to lend their time, talents, and resources when it comes to enhancing the community. When Bedford Magazine asked locals who makes the biggest difference in Westchester this year, Atka made this list!

Join us to honor the charismatic ambassador at the Bedford 25 cocktail party on November 10! (Atka will not be attending)

Bedford 25 Reception and Ceremony

Wine and hors d'oeuvres cocktail party.Bedford Magazine and Houlihan Lawrence invite you to celebrate the 25 Most Dedicated, Most Creative, Most Influential. Wine and hors d'oeuvres cocktail party.

Friday, November 10 from 6pm - 8pm
Rippowam Cisqua School, 439 Cantitoe St, Bedford, NY

RSVP by October 31. Your purchase of a ticket is your RSVP.

For Tickets

Proceeds benefit the Wolf Conservation Center!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Secret Life of Mountain Lions

The Secret Life of Mountain Lions ​provides a rare glimpse into the family and social bonds of mountain lions. ​It affirms their rightful place ​in nature and they must be ​protected ​for generations to come.

Arizonans for Wildlife Launches Ballot Campaign

Arizonans for Wildlife is working to protect their state’s wild cats from extreme cruelty by prohibiting the trophy hunting and trapping of mountain lions, bobcats, ocelots, jaguars and lynx.

Learn more!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Victory For Single-State Species

An amendment that sought to strip protections for more than 1,000 imperiled species (including the red wolf) was defeated just defeated!

Introduced by Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), amendment #1429 sought to eliminate federal protections for endangered species that exist entirely within the borders of a single state. If passed, the amendment would have stripped federal protections for hundreds of imperiled species including the red wolf in North Carolina, the polar bear in Alaska, the Florida panther, and every listed plant or animal on Hawaii.

The amendment failed by a vote of 49-51.

See how your Senators voted.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Hélène Grimaud's Woodlands and Beyond

In addition to being one of the most celebrated internationally acclaimed classical pianists of our time, Hélène Grimaud is a highly committed conservationist and the founder of the Wolf Conservation Center.

In her newest project, Woodlands and Beyond, Hélène partners with photographer Mat Hennek to deliver in a concert to be both heard and seen, the harmony and spirituality of natural landscapes... and wolves!

Thank you, Hélène! You're are an inspiration!

Learn more about Mat Hennek's work:

Sunday, October 15, 2017

National Wolf Awareness Week Begins Today!

Wolves have long been shrouded by myth and superstition, this week provides an opportunity to opening the door to understanding the importance and plight of the keystone species. It’s a time to recognize wolves as an ESSENTIAL part of our natural landscapes and to engage others to become interested and active in wolf survival.

Follow the Wolf Conservation Center on Facebook and be on the lookout for wild giveaways, wolf facts, and ways to take action for North America's most misunderstood predator!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

How Did Wolves Become Dogs

 Scientists aren’t entirely sure how wolves evolved into dogs, but new research into the genetic and social behavior of wolf pups may offer some clues.

 More from The New York Times.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Are Poachers Following Oregon's Lead? Federally Protected Wolf Found Dead.

Since August of this year, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has authorized the killing of 10 wolves in its effort to protect cattle on both public and private lands.

Just last Friday, ODFW issued a kill permit allowing "livestock producers" affiliated with a local grazing association to kill up to four Harl Butte pack wolves (any wolves of the pack - including pups) in pastures on public or private land currently occupied by their livestock.

Last year, ODFW killed the entire Imnaha Pack.

Is killing entire wolf packs every couple of years a solution?

Moreover, are poachers following suit?

ODFW announced last night that federally protected wolf OR-33 was illegally shot and killed. The body of the 4-year-old wolf was found on the Fremont-Winema National Forest. He was wearing a collar.

A recent study by Guillaume Chapron and Adrian Treves shows government-sanctioned killing is more likely to increase poaching than reduce it.

Read more.

Battle of Endurance: Wolf vs. Moose

A phenomenal glimpse at the endurance of gray wolves and moose alike. 

Read more about the encounter via Earth Touch News Network

(In the days since the video was posted online, Nystedt has faced criticism for flying his drone so close to the animals, with some viewers even accusing him of altering the outcome of the hunt. The wolf does seem to be aware of the drone's presence overhead, but it was likely the moose's move towards deeper water – not the flying tech – that sent the predator back to dry land. At least temporarily.)

Monday, October 9, 2017

Mexican Gray Wolf by Joel Sartore

The Mexican gray wolf once ruled the American Southwest, but as the arrival of humans and livestock increased, they began to be viewed as a pest. By 1973, trapping, poison and rifles had completely eliminated the wild Mexican gray wolf populations in the U.S., leaving only a handful alive in captivity.

To save this keystone species, an unprecedented breeding program was put in place and, in 1998, eleven Mexican gray wolves were eventually released back into the wilds of Arizona. Today about 100 survive on their own, a better number for sure, but the wolf still remains one of the rarest land animals on Earth. 

So what to do? Allowing the wolves to establish territories in many suitable habitats in remote locations will help prevent inbreeding. Biologists hope to target areas with abundant wild prey and few roads such as the vast forested areas around the Grand Canyon, up into Utah, over to New Mexico and into parts of Colorado. A minimum population of 750 wolves in the wild would help ensure that the species will stay genetically distinct enough to survive well into the future

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Scholastic News Kid Reporter Ava Park-Matt Sleeps With Wolves

Imagine that you’re sleeping in the wilderness in a tent and are awakened by the sound of wolves howling. That’s what happened to Scholastic News Kid Reporter Ava Park-Matt over the summer when her family spent the night at the Wolf Conservation Center!

Read her article HERE.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Oregon Killing Four More Wolves To Protect Cows

Last night, Oregon officials issued another kill order to kill up to 4 wolves of the Harl Butte family group to protect cows. The kill permit is valid until 10/31/2017 and allows "livestock producers" affiliated with a local grazing association to kill wolves in pastures on public or private land currently occupied by their livestock. More.

Last year, ODFW killed the entire Imnaha Pack in this same area. Is killing entire wolf packs every couple of years a solution?

Please follow Oregon Wild for updates.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Meet Mexican Gray Wolf Pup Jean!Shy and always with a family member, f1619, a.k.a. Jean, is the quietest of the pups, but that doesn’t make her any less fierce!

jean _logo_edit_email
Shy and always with a family member, f1619, a.k.a. Jean, is the quietest of the pups,
but that doesn’t make her any less fierce!
Shy and always with a family member, f1619, a.k.a. Jean, is the quietest of the pups, but that doesn’t make her any less fierce!

Jean is one of the three critically endangered Mexican gray wolf pups born on May 22, 2017. Beyond being cute, this little kiddo represents the Wolf Conservation Center's active participation in an effort to save a species on the brink of extinction.

While our three little wolf pups were assigned their alphanumeric "names" last month, the sisters deserve proper names too! First, you met Nita. Max was next. Now we are happy to introduce you to Jean!

We are so lucky and grateful to have so many wonderful friends and supporters. Jean Ossorio has been a vital member of the WCC pack some time. For those who have met Jean, it’s no secret that she is committed to Mexican gray wolf recovery. Not only has Jean been a tireless advocate for the protection and preservation of the lobo for decades, she has spent more time than anyone camping in Mexican wolf country, hoping for a glimpse, sound, or other sign of these rare and elusive animals.

Jean is courage, compassion, brilliance, and grit in action; and her love for lobos goes unparalleled. It seems only natural that one of our three spirited Mexican gray wolf pups should be named after her.

So throw back your head and let out a long celebratory howl for little Jean!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

House Committee Advances 5 Anti-ESA Bills

The House Natural Resources Committee today advanced 5 bills that would severely undermine the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

One bill, H.R. 424, seeks to strip ESA protections for wolves in 4 states to allow wolves to be shot and trapped for trophy. To add insult to injury, the bill prohibits its judicial review thus preventing any legal challenge.

The following 4 anti-ESA bills also advanced in today's mark-up meeting:
  • H.R. 717, Listing Reform Act 
  • H.R. 1274, State, Tribal, and Local Species Transparency and Recovery Act
  • H.R. 2603, SAVES Act 
  • H.R. 3131, Endangered Species Litigation Reasonableness Act
Please help. Urge your representative to oppose legislation taking aim at imperiled species and the ESA!

Take Action

Monday, October 2, 2017

Legislation Taking Aim at Wolves


Urgent Action Needed

The U.S. House may soon vote on the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (H.R.3668), deceitfully dubbed the SHARE Act. If passed, H.R.3668 would:
  • Permanently remove federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Wyoming, to allow trophy hunting of wolves to immediately resume within these states. To add insult to injury, the bill prohibits its judicial review thus preventing any legal challenge.
  • Prohibit regulation of toxic lead ammunition or fishing equipment, which harms fish, wildlife and human health.
  • Potentially open millions of acres of public lands to trapping where it may currently be prohibited.

Please urge your representative to OPPOSE his legislation. Take action HERE.

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