Sunday, December 31, 2017

Howls of Thanks


Here's to you!

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! It is because our pack, supporters, and champions like YOU, that the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) has become a national leader in wolf education, advocacy, and the protection of wolf populations in the wild.

So as we close 2017, we thank you for your support and rededicate ourselves to our mission. Because many challenges remain...

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

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

As a pack, we will make a difference.

See you in 2018!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Happy Birthday Endangered Species Act

Forty-four years ago today, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was signed into law. Sadly, despite its success and public support, the ESA is under attack like never before.

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

With extinction, there is no turning back, no second chance. Thankfully, the ESA has given thousands of at-risk species like the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf (pictured) a second chance. For over four decades the ESA has worked successfully to prevent the extinction of 99% of the species placed under its protection. A national poll conducted in 2015 found that the ESA is supported by 90% of American voters.

Despite this, some members of Congress continue their attempts to chip away at the ESA bill by bill.

Damaging anti-wolf amendments (riders) that undermine ESA protections are still in play for House and Senate draft FY 2018 Interior/EPA appropriations bills. The anti-wolf provisions are among a handful of amendments that seek to weaken the ESA.

Please urge your representatives to keep these anti-wolf riders, which undermine the Endangered Species Act and its scientific process, out of the appropriation bill!


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Atka the Wolf Celebrates Boxing Day

Atka the Arctic ambassador wolf enjoys (and destroys) a package of treats from our friends at!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Peace on Earth

Sunday, December 24, 2017

‘Tis the night before Christmas

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

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Happy Winter Solstice!

Hello, winter, my old friend.
You've come to howl with me again.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Major Victory for B.C. Grizzly Bears!

victory_grizzly_logo_smIn June of 2017, Wolf Conservation Center staff and supporters encountered this beautiful grizzly bear in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest.

Once roaming widely across North America, B.C. is one of the last refuges of the grizzly bear, and at long last, the B.C. Government announced today a full and total ban on the grizzly bear trophy hunt!

"It took more than a couple decades of solid work from countless individuals, NGO's, First Nation communities to realize this dream but today the BC government finally capitulated and has announced a full and complete ban on the trophy hunt of grizzly bears," stated Ian McAllister, Executive Director at Pacific Wild. "Not just for the Great Bear Rainforest, but for the entire province. Going into 2018 knowing that grizzly bears will emerge from their dens this spring and will not be legally shot for sport, meat, or trophy is a truly great feeling."

Thank you, Pacific Wild!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Pilots to the Rescue Making A Difference for Endangered Wolves

South Salem, New York, December 17, 2017 -- Santa isn’t the only one taking to the sky to make special deliveries this season! Pilot and engineer Patrick Lofvenholm might not be flying by sleigh and magic reindeer, but his contribution to the red wolf recovery program is better than anything that can fit under a tree.

Lofvenholm’s precious cargo is “M1606”, a captive red wolf from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sandy Ridge facility in N.C.

Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) curator Rebecca Bose met Lofvenholm at Raleigh-Durham International Airport early Sunday morning to load the wolf onto his light, twin-engined piston aircraft for transport to Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York.

The critically endangered fellow will be paired with F2121 (a.k.a. Charlotte), a red wolf who currently resides at the WCC in NY, in hope that they will make a priceless contribution to the recovery of their rare species with pups next spring.

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

This is not the first rescue mission for Lofvenholm, for close to 10 years the dedicated pilot has been helping canines in need by transporting dogs rescued from kill-shelters to safe havens or forever homes. Lofvenholm is a member of the wonderful team at Pilots to the Rescue (PTTR), a volunteer-based non-profit aviation organization that donates flights to make a difference for animals.

“We are excited to be working with the Wolf Conversation Center in transporting this critically endangered passenger,” said PTTR founder Michael Schneider. “Pilots to the Rescue has generally been involved in dog rescue so this is a welcome pivot with our organization. We recognize the grave situation that the red wolf population is in and we want to contribute to saving these animals. After all, without wolves where would the common domestic dog be?”

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. 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.

The current estimate puts the remaining wild population at their lowest level in decades. As of summer of 2017, only 28 known wild red wolves remained.

# # #

Pilots to the Rescue's mission is to save potential pets facing euthanasia utilizing an advanced rescue flight system. Enrolling a network of trained pilots, shelters, ground teams and veterinarians, PTTR flies these little souls filled with unconditional love giving them a second chance for a forever home. Pilots to the Rescue is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit all volunteer organization (IRS EIN: #47-3415146).

The Wolf Conservation Center is an environmental education organization committed to conserving wolf populations in North America through science-based education programming and participation in the federal Species Survival Plans for the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf and red wolf. Through wolves, the WCC teaches the broader message of conservation, ecological balance, and personal responsibility for improved human stewardship of our World. For more information, visit

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Jason Momoa and Lisa Bonet Inspire Fans to #StandForWolves

HOWLS of thanks to Jason Momoa and Lisa Bonet for encouraging fans to #StandForWolves!

Jason Momoa is a legend and not just because he played Khal Drogo, one of the most famous Dothraki leaders of all time on Game of Thrones, Nor is it because he stars as Aquaman - the breakout character of DC's Justice League. He and his renowned wife, Lisa Bonet, are positive forces who inspire fans across the world to make the world a better place.

There's no doubt that Momoa and Bonet clearly want to do their part to #stopextinction. The pair posted a video on Instagram yesterday asking fans to urge Congress to keep attacks on wolves and the Endangered Species Act out of the must-pass appropriations bill. And when Momoa and Bonet HOWL, their fans listen. To date, the video has been viewed nearly ONE MILLION times!

Join them in the fight for wolves! Take action today.



Tuesday, December 12, 2017

What is a 'Coywolf?'

Coyotes are explorers and one of the most successful carnivores in North America because of their ability to cope, if not thrive, after decades of persecution. Even New York City has been colonized by coyotes and without much fanfare despite the sensationalized stories in the media this month.
Here in the eastern United States, the coyotes are hybrids. Just like everybody else, they are the result of evolution. Over the years these dynamic canids have acquired a number of nicknames. Both "coywolf" and “coydog” have been growing in popularity, however, the majority of the scientific community recognizes the animal with the less flashy moniker: “eastern coyote.”

Javier Monzon (2)It's no surprise that "wolf" and "dog" have been woven into the identity of wild canids in the region, current science indicates a number of species are represented within the genome of the eastern coyote. Ecologist and evolutionary biologist Javier Monzón, previously at Stony Brook University in New York, now at Pepperdine University in California, analyzed the DNA of eastern coyotes and found the genes contain all three canids -- dog, wolf, and coyote. According to Monzón's research, about 64% of the eastern coyote's genome is coyote (Canis latrans), 13% gray wolf (Canis lupus), 13% Eastern wolf (Canis lycaon), and 10% dog (Canis familiaris). Sounds like a recipe for canis soup!

Regardless of what we call them, coyotes are here to stay. Americans are fortunate to have an enormous diversity of wildlife sharing the landscape with us. And as human populations continue to encroach into natural habitats, it's sometimes necessary for us to modify our behavior to ensure peaceful coexistence with our wild neighbors.

Learn more.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Axl Rose Throws Himself to the Wolves


Join Axl Rose and fight the war on wolves!

The “War on Wolves” budget rider seeks to strip Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections from wolves in four states. If passed into law, these wolves will die at the hands of TROPHY hunters.

Take Action Today

The toxic provision proposes to permanently remove federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Wyoming, to allow trophy hunting and trapping of wolves to resume. To add insult to injury, the rider prohibits its judicial review, thus preventing any legal challenge.

Judicial review is an important part of the checks and balances to limit the authority of the legislative branch. Wolves are on the table today. What tomorrow? Our environment? Our public health? Our civil rights? Would your Senator support a bill that undermines one of the central pillars of American democracy?

Lawmakers have repeatedly inserted this anti-wolf/anti-ESA provision into unrelated must-pass spending bills. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

Please urge your representatives to ensure that anti-wolf riders, which undermine the ESA and its scientific process, are NOT included in the must-pass budget bill. Take action here.

Photo: Katarina Benzova Photography

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Giving Tuesday All Month Long!

The Wolf Conservation Center was so lucky to receive amazing support from our followers this past Giving Tuesday, and we're so fortunate that your generosity extends throughout the year. We think Giving Tuesday should be every Tuesday! So this holiday season, we'll highlight some of our favorite organizations in an attempt to raise awareness of their amazing work. Join us for an extended #GivingTuesday and give all season long!

Susie's Senior Dogs is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to bring awareness to the plight of homeless senior dogs. Senior dogs, like wolves, are often misunderstood and as such, senior dogs are typically overlooked during the adoption process. If you're able, please help us support their mission of finding homes for senior dogs.

Perhaps you can even adopt one?

Sunday, December 3, 2017

New Paper On Eastern Coyotes of Long Island, New York


Coyotes (Canis latrans) have increased their range dramatically over the past century. Formerly restricted to western North America, they now roam across the continent, in many habitats including large cities.

Even New York City (NYC), one of the largest and most densely populated urban centers in the world, has been colonized by coyotes. And now the last hold out, Long Island, N has a few coyotes too. Given the history of coyote success, it's expected that coyotes will establish a growing population there in the near future.

There is no evidence from prehistory or recent history that coyotes ever populated Long Island, so this appears to be truly a novel colonization. However, they do fulfill an important ecological role, similar to the role of other carnivores humans have exterminated from the eastern US.

In a new paper, scientists summarize all verified accounts of coyotes on Long Island, including the first record of breeding.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Growing Threats to Arctic Wolf Habitat

Last night, the Senate voted to approve its tax reform bill containing a highly controversial provision opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas drilling.

A majority of American voters want the Refuge to remain protected. Scientists say drilling will destroy this vital habitat for wolves, polar bears, and caribou.

Less than a month ago 37 leading Arctic wildlife scientists sent a letter opposing drilling on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Decades of biological study and scientific research within the Arctic Refuge have confirmed that the coastal plain specifically is vital to the biological diversity of the entire refuge. Within the narrow (15-40 miles) coastal plain, there is a unique compression of habitats which concentrates a wide array of wildlife native to the Arctic, including polar bears, grizzly bears, and WOLVES.

In fact, according to the USFWS, the Arctic Refuge coastal plain contains the greatest wildlife diversity of any protected area above the Arctic Circle.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Where Did Black Wolves Come From?

zephyr_fall_logo_smDid you know that the black fur of some North American wolves is the result of long-ago dalliances with domestic dogs? Wolves are believed to have picked up the black-coat mutation some 12,000-15,000 years ago. The black-fur mutation established itself very quickly in forest-dwelling wolves which suggests it must provide them with some significant advantage. Read more here via The New York Times