Friday, March 16, 2018

How Selena Gomez Unknowingly "Handled" to Help Wolves

When Puma chose Selena Gomez instead of Richard Handler for their new campaign...something had to be done.

Enormous howls of thanks to Wolf Conservation Center supporter Richard Handler for taking one for the PACK!

Thursday, March 15, 2018


Happy Birthday, Kai!

The self-appointed Sheriff of the Wolf Conservation Center's "Staff Pack" turns 12 years old today! The 90lb German Shepherd is more than a pretty face; as a wolf pup nanny, Kai held a critical role in socializing WCC Ambassador wolves Alawa, Zephyr, and Nikai (pictured) during their puppy-hood.

As Ambassadors, they help open the door to understanding wolves by forging a connection between the public and their wild kin. So developing a basic comfort level around people is vital to their becoming educational ambassadors and leading happy and healthy lives at the WCC. By providing canine companionship, Kai bridged the gap between the human and canine world and helped the wolves become the powerful players we know and love in the fight to preserve wolves’ rightful place in the environment.

Thank you, Kai! We love you and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Monday, March 12, 2018

For Wolves, Playtime Strengthens Family Bonds

Wolves are highly social animals that live in well-organized family units called packs. Cooperative living gives wolf families a number of benefits. It facilitates successful hunting, pup-rearing, defending pack territory, and more.

The parents (sometimes referred to as the “alpha” pair) are the leaders of the pack and they express their status with erect posture and tails carried high. The less dominant family members exhibit their position through submissive behavior. With lowered tails and posture, less dominant wolves acknowledge their role and rank in the family hierarchy. Pawing, tail tucking, and muzzle-licking are among the submissive gestures expressed by less dominant wolves. Although hungry wolf pups hoping to elicit regurgitation in adults employ these behaviors, they’re expressed by adults to function as a sign of affection and reaffirmation of their social status.

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 and reaffirms social status within the pack.

Learn more about wolf communication here.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Howls of Thanks from the Wolf Conservation Center

We asked for your help and you heard our howls!

Thanks to you, we are making good progress recovering from damage brought on by last week’s powerful nor’easter!

We are humbled by the incredible support from our pack - supporters like you.

Howls of thanks from all of the wolves and all of us here at the WCC!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Wyoming Proposes Hunting Grizzlies for Trophy

Eight months ago, Yellowstone's grizzly bears were a federally protected endangered species.

Now, less than a year after U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed protection for the iconic bears, Wyoming has proposed hunting them for trophy.

The first Wyoming grizzly bear trophy hunt in over four decades will begin in the fall and target 24 bears if commissioners who oversee the state’s wildlife sign off on the proposal.

In the meantime, the agency is inviting the public to weigh in on the draft regulations. Comments are due by April 30.


Remembering Ambassador Wolf Apache

Today we remember an old friend.

Eight 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.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Wolf Conservation Center Slammed by Nor'easter

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Wolf Conservation Center staff, volunteers, and wolves are sharing a collective sigh of relief today.

Wednesday's big, blustery nor'easter, the second to hit New York's Westchester County in less than a week, brought well over a foot of wet, heavy snow and significant fence damage to the WCC.

Thankfully, the wolves are okay.

WCC's endangered species facility, which houses the majority of the Center's critically endangered Mexican gray wolves and red wolves, bared the brunt of the formidable storm. Although a number of enclosures were damaged, the wolves remained safe and contained.

WCC staff has been working tirelessly to remove debris, address the compromised fence-lines. and make the pathways and roads accessible. However, many repairs remain to be done. If you are able, please consider making a donation to help us in this effort. Every penny helps!

Donate here.

Some good news -- since our restricted area was impacted the most, all education programming remains on schedule!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Nobody Does a Nor'easter as Beautifully as Wolves

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Hunting wolves for trophy? What you can do for wolves right now.

URGENT -- Facing another appropriations deadline on March 23, Congress is still working to determine how to fund the government. Unfortunately, damaging anti-wolf riders that undermine Endangered Species Act protections for wolves are still in play.

One provision seeks to permanently remove federal ESA protections for gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Wyoming, to allow trophy hunting to resume. To add insult to injury, the bill prohibits its judicial review thus preventing any legal challenge.

If these riders are not removed by Congress, wolves will die at the hands of trophy hunters.


And/or please call 888-813-5246 TODAY to urge your reps to #StopExtinction!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Nor'easter Update From the Wolf Conservation Center

Nor'easter Update

High nor'easter winds caused flooding, hundreds of downed trees, and thousands of power outages all over the northeast. More than 60,000 homes are without power just in our neck of the woods here in Westchester County, NY! Thankfully, all the wolves are doing fine, and thanks to the Jeniam Foundation's generous grant to support the Wolf Conservation Center's purchase of a powerful generator, the WCC remains up and running!

The generator is definitely 'Nikai-approved'... All the wolves are thankful that the walk-in freezer will always remain operational so their roadkill deer never spoils. Yummy.

Friday, March 2, 2018

How Do Wolves Act During a Nor'easter?

A major nor'easter is pounding our area. Some Mexican gray wolves are playing, others have opted for a snooze. Join the lobos now via LIVE webcams:

PS: All the wolves have access to dens, but after some unusually mild weather, the snow is welcome to wolves!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Happiness is having dogs (and wolves!) in the office

The Dog Files - Ep.0008 - The Wolf Files from GP Creative on Vimeo.

It's throwback Thursday!

Enjoy this video from 2009 when the Dog Files introduce some of the Wolf Conservation Center's original lesser-known canines: the "Staff Pack" - a handful of dogs that make life a little more interesting for original ambassador wolves Kaila, Apache, Lukas and Atka.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Endangered Wolf Family Released In Chihuahua, Mexico!

The Wild is Calling and the Lobos are Ready!

On February 9, 2018, a family of 5 wolves from Buenavista del Cobre Sonora Wildlife Facility were released in the wild in Chihuahua, Mexico! The family consists a breeding pair (one five-year-old and the other 10) as well as three juveniles (two males and one female) of approximately 19 months of age. The 5 wolves were fitted with satellite telemetry collars to monitor their activity and movement.

Here in the U.S., recovery demands releasing family groups like this one into the wild. Unfortunately, state politics have too often blocked USFWS's release efforts so wolves essential to the genetic health of the wild population remain in captivity.

USFWS has a responsibility under federal law to facilitate recovery of the critically endangered species and releases are a central part of that effort. With only 114 remaining in the U.S., time is running out.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Only 114 Mexican Gray Wolves Left in the Wild

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) just released its annual Mexican gray wolf population count - only 114 wild lobos remain in Arizona and New Mexico. The critically endangered population experienced a net increase of ONE WOLF since a count of 113 lobos was recorded in 2017.

The slight population growth has been tempered by illegal killings and removals throughout 2017. 12 Mexican gray wolves died of unknown causes and USFWS, the very agency tasked with recovering this critically endangered species, killed one wolf last year.

“Despite the efforts of state and federal agencies and some in the livestock industry to limit their recovery, these highly endangered wolves persist,” said Sandy Bahr, chapter director for Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter. “Persisting is not enough, however, we need wolves to thrive in order to have a truly recovered animal. That means more wolves in more places, including Grand Canyon, and connected populations.”


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Are red wolves on the brink of extinction?

Are red wolves on the brink of extinction? According to experts, yes.

WNYC Radio, along with science and nature writer DeLene Beeland, investigates the challenges facing red wolf recovery.

One of the most dangerous threats to critically endangered red wolves, according to Beeland, is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - the very agency tasked with saving these rare canids.

Learn more about red wolves here.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Red Wolf Love Is In The Air


This handsome fella (M1606, also known as "Jack") was spotted in a copulatory tie with F2121 ("Charlotte") this morning! She was probably taken in by his amber eyes, striking features, and genetic value to the red wolf species.

his is an exciting first step to their potential contribution of pups to the recovery of their rare species. The gestation period for wolves is 63 days so mark your calendar - they might have some adorable reasons to celebrate come April!

Learn more about red wolves here.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Wolf Conservation Center Standing Up for Critically Endangered Lobos

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized its deeply flawed recovery plan for the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf last month that will prevent the species from recovering in its historic homelands. Former federal officials say it strays far from scientists’ minimum recommendations for recovery.

So, we're taking USFWS to court.

On January 30, Earthjustice, on behalf of the Wolf Conservation Center, Dave Parsons (Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator for the USFWS), the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Endangered Wolf Center filed a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s fatally flawed plan.

We're standing up for critically endangered lobos like F1435 (aka Magdalena) in the hope that one day, her species will be fully restored to their rightful place on the wild landscape.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A Wolf Encounter in the High Arctic

A wild encounter with a young arctic wolf at at -40°C.

Arctic wolves don't often see people, so this youngster was noticeably curious when she encountered renowned filmmaker Oliver Goetzl.

Arctic wolves can be especially curious around people, much more so than their wild counterparts in other parts of the world. Anecdotal evidence suggests that arctic wolves show less fear of people because they rarely see humans and have not been subject to the intense persecution like other wolves in North America. From passing down knowledge from one generation to the next, most wolves (beyond those in the arctic) have learned that people pose a threat to survival.

Photo ©Doclights/Gulo Film Productions

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Pay a State Fee to Enter a National Park? Leave it to Wyoming...

Even though Yellowstone belongs to all Americans as part of our National Park System, Wyoming is proposing that all visitors to America's first National Park be required to pay an extra fee to support the state's Game and Fish Department.

Wyoming is a state with a history of hostile and extreme anti-wolf policies. The state manages a trophy hunting season in its northwest corner. In the remaining 85% of Wyoming (a.k.a. the "predator zone"), wolves can be killed by any means, at any time, without a license.

National parks do not belong to one state - they are national properties in which every citizen has a vested interest. Moreover, each year, millions of Americans flock to Yellowstone in order to see the wolves, bison, bears etc... Should those Americans be forced to pay a fee to a state agency that seeks to destroy the very purpose of their visit? What say you?

If the fee is enacted, it will not be able to go into effect without federal action; the United States Congress would also have to act if the state fee were to be put in place.

Currently, there are no other national parks that have fees assessed that go to help state wildlife agencies. The Wyoming proposal is a first of its kind.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Earth Touch: Lobos in Limbo

Not long ago, the Mexican wolf came perilously close to extinction. Eleventh-hour conservation efforts nudged the iconic predator back from the brink – but only by a little. Decades later, its long-term survival is still uncertain, and a recently finalized recovery plan for the endangered subspecies has reignited long-standing debate.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Saving Endangered Wolves Via Artificial Insemination

While the Wolf Conservation Center has been a vocal and visible advocate in trying to secure protections for critically endangered wolf species, the WCC also pursues extraordinary conservation measures to maximize the genetic health of the wolves entrusted to our care.

The WCC employs reproductive tools including, semen collection and gamete cryopreservation to aid in maintaining diversity within a species that was at one time extinct in the wild.

Today, the WCC took a further step in reproductive research by artificially inseminating Mexican gray wolf F1226 (affectionately known as Belle) using sperm that was preserved by freezing. The nonsurgical transcervical insemination was performed at the WCC under the leadership of reproductive specialists Soon Hon Cheong of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell’s Dr. Anna Mitchell DVM, Norwalk Veterinary Hospital’s Dr. Charlie Duffy, VMD, and Christine Wilson of Pound Ridge Veterinary Center.
We won’t know the outcome of the procedure until early April; the gestation period for a wolf is 63 days.

In the meantime, enormous thanks to our reproductive team, and most of all to Belle, for making a very personal and valuable contribution to the genetic health of her rare species!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Super Bowl Gets Thrown to the Wolves

Beyond being the cutest QB ever, Atka is ecologically important as a critical keystone predator. GO WOLVES!

Wolf Hygiene 101

Beyond their importance as a critical keystone species, wolves can be pretty cute too!

Ambassador wolf Alawa is doing an adorable job of demonstrating a face wipe. She just completed eating her meal (the leg of a road-killed deer) so, by rubbing her head in the snow, she's cleaning her face of blood and debris. Plus, it looks like it feels really good too!

If you want to watch Zephyr, Alawa, Nikai, Atka or the WCC's critically endangered Mexican gray wolves or red wolves in live time, visit our live wolf webcams. If you see something cool, let us know!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Learning From Wolf "Scat'

Eastern wolves are elusive creatures that roam the forests of Quebec and Ontario. In 2016 the Government of Ontario changed the status of these wolves - known as Algonquin wolves in that province - from 'special concern' to 'threatened'. The Ontario government only has until June of this year to come up with a recovery plan for the animal. Wolf researcher and activist Hannah Barron works for the Eastern Wolf Survey. She is currently busy gathering data about this population to help forge a plan for their protection. Documentary producer Andrew Budziak went out with Barron and her team of citizen scientists to collect wolf feces, known as 'scat.'

 Learn more about the eastern (Algonquin) wolf here.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Algonquin Wolf Pack Howling

Breathtaking Algonquin (Eastern) wolves sing in Ontario's Algonquin Park. Listen here.

Algonquin wolves, Canis lycaon, were previously considered a subspecies of gray wolf, Canis lupus lycaon. Recent genomic research, however, tells us these rare wolves represent a distinct species.

Learn more.

Recording and photo by Steve Dunsford of Impressions of Algonquin

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Get Wildly Romantic For Valentine's Day


Love is rare. So are wolves.

Looking for a unique way to say "I love you" to that special person? Hoping to find a gift that represents how they bring out your animalistic side? Sponsor one of our critically endangered mating pairs for a wildly romantic present!

The WCC is fortunate to have five potential breeding pairs this season – two red wolf pairs and three Mexican gray wolf pairs. Unbeknownst to these hopeful lovers, the fate of their critically endangered species rests on their shoulders. Both species were at one point extinct in the wild but through careful management, controlled releases, and the support of individuals like you, their populations have grown. We’re hoping this season will be especially exciting with numerous mating ties and we want YOU to join in the fun! Make it a threesome!

Each potential breeding pair, just like every human breeding pair, has a unique relationship – there are veteran parents, newlyweds, etc. – and each pair can be sponsored for Valentine’s Day! Recipients will receive an online certificate with photos of the breeding pair and information about their “couple”: how they met, any trials in their relationship, their courtship behaviors, and more captivating details!

Tell someone you want to get wild with them today!

Learn more

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Wolf Conservation Center Going to Court for Endangered Mexican Wolves

Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration’s Fatally Flawed Mexican Wolf Plan

Plan Ignores Science, Fails on Urgently Needed Recovery Actions

TUCSON, Az. – A coalition of wolf advocates, including the Wolf Conservation Center, today filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s deeply flawed recovery plan for the Mexican gray wolf, one of North America’s most endangered mammals.

The lawsuit challenges the plan because it disregards the best available science in setting inadequate population goals, cuts off wolf access to vital recovery habitat, and fails to respond to mounting genetic threats to the species.

“Mexican wolves urgently need more room to roam, protection from killing, and more releases of wolves into the wild to improve genetic diversity, but the Mexican wolf recovery plan provides none of these things,” said Earthjustice attorney Elizabeth Forsyth, who is representing the wolf advocates. “The wolves will face an ongoing threat to their survival unless major changes are made.”

The Trump administration issued the long-awaited recovery plan in November 2017. The plan ignored comments submitted by tens of thousands of people—including leading wolf scientists—who challenged the quality of the science used and asked for stronger protections and more aggressive recovery efforts. The best available science indicates Mexican wolf recovery requires at least three connected populations totaling approximately 750 individuals; a carefully managed reintroduction effort that prioritizes improving the genetic health of the animals; and establishment of at least two additional population centers in the southern Rockies and the Grand Canyon region.

The new plan disregarded that scientific evidence by failing to consider additional recovery areas in the United States. Instead, it shifts much of the proposed recovery effort to Mexico, where adequate wolf habitat is not available. The plan also calls for inadequate wolf numbers and fails to provide a sufficient reintroduction program to address genetic threats.

“Mexican wolves are vital to restoring natural balance in the Southwest, but they need a strong, science-based recovery plan to address urgent threats,” said Michael Robinson, a conservation advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity. “We’re gravely concerned that Trump’s plan would cut wolves off from habitats in the Grand Canyon and southern Rockies and remove protections while they’re still imperiled.”

“The final recovery plan leaves too much to chance and will likely result in relisting the Mexican wolf again sometime in the future,” said Bryan Bird, Southwest director for Defenders of Wildlife. “This is a political plan, not a recovery plan that meets the standards of the Endangered Species Act.”

“This is a national issue. Mexican wolves help keep the American landscape intact and healthy. Our hope is that this legal challenge can help Fish and Wildlife Service create the best plan possible, based on sound science, to help save this critically endangered wolf,” said Virginia Busch, Executive Director of the Endangered Wolf Center near St. Louis, Mo.

“It is deeply disappointing to have waited 35 years for a new plan that is fatally flawed in so many ways. The content of the plan was dictated primarily by state wildlife agencies known to be antithetical to meaningful recovery of Mexican wolves. High-value habitats suitable for wolf recovery in the United States have been excluded from consideration. And reliance on a foreign country, where the U.S. government has no authority, to achieve full recovery is fraught with risk for the long-term survival of our southwestern lobos,” said David Parsons, former Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“The Service is granting the very state agencies that have gone to extraordinary lengths to obstruct recovery too much authority over the time, location, and circumstances of wolf releases,” said Maggie Howell of the Wolf Conservation Center. “Too many opportunities, and quite frankly genetically irreplaceable wolves, have already been wasted under the states’ mismanagement — critically endangered lobos deserve better.”

The critically endangered Mexican gray wolf almost vanished from the face of the earth in the mid-20th century because of human persecution. The entire population of Mexican wolves alive today descends from just seven individuals that were captured and placed into a captive breeding program before the species was exterminated from the wild.

As the result of a reintroduction program, today there is a single population of approximately 113 Mexican wolves existing in the wild in the United States, located in the Blue Range area of eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. However, the reintroduced population suffers from high mortality due to illegal killing and compromised genetics because of its brush with extinction.

In 2014, Earthjustice—on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, retired Fish and Wildlife Service Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator David R. Parsons, the Endangered Wolf Center and the Wolf Conservation Center—filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to develop a recovery plan. A settlement of that lawsuit led to issuance of the Mexican wolf recovery plan that the same plaintiffs are now challenging. The plaintiffs are asking a federal judge to order the government to develop a Mexican wolf recovery plan that legitimately responds to recovery needs for the species as the law requires.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Wolves do not kill for sport. That is a fact.


Wolves have been demonized and misunderstood for much of human history. Because wolves are highly politicized animals, common misconceptions about wolves can cause real harm. Helping to correct misinformation is an effective way to help wolves.

MYTH: Wolves kill for sport. Doug Smith, National Park Service's (NPS) director of the Yellowstone Wolf Recovery Project, leads efforts to monitor wolves in Yellowstone and has been with the program since wolf reintroduction in the mid-1990s. In a Q&A series posted by the NPS, Smith explains the truth about wolf surplus killing. It's about survival, not sport.


Sunday, January 28, 2018

Arctic wolf Atka asks, "Where did my snow go?"

Born in 2002, Atka is the oldest ambassador wolf at the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC). He is one of the four 'ambassador wolves' at the WCC that help teach the public about wolves and their vital role in the environment.

The confident and charismatic ambassador has won the hearts and opened the minds of hundreds of thousands of people throughout his storied career. As an important player in the fight to preserve wolves’ rightful place in the environment, Atka’s credentials are beyond dispute. Because Atka retired from his career as a traveling Ambassador in 2016, he interacts with fewer people than he used to and we realized he missed communicating with his fans. So, after the long, requisite talk about safety, etiquette, and responsibility, for his 15th birthday in May 2017, WCC staff gave Atka his very own email account at!

Atka isn’t just a luminary in the world of conservation, he's a superstar! Thank you, Atka, for allowing the world to form lasting connections with not only you but your wild kin as well!

Friday, January 26, 2018

76 Wolves Killed in Wyoming in 2017

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Seventy-six killed wolves. That is what state "management" of wolves looks like in Wyoming.

Seventy-six wolves were killed for trophy in Wyoming since losing federally protected status in spring of 2017.

Within Wyoming's managed “Trophy Zone” 44 wolves have been killed since October 2017. In Wyoming's "Predator Zone," which encompasses the remaining ~85% of the state, wolves and pups can be killed any time, by almost any means, and without a license.


It's the 21st century. Is this what wildlife "management" should look like in our time?

Simply eradicating a species not only ignores the ecological (and monetary) worth of these animals, it also abdicates our role as stewards of the landscape.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Saving Endangered Wolves Via Artificial Insemination

Mexican wolf F1226 (Belle) with pups born in 2016
The Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) participates in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) for two critically endangered wolf species, the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) and the red wolf (Canis rufus). The Mexican gray wolf and the red wolf are among the rarest mammals in North America; both species were at one time extinct in the wild.

An SSP is a breeding and management program designed to ensure the long-term sustainability of captive-based animal populations. The primary goal for the Mexican gray wolf SSP and red wolf SSP is to breed wolves for maximum genetic integrity for reintroduction into the wild.

Because the entire existing population of Mexican gray wolves is derived from just 7 individuals saved from extinction, genetic health is the primary consideration governing decisions re reproductive pairings and captive-to-wild release events. It is also the reason that the SSP programs for both wolf species pursue extraordinary conservation measures to save these species including semen collection, gamete cryopreservation, and artificial insemination (AI).

Not every genetically valuable wolf in the SSP program has the chance to successfully breed, so WCC staff helps the wolves make an “investment” in the recovery of their rare species by collecting semen from the males during the prime breeding season in mid-winter. Most of the genetic material collected is for cryopreservation for future potential use, an important option when trying to maintain diversity with such species that were once extinct in the wild.
M1133_dad_pup_logo_blog -2Unbeknownst to Mexican wolves M1133 (Rhett), his valuable contributions are poised to benefit Mexican wolf recovery program (and enhance his pack) in the not-so-distant future by fathering pups this season via AI.

Mexican wolf Rhett was been wearing the badge of fatherhood since 2016 when he and his mate F1226 (Belle) welcomed their first litter. They added three more pups to their brood in 2017. This breeding season, they will again be given an opportunity to have pups, but breeding isn't a part of the equation. Because their yearlings are approaching sexual maturity themselves (they'll be turning two years old in May), the males need to be separated from the females to prevent spontaneous breeding from occurring. Inbreeding doesn't occur often in the wild but in captivity, the lobos have limited options so a family member can appear pretty appealing when hormones are racing. All of our enclosures have a dividing fence line through their interior so their pack will remain in their original territory, but males on one side and females on the other. It's kind of like a middle school dance!
So, we’re utilizing AI (with Rhett's frozen semen) for breeding as an alternative to permanently removing the yearlings from the family.
To best prepare for the insemination, last week WCC staff inserted an Ovuplant Belle. Ovuplant is a sustained release implant of a hormone called “deslorelin.” The hormone, used to induce estrus and ovulation in wolves, will allow staff to best predict when Belle is most receptive to fertilization.

WCC curator Rebecca Bose injected the Ovuplant pellet right under the skin into Belle's inner thigh. Staff will revisit the wolf in the coming days to confirm her status before next steps are taken.

If successful, the family will have a lot to be happy about - their reunion and a priceless contribution to the recovery of their rare species! Plus, with 6 offspring already, mom and dad will have lots of help caring for their newborn kiddos. Afterall... When it comes to wolves, it's all about family!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Wild Red Wolves Captured on Film in North Carolina

With only 28 know red wolves remaining in the wild, these two beauties could be the last you see.

The red wolf is an American icon that makes our country’s wild lands whole and healthy. It’s one of the few large carnivore species endemic to the United States. Their importance to a balanced and resilient ecosystem is undeniable. And red wolf recovery should be a matter of pride and priority for our nation. Hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the initial extinction of red wolves in the wild. Today the world's most endangered wolf is facing extinction for a second time, but at the hands of our government.

For a while, thanks to sustained federal leadership, the red wolf recovery effort was making steady progress. The wild population peaked at an estimated 130 wolves in 2006 and remained above 100 for several years.

But in 2014, USFWS halted all key management activity and the wild red wolf population plummeted to its lowest level in decades.

On September 12, 2016, USFWS published its long-awaited Red Wolf Program Review. The agency proposes a new rule that significantly changes the size, scope and management of the current red wolf recovery program. The rule includes USFWS’s plan to pull the last wild red wolves from most of their range in North Carolina to put them in captivity. Ironically, the federal agency claimed its decision was "based on the best and latest scientific information" from the red wolf Population Viability Analysis (PVA).

But the very scientists who drafted the PVA charge that USFWS based its plan on “many alarming misinterpretations” of their scientific analysis and warn that USFWS's plan “will no doubt result in the extinction of red wolves in the wild.” In a letter they ask the agency to "edit or append" its decision.

USFWS's misinterpretation of science represents the most recent blow the agency has delivered to the world’s most endangered wolf species.

Due to the Service’s neglect and inaction over the past few years, red wolves are facing extinction with only 28 known remaining in the wild.

Adding insult to injury, a in a November 20, 2017 Senate report (Page 17), some senators direct USFWS to "... end the Red Wolf recovery program and declare the Red Wolf extinct."

USFWS, the very agency charged by federal law with protecting endangered species, needs to recommit to red wolf recovery in the wild. Urge your Senators to give red wolves a fighting chance!
Take Action HERE.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Surprise! Two Wolves Are Still Alive On Isle Royale.

Two wolves are still alive on Michigan's remote Isle Royale!

The news that the island in Lake Superior remains home to two wolves comes despite speculation by some media last year that the once-strong wolf population had dwindled to a single wolf.

But a strong wolf pack is needed to keep Isle Royale's growing moose population under control. With only two wolves left to feast on them, the moose are undergoing a population explosion that could endanger the wilderness area's fir trees and eventually cause many of the moose to starve.

The National Park Service is expected to make a decision by spring on whether or not to release 20 to 30 new wolves over a three-year period as a way to bolster the population on the remote Lake Superior island. Stay tuned by following Wolves and Moose of Isle Royale fo Facebook.

More via Michigan Live.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Rise of the She-Wolf

I am she-wolf, hear me howl!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Protect Our Natural Resources So Our Children Can Too

For too long, current adults have monopolized the legacy of nature over which we adults are only temporary caretakers. ~Dr. Adrian Treves

Wildlife and other natural resources are a public trust which means that every citizen has an interest and a voice in the management of natural resources. The public trust is a legal concept that implies that we all share equal, undivided interests in America's environmental resources; and has informed two centuries of U.S.A. Supreme Court decisions and environmental laws worldwide.

In an ongoing lawsuit, teenagers are suing the federal government for failing to regulate greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. The youths argue for their constitutional right to a stable and predictable atmosphere. They rightfully argue that current adults are only temporary caretakers over our natural resources.

The U.S.A. is among many democratic governments that recognize a duty to conserve environmental resources, including wild animals, as a public trust for current and future citizens.

In fact, a new paper reveals that intergenerational rights to a healthy environment are protected by the constitutions of 75% of the world’s nations. Currently, these principles of sovereign public trust are often overlooked but, if enforced, they would offer sustainable protection for the biosphere.

Read the paper, "Intergenerational equity can help to prevent climate change and extinction" here.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Thousands of supporters. Seven continents. One wolf.

Ambassador wolf Atka first created his email account in May 2017; WCC staff figured, as a mature and responsible wolf, he should have a strong media presence to further interact with advocates around the world. And interact he did! Atka received over 1,000 emails on his 15th birthday and has welcomed a steady stream of passionate emails since. He’s Skyped with a budding scientist in Mexico, chatted with conservationists in Europe… but something was missing. After months of sorting through fan mail from six continents, WCC staff realized what Atka lacked: an email from Antarctica.

Enter Steve Schellenberg, a wildlife photographer and guide who frequently journeys to Antarctica. After meeting Atka at a WCC program, Schellenberg realized he not only wanted to round out Atka’s email collection, he wanted to bring Atka along for his journey to the land of icebergs and leopard seals. What followed was a touching note written from a tent at Damoy Point in Dorian Bay, describing chattering Gentoo Penguins and the joy Atka would surely feel at being surrounded by these flightless birds. Realizing it might be challenging for Atka to imagine the landscape and local wildlife, Schellenberg included a photo of Atka’s proxy, a mini Atka stuffed animal, reveling in the icy environment!

Thanks for showing Atka the world, Steve!

Interested in continuing Atka’s travels? Bring your stuffed Atka on vacation and email a photo to He’s a great companion!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Keep Howling

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. ~Martin Luther King Jr.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

B.C. Govt. Seeks to Trap Unique Coastal Sea Wolves

During the Wolf Conservation Center's 2017 summer adventure in British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest, WCC staff and supporters were treated to a wild melody from a coastal sea wolf.

British Columbia’s coastal wolves live a unique existence. Hunting and beach-combing on the fringe between rainforest and ocean, they swim between islands and eat whatever the sea serves up.

Today, these wolves need your help.

On January 10, 2018, in a misguided attempt to preserve deer populations, the B.C. government announced it's proposal to increase the wolf trapping season on Vancouver Island to 10 months out of the year.

The proposal states that they are basing the decision on anecdotal information and not on science or any reliable data.

Moreover, trapping is inhumane and inherently nonselective. They injure and kill countless nontarget animals annually, including endangered and threatened species, and even family pets.

Please help.

Submit comments to B.C.'s Fish and Wildlife Branch and oppose the NDP government's proposal to lengthen the wolf trapping season on Vancouver Island. Pacific Wild offers you helpful tools.


Saturday, January 13, 2018

His Howl Can Change The World...

Because it can change people.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Study Questions Efficacy of Killing Wolves to Protect Livestock

Results show lethal management may make things worse.

Lethal management of wolves following wolf attacks on livestock may have unintended consequences, a new study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison suggests.

The study shows that government killing of wolves can increase the risk to nearby farms, providing further evidence for the ineffectiveness of the so-called “lethal control” policy approach.

The report also casts doubt on an earlier research paper, which government agencies often use to support the practice.

The research adds to a stack of recent scientific papers that question the often-used practice of killing predators to reduce the chances of attacks on cattle, sheep and other livestock. Wildlife managers across the West trap and kill wolves, cougars and coyotes and other predators, and lethal control has become more common for wolves in Oregon and Washington as their populations have grown. But many scientists contend there’s little good evidence for the effectiveness of those efforts.

More via PHYS.ORG

Monday, January 8, 2018

When Wolf Mama's "Me Time" Gets Interrupted by Needy Pups

Squeeze in and get cozy and fierce with critically endangered Mexican gray wolf Belle (F1226) and her daughters born May 2017.

Things got a bit testy in the den the other night. Is Belle being a cranky mama? Perhaps; raising 6 kiddos is hard work and requires a lot of patience. Beyond her potential irritability, however, Belle was fulfilling her parental obligations by setting some rules in the cozy den.

Wolves mainly use body language to convey the rules for the family. Wolf families usually consist of the breeding pair (mom and dad) and their offspring of varying ages. Sometimes unrelated wolves will join a family too. To maintain order, wolves will rely on their posture, tail position, facial expression and ear position to articulate their status and role within the family. Wolves will also use body language to communicate intentions or to initiate some fun.

The parents (sometimes referred to as the “alpha” pair) are the leaders of the pack, and they express their status with erect posture and tails carried high. The less dominant family members (usually the offspring in the family) exhibit their position through submissive behavior. With lowered tails and posture, less dominant wolves acknowledge their role and rank in the family hierarchy. Pawing, tail tucking, and muzzle-licking are among the submissive gestures expressed by less dominant wolves.

We hope you enjoyed spending time with these beautiful wolves!

Tune in to the Mexican Wolf Family webcam HERE.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

WCC's Endangered Wolves In the News Around the Globe

Thank you, Reuters, for featuring the Wolf Conservation Center's critically endangered red wolves and Mexican gray wolves in its coverage of the January blizzard that hit the U.S. East Coast.

You can check in on the WCC's 30 wolves via LIVE webcams HERE.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Winter is Welcome for Arctic Wolf Atka

How do wolves respond to sub-zero temperatures? They bask.

Wild Arctic gray wolves (Canis lupus arctos) live primarily in the Arctic, the region located above 67° north latitude. These fascinating creatures are designed by the pressures of nature and are well adapted to survive on the icy landscape.

Atka, like his wild counterparts, has two layers of fur: the long guard hairs that form the visible outer layer of the coat and the soft dense undercoat. The coarse guard hairs determine a wolf's appearance/color and work 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.

Additional adaptations to reduce heat loss include the slightly shorter nose, ears, and legs than other gray wolf subspecies, and hair between the pads of his snowshoe-like feet. His fluffy tail can also keep this nose warm and cozy. Thanks to these special features, Arctic wolves can survive in temperatures as low as minus 70° Fahrenheit.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Happiness is...

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Wolf Camp For Kids This Summer & Spring

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It may be cold outside, but it’s time to start thinking about summer camp!

Give the young animal lover in your family a chance to thrive among wolves all week long! The five-day program will include opportunities for your child to learn about nature and wildlife through woodland exploration, scavenger hunts, wilderness games, live animals, etc. Children will learn about various habitats, animal communication and behavior, food chains, and local wildlife.

Programs will run with a minimum of 4 children and a maximum of 12. All children who complete the program will get a special “Junior Wolf Biologist” certificate. Pre-registration is required.

Time: 9AM - 3PM
Fee: $350 per child for the week-long program (Monday - Friday)

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For kids entering grades 3 - 5 ​
Time: 9AM - 3PM
Fee: $300 per child for the 4-day program (Tuesday - Friday)
Information & registration HERE!

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year's Resolution

New Year's resolution? Growl less. Howl more. Unless growling is warranted...