Saturday, October 13, 2018

Wolf Hunt Quota Set To Kill Twenty Percent of Alaska's Rare Alexander Archipelago Wolves

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Although only 225 rare Alexander Archipelago wolves remain on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska Department of Fish & Game and the U.S. Forest Service announced Friday that hunters will be allowed to hunt and trap 45 wolves on Prince of Wales and associated islands this fall and winter hunting season, and on federal lands no less.

Any hunting or trapping of these rare wolves is already controversial.

The Alexander Archipelago wolf is a genetically distinct subspecies of gray wolf that dens in the roots of old-growth trees in the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. Its populations are already fragile, threatened by logging and hunting.

Three years ago, after a 60% drop in the population in just one year, the wolves were feared endangered and twice petitioned to be listed under the Endangered Species Act. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agreed that protecting them under the ESA “may be warranted."

Despite this, Alaska Department of Fish and Game will allow hunters to hunt and trap 20% of the Alexander Archipelago on Prince of Wales while U.S. Department of Agriculture is working to undermine safeguards for the Tongass's centuries-old trees - the only home for these wolves and their prey.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Celebrate a Legend with Limited Edition Atka Apparel

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Thank you all so much for your kindness following the passing of Ambassador Wolf Atka. While he leaves an enormous hole in our family, it is heartwarming to know that his spirit lives on in so many.

Thousands of people from all over the world have reached out to us. You shared comforting words, heartfelt memories, artwork, poems, and flowers. To see over four hundred local friends at Atka’s open house memorial meant so much to us, and we know Atka would have enjoyed seeing you there too.

Atka worked to create a better world for wolves, and so will we.

Help us celebrate him with your purchase of apparel from our limited edition 'Guardian Spirit' collection featuring a hand-drawn image of Atka himself by artist Jane Lee McCracken.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Southeastern Coyotes: Hunter or Scavenger? New Study Finds Answer

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Understanding prey selection by predators is a fundamental goal in ecology because it represents an essential ecological process influencing behavior, community structure, and ecosystem productivity.

In a new paper published Wednesday in PLOS One, researchers explore how environmental factors like vegetation density, time of year, and home range size influence prey use by southeastern coyotes.

“We found that coyote packs relied mostly on deer, rabbits, and small mammals,” explained lead author of the study, Joseph Hinton, PhD of Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia.

Previous studies suggest that coyote predation of white-tailed deer in the southeastern
United States occurs primarily on fawns during the summer months, that predation on
adult deer is low, and most consumption of deer during winter is a result of scavenging - eating the carcasses discarded by deer hunters.

Hinton's study, however, reveals that "adult deer were consumed year-round, indicating that coyotes are procuring deer via predation." Additionally, his findings suggest that "the use of fruit by coyotes was opportunistic, as the use of mammalian prey did not appreciably decrease with increasing use of fruit."

These findings are novel because they suggest that the diets of southeastern coyotes consist primarily of mammalian prey procured through predation and not scavenging.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Endangered Red Wolf Born at the WCC in the Path of Hurricane Michael

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Communities along the Florida panhandle are bracing for the onslaught of Hurricane Michael, but what about the wildlife?

Critically endangered red wolf M1804, aka Thicket, was born at the Wolf Conservation Center in 2010 and released in the wild in 2013 on St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge - a remote barrier island just offshore the Florida panhandle.

Saint Vincent Island compacts a diversity of habitats into 12,000 acres, making it an ideal red wolf island propagation site. But when in the path of Hurricane Michael - a storm threatening to become the strongest hurricane on record to strike the Florida Panhandle - this island is far from ideal.


In this video, supporters of the refuge recount the devastation caused to the barrier island by Hurricane Dennis in 2005. The red wolves proved resilient 13 years ago, surviving the tsunami-like surge by seeking higher ground.

We hope Thicket and his family prove their resilience in the face of this new threat.


Please join us in sending positive thoughts to all the people, pets, and wildlife in the path of this storm.

Red Wolf Pup Milestone

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The nearly 6-month-old red wolf pups have gotten a lot bigger, and so have their teeth! Between 4 and 6 months of age, a wolf pup permanent adult teeth displace the smaller milk teeth.


Adult wolves have 42 teeth. There are 20 teeth in the upper jaw (6 incisors, 2 canine, 8 premolars, and 4 molars), and 22 teeth in the lower jaw (incisors, 2 canine, 8 premolars, and 6 molars). The canine teeth, or fangs, can be 2.5 inches long and are used for puncturing and gripping their prey. The front incisors are for nibbling small pieces of meat off the bone; the sharp carnassial teeth work like scissors to sheer meat away from bones. Molars are for grinding and crushing.


Bigger teeth also make for a bigger toothy grin!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Think of Wolves This Election Day

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The midterm elections are on November 6.

Voting is one of the most important things we can do to protect wolves, wildlife, and the environment. We can’t tell you who to vote for, but we encourage you to research your candidates’ positions and voting records on the issues that matter to you.

Learn how current members of Congress voted on key conservation issues HERE.

To make your voice heard you must VOTE on November 6!

Monday, October 8, 2018

For Wolves, Song is Social Glue



Although wolves use varied vocalizations to express themselves, their howl is the most famous. Howling helps keep family members (or pack-mates) together.

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.

But do wolves ever just sing to make music, as we do?

During a recent interview author, Brenda Peterson asked Wolf Conservation Center co-founder Hélène Grimaud this question. Here is what Helene said:

“One of the most intriguing elements of wolf howling is what scientists call social glue. This spreading of good feeling like humans singing around a campfire, feeling closer to one another—it’s that same idea: you howl or harmonize and so reaffirm your social bonds with one another. That’s not surprising. Any pack animal really depends upon the others to survive.”

Friday, October 5, 2018

Essential. Endangered. Extremely Chatty Red Wolf.




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".

The characteristic howls of red wolves usually include a series of barks, yips, and sometimes growling, especially when voiced in alarm. The red wolf’s howl sounds somewhat similar to a coyote’s, but is often lower pitched and lasts longer.

More via PHYS.ORG.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Fifty Wolves Howl to the Night


Nobody does night better than wolves.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Arctic Angel

Thank you, Bria, and all of Atka's friends who've mourned his passing. Atka is an Inuit name meaning guardian spirit, and his brilliant spirit lives on in those whose hearts he warmed, minds he opened, and souls he touched.

Atka worked to create a better world for wolves, and so will we.

 

Sunday, September 30, 2018

A Beautiful Life


"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."

Thank you for the adventures, Atka. We love you.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Washington State Wildlife Officials Kill OPT Alpha Female To Protect Cows

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They killed her five-month-old wolf pup two weeks ago. Today, Washington State wildlife officials killed the mom.

Earlier today, a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) employee killed the breeding female of the Old Profanity Territory (OPT) pack in an attempt to stop livestock attacks in the area. Officials killed a young OPT wolf last week, only to have an increase in livestock attacks. In fact, peer-reviewed research suggests that killing predators can result in increased attacks on livestock by survivors.


The livestock owner is continuing to graze his cattle on public lands in OPT territory. WDFW is killing wolves (state endangered wolves no less) on America’s public lands to benefit the profit margins of a private business.

Is it "Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife" or "Washington Department of Fish and Cows?"

More.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Two Wolves Released on Isle Royale!

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With only two wolves remaining on Isle Royale, wolves are at risk of vanishing from the island altogether along with the island’s ongoing wolf-moose study that began almost 60 years ago.

The last wolves remaining are a male-female pair are who have low chances of producing healthy offspring due to years of inbreeding among the island's population.

But that all changed on September 26 when two new gray wolves were released to the island.

The wolves, a 4-year-old female and a 5-year-old male, were taken to separate release sites, and well away from the island's two longtime resident wolves. They were both vaccinated and fitted with GPS tracking collars before their release.

Scientists hope the release of additional wolves will provide much-needed genetic diversity for the island's wolves and will help restore the balance of the ecosystem.

Performing a "genetic rescue" is the only option for keeping the species going, it will also allow the unique wolf-moose study to continue.

Michigan Technological University wolf researcher John Vucetich supports the rescue effort; he believes the study is unique. "What's very rare, ecologically, is to have a top predator and a moose in a forest where none of them are exploited by people, where there's no hunting, no persecution, logging," he said. "To be able to study that ecology, that's the really distinctive part."

Follow Wolves and Moose of Isle Royale for updates!

UPDATE (September 28) - The female wolf captured with intent to be released at Isle Royale National Park died before it could be set free. Officials didn't identify the cause of death, but said they were altering field procedures for handling wolves captured for the park's wolf recovery program. More.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Memorial Open House for Ambassador Wolf Atka this Sunday

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The Wolf Conservation Center Family invites you to celebrate the life of

AMBASSADOR WOLF ATKA

In an effort to offer friends an opportunity to pay their final respects, the WCC will be holding an open house this Sunday. The memorial will allow for reflection, a peaceful moment in some of Atka's favorite places, and will serve as a celebration of his life.

WCC Memorial Open House

Sunday, September 30, 2018
Come by between 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Wolf Conservation Center
7 Buck Run
South Salem, New York


This event is free of charge and open to all, but we ask that you register in advance to better allow for planning and preparation. Atka's friends and supporters are welcome to arrive and leave at any point between the hours of 9 am and 3 pm. Due to Atka's popularity, we cannot allow individuals to stay the entire course of the open house; we hope to accommodate everyone who wishes to bid farewell to this magnificent wolf.

After Shooting Pup from Helicopter, WDFW Seeks to Kill More Wolves to Protect Cows on Public Lands

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Ten days ago, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) gunned down a member of the Old Profanity Territory (OPT) pack; the wolf was about 5 months old.

The kill order was issued following livestock depredations on public lands.

Yesterday, WDFW announced it will continue efforts to kill other members of the OPT wolf family to stop further depredations. Wolves recently injured five additional calves.

The OPT wolves reside on land that was once home to the Profanity Peak pack, a wolf family that was obliterated by WDFW officials in 2016 in an effort to stop depredation on livestock.

Two years later, WDFW is back to killing wolves in these same rugged mountains, a place where protecting livestock is impossible.

Lethal action (i.e., killing wolves) is clearly not working either. Moreover, lethal action could even make the problem worse. Peer-reviewed research suggests that killing predators can result in increased attacks on livestock by survivors.

The public lands of the United States harbor some of the greatest resources of our nation and are owned by all Americans. Yet WDFW is killing wolves (state endangered wolves no less) on America's public lands to benefit the profit margins of a private business.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Judge Restores ESA Protections for Grizzly Bears

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September 24, 2018 - Federal protection for Yellowstone grizzly bears were reinstated today after U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen ruled that the federal government's decision to strip Endangered Species Act protections from the population was illegal.

The court order came after the judge had twice blocked grizzly trophy hunts in Wyoming and Idaho just as they were set to begin. The hunts were poised to the biggest in the lower 48 states since the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed protections for grizzlies in the Yellowstone region less than a year ago. The last grizzly bear hunting season was more than 40 years ago.

The ruling marks a victory for the 700 grizzly bears living in and around Yellowstone and Earthjustice who, representing Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, the National Parks Conservation Association and the Northern Cheyenne Tribe sued when the Interior Department last year revoked federal protections.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Rest in Peace, Atka

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It is with deep sorrow that we share news about the most magnificent wolf we have ever known. Atka died in his sleep early this morning; he was 16 years old.

His passing was painless and peaceful with his family surrounding him. While Atka leaves a hole in our lives so big that words can't describe it, his impact on wolf conservation persists and can not be overstated.

Atka is an Inuit name meaning guardian spirit, and his brilliant spirit lives on in those whose hearts he warmed, minds he opened, and souls he touched.

He instilled compassion, understanding, and awareness to the hundreds of thousands of people he met over his storied career. We will be better and do better because Atka lived. He will empower us to continue the fight to safeguard the wild legacy he leaves behind.

Thank you, Atka. We'll never stop loving you.

A memorial to celebrate the life of Atka will be announced later this week.

Thank you so much for your support,

Wolf Conservation Center Family

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Red Wolf Ancestry Re-discovered Along American Gulf Coast

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Rediscovering species once thought to be extinct or on the edge of extinction is rare. Red wolves have been extinct along the Gulf Coast region since 1980, with their last populations found in coastal Louisiana and Texas.


In a new paper, researchers report the rediscovery of red wolf ghost alleles in a canid population on Galveston Island, Texas.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

WDFW Guns Down Juvenile Wolf from Helicopter to Protect Cows on Public Lands

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Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has confirmed they killed a juvenile member of the Old Profanity Territory (OPT) pack.

The young wolf, weighing 50 pounds, was spotted and killed from a helicopter on September 16.

The kill order was issued following livestock depredations on public lands.

Beyond being cruel and in violation of the desires of a majority of Americans, lethal action (i.e., killing wolves) is not working.

The OPT wolves reside on land that was once home to the Profanity Peak pack, a family that was obliterated by WDFW officials in 2016. Their goal was to stop livestock attacks in the area despite scientific studies suggesting killing wolves can increase the risk of conflict, rather than a decrease. Two years later, WDFW is killing wolves in the same area.

WDFW has been killing wolves over three consecutive years as a solution, yet depredations on livestock continue.

Is it time for WDFW to listen to science and the desires of the American public and stop killing wolves, state-endangered wolves no less, to benefit the profit margins of a private business?

New Study - Carnivore Conservation Needs Evidence-Based Livestock Protection


Preventing carnivores from preying on livestock, and preventing the human retaliation that can follow, would achieve three important societal goals: preserve nature, protect animal welfare, and safeguard livelihoods. Achieving these objectives depends on policies that foster coexistence between humans and wild carnivores.

In a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS Biology, twenty-one authors from 10 nations reviewed 114 peer-reviewed scientific studies measuring the effectiveness of lethal and non-lethal methods for reducing carnivore predation on livestock. The researchers found that livestock guardian dogs, livestock enclosures and fladry are all effective non-lethal conflict deterrents.

Since evidence of the effectiveness of any intervention should be a prerequisite to policy-making or large-scale funding. the authors urge the formation of an international coalition of scientists to set standardized scientifically-supported protocols to ultimately inform society, property owners, decision-makers, and other interests for wise wildlife management policy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Monday, September 17, 2018

Playtime is Essential for Wolves



For wolves, playtime isn’t only fun, it strengthens family bonds and reaffirms social status within the pack.

Research shows wolf pups are more likely to play on equal terms with wolves of similar age. The authors propose that such behavior may act to reinforce the dominant adult and subordinate puppy hierarchy established outside of play, and hope that continued research in this area may provide further insight.

More.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Red Wolf's Lazy Sunday

Friday, September 14, 2018

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Seeks to Abandon Federal Wildlife Protections

esa_red_withoutIn a blow to endangered species recovery, Secretary Zinke wants the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to decrease federal protections for wildlife and align these measures with less-restrictive state practices - essentially dismantling the federal Endangered Species Act.

What does this mean for critically endangered animals like red wolves and Mexican gray wolves? Less protection, less land on which to roam, and, ultimately, less support from state agencies.

Wildlife agencies in North Carolina and the southwest states are quite vocal when it comes to voicing their displeasure at participating in recovery programs for critically endangered wolves, so Secretary Zinke's proposal to align federal rules with states' wants and regulations will prove to be devastating for red wolves and Mexican wolves. How devastating? If history is anything to go off of, it will result in the extinction of these essential creatures.

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) requested that USFWS declare red wolves extinct in the wild and terminate the recovery program in North Carolina in both 2015 and, most recently, July of 2018.

Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) asked Congress to remove all federal protections for Mexican wolves when there were only 50 wild lobos in the entire world, and penned a letter to USFWS insisting the majority of Mexican wolf recovery must occur in Mexico, even though peer-reviewed science indicates Mexico does not have enough suitable habitat to prevent the extinction of Mexican wolves. New Mexico Game and Fish Department (NMGFD) has followed suit, even going as far as to block much-needed wolf releases that would bolster the genetic diversity of the wild lobo population.

Wildlife protection transcends state boundaries, as wildlife belongs to all Americans, not just residents of a particular state.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

You Heard Our Howls - Thank You!



Yesterday the Wolf Conservation Center invited you to be a part of Red Wolf Week and you heard our howls! Nearly 400 supporters helped the WCC raise over $25,000 yesterday to meet the $20,000 matching grant provided by Vegan Capital!

We are humbled by your support and incredibly grateful for having friends like you.

Thanks again for your encouragement and your commitment to wolves, ecosystem education, species preservation, and environmental advocacy!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Washington State to Kill Two Wolves to Protect Cows on Federal Land

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Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director Kelly Susewind has issued a kill order for two wolves from a new pack that has preyed on cattle on federal grazing lands in Ferry County.

The wolves, members of the Old Profanity Territory (OPT) pack, have preyed on livestock that were grazing on public lands but under Washington's Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, they can be killed for doing so. The Plan was designed to foster coexistence between native wildlife and livestock, yet WDFW seems to be working to protect privately owned cows on public lands, rather than working to "preserve, protect, and perpetuate" wildlife.


These kill orders, while cruel and in violation of the desires of a majority of Americans, also are not working. The OPT wolves reside on land that was once home to the Profanity Peak pack, a family that was obliterated by WDFW officials in 2016. Their goal was to stop livestock attacks in the area despite scientific studies suggesting killing wolves results in an increase in attacks, rather than a decrease. Two years later, WDFW is killing wolves in the exact same area.


Sounds like the wolves are doing what wolves are supposed to do and on rugged federal forest land... So why are they still targets, year after year?

Your Donation for the Red Wolf Will Be Matched - Today Only

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Thirty-one years ago this week, a new chapter in wildlife conservation began with a wild homecoming unlike anything seen before.

The first captive-bred red wolves were released to the wild!

In honor of this significant milestone for the red wolf and wildlife conservation, Vegan Capital is providing a matching grant up to $20,000 for all donations received TODAY to support our efforts to preserve and protect critically endangered red wolves.

Please consider helping us help red wolves by making a contribution via the WCC donation page TODAY or sending a check dated September 12!

Thank you!

Please donate HERE!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Never Forgotten

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 Please take a moment to remember those lost and affected on 9/11 and those who are still suffering. Of the 10,000 responders at Ground Zero, 300 were dogs.

The Dog Files tells their story.

 
Dog Files Ep.11: Hero Dogs of 9/11 from GP Creative on Vimeo.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Hurricane Florence Headed Toward Only Home for Wild Red Wolves


Along North Carolina's coast, officials have issued a mandatory evacuation, including in Dare County - the home for the last wild red wolves. Fewer than 30 wolves remain.

While we send positive thoughts to all the people, pets and red wolves in the path of the hurricane, we're thinking of all the wildlife and wondering what happens to wildlife during a hurricane?

History tells us some species thrive. Any animal on the brink of extinction, however, can go over that brink when a hurricane strikes their habitat.

Red Wolf Recovery Milestone - 31 Years Wild

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Thirty-one years ago this week, a new chapter in wildlife conservation began with a wild homecoming unlike anything seen before. The first captive-bred red wolves were released to the wild!

The red wolf reintroduction was among the first instances of a species, considered extinct in the wild, being re-established from a captive population. In many ways, the red wolf program was the pilot program, serving as a model for subsequent canid reintroductions, particularly those of the Mexican gray wolf to the American Southwest and the gray wolf to the Yellowstone region.

In recognition of the anniversary, the Wolf Conservation Center invites you to celebrate Red Wolf Week! 

Help us raise awareness for endangered red wolves; their importance and plight, and the efforts to recover a species on the brink of extinction. All week long the WCC will share interesting red wolf facts, ways to take action, host special events, giveaways and more!

Follow the WCC on Facebook to be a part!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Does Collaboration and Coexistence Require Killing State-Endangered Wolves?

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) recently killed an injured wolf, leaving behind his mate and pups, because the family had preyed upon cattle grazing on public lands. The killing sparked outrage across the United States, but it's not a new practice; Washington has frequently issued the lethal removal of wolves in an effort to promote "coexistence" with ranchers and livestock owners. Several other states practice predator removal to protect livestock, even when the livestock are grazing on remote, rugged lands - lands that are perfect territory for wolves, but not cattle.



These extreme practices, touted as ways to promote the peaceful coexistence of wolves and livestock, seem to be anything but, and have sparked debate among the conservation community.

Should collaboration and coexistence mean the killing of state endangered wolves to benefit private industry?

More: Conservation groups divide over killing of Washington wolves

Friday, September 7, 2018

Eastern Wolves and Coyotes Play Different Ecological Roles


Don't worry if you missed the WCC's informative webinar with wildlife research biologist John F. Benson on Wednesday night, now you can watch anytime!

Tune in to learn about Benson's intensive field study on the hybridization dynamics between eastern wolves and coyotes in Ontario and discover how his findings help resolve long-standing questions about their ecological roles.



Understanding the ecological roles of species that influence ecosystem processes is a central goal of ecology and conservation biology.
Ontario is one of only a few areas where wolves, coyotes, and their hybrids live side-by-side while exhibiting territoriality with one another.

In a recent study published in Ecological Applications, wildlife research biologist John Benson, an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, looks at the hybridization dynamics between eastern wolves (Canis lycaon), coyotes (C. latrans), the ecology of both species, and their predator-prey dynamics.

What Benson found was while eastern coyote populations are abundant in Ontario, they fill a different ecological niche than eastern wolves. Overall, Benson concluded that wolves require large prey to survive while coyotes kill large prey on occasion but don’t depend on it as consistently for their main food source.

Benson's findings help resolve long-standing questions about the unique ecological roles the different canid species play and serve as a reminder that that one should not assume that smaller predators perform the same ecological functions as their larger counterparts.

Learn more by watching the Wolf Conservation Center's webinar (above) with Benson recorded on September 5, 2018.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

John Benson is an assistant professor of vertebrate ecology at the University of Nebraska. He is currently working on a number of collaborative research projects around North America on wolves, caribou, mountain lions, mule deer, bighorn sheep, and white sharks. He previously modeled population viability of mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains as part of a collaborative study with the National Park Service and UCLA. John earned his Ph.D. studying hybridization dynamics between wolves and coyotes in central Ontario. Before beginning his PhD, he studied the highly endangered Florida panther as a research scientist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. As a master’s student, John led field operations for a reintroduction effort with federally threatened Louisiana black bears. This involved capturing females and their newborn cubs in tree dens and releasing them in areas of suitable habitat where they had been extirpated. John did his undergraduate degree in wildlife at Humboldt State University in northern California and previously worked on studies with sea birds, red foxes, Polar bears, Canada lynx, and mountain lions before starting graduate school.

ABOUT EASTERN WOLVES

» Eastern (Algonquin) Wolf - Basic Information

» Eastern (Algonquin) Wolf Online Resources and Research

» Northeast Wolf Coalition - The Northeast Wolf Coalition was established is an alliance of conservation organizations in Maine, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut and beyond.

» Eastern Wolf Survey - Research, outreach and education for improved wolf conservation.


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Killing wolves and pups on National Wildlife Refuges? Take action now.





Comments are due by Sept. 6 on the Interior's proposed rule that would allow baiting brown bears, killing black bear mothers and cubs in dens, and killing wolves and pups via trapping during the denning season in Alaska’s national preserves.

Alaska’s controversial wildlife management program targets drastic reductions to apex predators like bears and wolves and even operates its intensive management program federal National Wildlife Refuges.

Why?

The ostensible goal of artificially boosting populations of moose, caribou, and deer for hunters.

Alaska’s intensive management program lacks scientific support.

Beyond being unethical, the utility of these methods to achieve increased prey populations is scientifically questionable. Studies offer no definitive evidence that an intensive predator control program results in increased prey populations.

In a letter dated Aug. 23, more than 100 scientists and natural resource managers urged the National Park Service to reject the proposed rule.

Far-reaching impacts to public lands and National Wildlife Refuge System.

Intensive predator control program has no place on our National Wildlife Refuges - these are lands set aside for the purpose of conserving wildlife in their natural diversity. Intensive management practices are in direct conflict with the purposes for which the lands were set aside in the first place. To allow these practices to continue calls into question the integrity of our Refuges across the nation.

Take Action Today

Join the thousands of people who are speaking up before the September 6th deadline. Please find suggested talking points below and submit your comments here.


Talking Points
  • I am writing to oppose the amendments to regulations for sport hunting and trapping in national preserves in Alaska in docket number RIN 1024-AE38.
  • Excessive and controversial hunting methods like baiting, snaring and aerial gunning are unethical.
  • Moreover, there is no evidence that an intensive predator control program results in increased prey populations – the ostensible goal of the program.
  • More than 100 scientists and natural resource managers from Alaska, other states, Canada and other nations urged the National Park Service in a letter on Aug. 23 to retain the current hunting rules.
  • Alaska’s intensive predator control program has no place on our National Wildlife Refuges - these are lands set aside for the purpose of conserving wildlife in their natural diversity.
  • Intensive management practices are in direct conflict with the purposes for which the lands were set aside in the first place. To allow these practices to continue calls into question the integrity of our Refuges across the nation.
  • The protections afforded by the regulatory provision issued by the NPS in 2015 are scientifically justifiable. I urge the Interior to reject the proposed rule and to retain the current hunting rules.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Labor is Overrated

Sunday, September 2, 2018

WA Officials Kill Injured Togo Wolf to Protect Cows

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Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) just confirmed they have shot and killed the collared male of the Togo wolf family group. The new father leaves behind his mate and their two pups of the year.

Gray wolves are listed as endangered by the State of Washington and are thus afforded protection under state law.

Lethal action, however, is consistent with Washington’s controversial Wolf Management Plan. The kill order was issued following livestock depredations in Togo territory, including on U.S. Forest Service land, over the course of 10 months.

Although Washington stands apart from other states by requiring the utilization of nonlethal practices, such as employing range riders to separate wolves from cattle, killing wolves to “change wolf pack behavior to reduce the potential for recurrent wolf depredations on livestock,” has proven ineffective. WDFW has been killing wolves over three consecutive years as a solution, yet depredations on livestock continue.

Is it time for WDFW to listen to science and the desires of the American public and stop killing wolves, on America’s public lands no less, to benefit the profit margins of a private business?

Saturday, September 1, 2018

September Calls for a Wardrobe Change for Wolves



September is here and summer seems to be shifting into autumn with the earlier encroachment of evening and the faintest suggestion of leaves beginning to redden.

The Northeastern U.S. has long been known for its dramatic seasonal changes, but autumn is extra special at the Wolf Conservation Center. As the leaves turn to vivid shades of orange, red and gold, wolves begin to glow as well in their newly grown coats!

A wolf’s coat consists of two elements: the long guard hairs that form the visible outer layer of the fur and the downy undercoat meant to keep a wolf comfortable in cooler temperatures.

Wolves shed the insulating undercoat during spring, and as autumn approaches, the undercoat thickens.

The shedding cycle is driven by hormone levels that rise in the spring with the onset of longer days and decrease as day lengths shorten in the fall.

Thanks to the photoperiodic rhythm of his body chemistry, Atka is preparing for the coming season and looking forward to snowy days on the horizon. Enjoy the day, Atka!

Friday, August 31, 2018

Washington State Prepares to Kill Injured Wolf To Protect Cows

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A Thurston County Superior Court judge today issued an order permitting the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to initiate lethal action to kill the adult male wolf from the Togo pack. The kill order was originally issued following livestock depredations in Togo territory, including on U.S. Forest Service land, over the course of 10 months.

Center for Biological Diversity and Cascadia Wildlands filed a lawsuit when the kill order was first issued on August 20, citing faulty protocol and a lack of environmental analysis, but a judge stated the standards to halt the kill order weren't met.

WDFW killed state endangered wolves in 2016 and 2017 in order to "change wolf pack behavior to reduce the potential for recurrent wolf depredations on livestock," yet livestock attacks continue.

What does this mean for the Togo pack? As of 5 pm (PST) today, the kill order is active. The Togo male is already injured, having been shot by a rancher claiming self-defense, yet he will be tracked by WDFW officials until he is killed.

Although Washington stands apart from other states by requiring the utilization of nonlethal practices, such as employing range riders to separate wolves from cattle, the debate surrounding WDFW's wolf management remains contentious. WDFW killed state endangered wolves in 2016 and 2017 in order to "change wolf pack behavior to reduce the potential for recurrent wolf depredations on livestock," yet livestock attacks continue.

Is it time for WDFW to listen to science and the desires of the American public and stop killing wolves, on America's public lands no less, in order to benefit the profit margins of a private business?

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Judge Blocks Grizzly Trophy Hunt


U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen just blocked the opening of the first grizzly bear trophy hunt in the Rockies in more than 40 years. The hunts were poised to be the biggest in the lower 48 states since the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed protections for grizzlies in the Yellowstone region less than a year ago.

Earlier this year, 73 scientists wrote a letter in opposition to the hunting season, Wyoming approved its first hunt of grizzly bears in over four decades. The hunt will be the biggest in the lower 48 states since the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed protections for grizzlies in the Yellowstone region less than a year ago.

Many from the scientific community urged Wyoming Governor Matt Mead to halt the proposed grizzly bear hunt and convene a panel of experts to review data on the area’s grizzly bear populations. The letter, sent on April 25th, cites several concerns regarding Wyoming’s upcoming grizzly bear hunt; changing food sources and incidental grizzly mortalities, affecting the estimated population size, were among the listed concerns.

Hunts had been scheduled to start Saturday in Wyoming and Idaho targeting a total of 23 bears (22 in Wyoming and just a single bear in Idaho).

Earthjustice is leading the lawsuit representing the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, the National Parks Conservation Association and the Northern Cheyenne Tribe.

Stay tuned for updates.

More via the Washington Post.

New Study Supports Ecological Importance of Wolves

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According to a new study published today, the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park is tied to the recovery of aspen trees in areas around the park.

This is the first large-scale study to show that aspen is recovering in areas around the park, as well as inside the park boundary, said Luke Painter, a wildlife ecologist at Oregon State University and lead author on the study.


The study answers the question of whether the return of wolves to Yellowstone could have a cascading effect on ecosystems outside the park where there is increased human activity such as hunting, livestock grazing, and predator control. There has also been skepticism surrounding the extent and significance of aspen recovery, he said.

Wolves didn't cause aspen recovery all by themselves, but it is safe to say it would not have happened without them.

More via PHYS.ORG

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Oppose Rider Taking Aim at Wolves




Damaging anti-wildlife amendments (riders) that undermine Endangered Species Act (ESA) are still in play for the House FY 2019 Interior/EPA appropriations bill - H.R. 6147.

One provision goes as far as to remove protection for gray wolves nationwide.

Section 117 legislatively removes federal protections for all gray wolves in the lower 48 states except the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf.

While the return of gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains and the Great Lakes has been an incredible success story, this iconic American species still only occupies a small portion of its former range and wolves have only just started to re-enter areas like northern California, where there are large swaths of suitable habitat. By stripping federal protections from wolves nationwide, wolves in historically occupied areas like the southern Rockies and Northeast may never be able to establish viable populations despite suitable habitat and availability of prey. A national delisting for wolves would reverse the incredible progress that the ESA has achieved for this species over the past few decades and once again put the gray wolf at risk of extirpation.

Take Action

The Senate moved its FY2019 Interior-Environment bill (S. 3073) without the addition of anti-environment budget riders poised to threaten wildlife, the ESA, and wolves.

Until we find out how negotiations between House and Senate appropriators play out, please urge the leading members of the U.S. House and Senate to reject all policy riders in appropriations bills that would undermine the ESA, including H.R. 6147's anti-wolf provision in section 117.

Take Action Here

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

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Federal Plan Poised to Allow Landowners to Kill Endangered Red Wolves - Last Day to Take Action


This red wolf pup was born into a world that currently has only one place for them in the wild.

Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) seeks to take that place away.

On June 28, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced it's proposal that could result with the extinction of the last wild red wolves. Today, fewer than 30 wolves remain in the wild.

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Beyond reducing the red wolf recovery area by nearly 90% and limiting the wild population to just 10-15 wolves, USFWS, the very agency charged by federal law with protecting endangered species, will allow landowners to kill red wolves who stray beyond the newly-designated recovery area – and without any repercussions.

Take Action Today

Join the thousands of people speaking up for endangered red wolves before the midnight tonight ET. You can find the link to submit comments and talking points here.

No species should face extinction at the hands of humanity, much less twice.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Eastern Coyote Genetics

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There is a charismatic canid living in the eastern United States, and it is the result of evolution occurring right under our noses!

Over the years these coyotes have acquired a number of sensational nicknames; both "Coywolf" and “Coydog” have been growing in popularity, however, the scientific community calls them Eastern Coyotes.

Ecologist and evolutionary biologist Javier Monzón, previously at Stony Brook University in New York, now at Pepperdine University in California, analyzed the DNA of 437 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!

More.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Office Dog Drew Listens to 50 Wolves Howling


It's National Dog Day!

At the Wolf Conservation Center, we believe happiness is having dogs (and wolves!) at the office.
Drew and Kai

Drew (the dog featured in the video) is a member of the staff pack - a squad of office dogs who come to work every day at the Center.

Although Drew has never met the wolves, he knows there at some pretty wild VICs (Very Important Canines) right beyond the trees.

What do you think Drew is thinking?

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Government Denies Liability After Teen Is Injured by Its M-44 "Cyanide Bomb"


Last year, just 300 yards away from their home in Idaho, 14-year-old Canyon Mansfield and his best pal, 3-year-old Labrador Casey, encountered a "cyanide bomb" (M-44 device) - a deadly device intended to control predator activity by spraying deadly sodium cyanide into the mouths of unsuspecting coyotes, foxes and other carnivores lured by smelly bait.

This Idaho teen is lucky to be alive. His beloved dog Casey wasn't so lucky.

Canyon survived the incident, but only to watch helplessly as the poison killed his dog. Beyond being extremely dangerous and non-discriminating killers, these "cyanide bombs" are paid for by tax-payers like you and me.

The M-44 cyanide trap was planted by Wildlife Services – the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s wildlife-killing program.

To add insult to injury, the government is denying liability and placing blame on the boy rather than apologizing for the injuries caused by the M-44 that a federal worker mistakenly placed near their home.

The U.S. Department of Justice said in documents filed last week that "any injuries were caused by the negligence of the parents and child," and asked for the family's lawsuit to be dismissed.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Endangered Red Wolves Approach iPhone with Interest and Trepidation



Wolves are not only intelligent; they can be playful and have a natural sense of curiosity.

Their curious nature, however, comes second to their neophobia - a fear of anything new. Note the how although the unmanned iPhone evokes curiosity, the red wolves' neophobia prevents them from lingering too long around the alien gadget. This behavior helps nonlethal management tools like fladry (fencing with strips of fabric or colored flags that will flap in a breeze) work as an effective resource to prevent conflict with livestock.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Free Webinar - Hybridization Dynamics between Eastern Wolves and Coyotes

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FREE webinar September 5, 2018

Eastern wolves (Canis lycaon) have hybridized extensively with coyotes (C. latrans) and gray wolves (C. lupus) in Ontario, but little is known about the mechanisms underlying Canis hybridization.

Join the Wolf Conservation Center and wildlife research biologist John F. Benson, PhD for an exclusive webinar about his intensive field study in Algonquin Provincial Park (APP) and the adjacent unprotected landscape to investigate Ontario canids, hybrid zone dynamics, wolf ecology, and canid predation.

The free webinar will be offered on Wednesday, September 5 at 6 PM EST. RSVP today!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Washington State Poised to Take Lethal Action to Protect Cows

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Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) officials have issued a kill order for the Togo pack, a family that consists of two adults and their pups. The kill order was issued following livestock depredations in Togo territory, including on U.S. Forest Service land, over the course of 10 months.

Lethal action is consistent with Washington's Wolf Management Plan of 2011 and with the department's policy that allows for the removal of wolves if they prey on livestock three times in a 30-day period or four times in a 10-month period.

WDFW killed state endangered wolves in 2016 and 2017 in order to "change wolf pack behavior to reduce the potential for recurrent wolf depredations on livestock," yet livestock attacks continue.


Is it time for WDFW to listen to science and the desires of the American public and stop killing wolves, on America's public lands no less, in order to benefit the profit margins of a private business?

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UPDATE: A Washington judge has issued a temporary injunction, thus preventing WDFW from carrying out the kill order, in response to a lawsuit filed by Center for Biological Diversity and Cascadia Wildlands. More information to follow.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Arctic Wolf Atka - Adorable When Wet


Atka, born in 2002, is a captive-born Arctic gray wolf who teaches 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@nywolf.org!

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, August 17, 2018

How closely related is your dog to wolves? Look into her eyes.

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Because dogs use eye contact and follow the human gaze better than wolves, it’s possible that a breed’s ability to communicate visually is associated with how genetically similar that breed is to a wolf. Recent research suggests that the more closely related to wolves a breed is, the less often it will make spontaneous eye contact with humans.

Interesting!

More via the American Kennel Club

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Happiness is Having Amazing Summer Interns

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Sending howls of thanks to the Wolf Conservation Center's summer education interns!

Although diverse in experience and backgrounds (engineering, theater, wildlife biology), together they worked as a unified pack, educating countless visitors about the importance of preserving wild wolf populations. Their passion for wolves united them and will surely guide them in the years to come.

Interested in joining our pack? Apply to become a WCC volunteer! More information can be found HERE.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Another Chance to Speak Up For Endangered Red Wolves

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On June 28, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced it's proposal that could result with the extinction of the last wild red wolves.

Today, fewer than 30 wolves remain in the wild.

Beyond reducing the red wolf recovery area by nearly 90% and limiting the wild population to just 10-15 wolves, USFWS, the very agency charged by federal law with protecting endangered species, will allow landowners to kill red wolves who stray beyond the newly-designated recovery area – and without any repercussions.


The good news is that USFWS has re-opened their public comment period, so if you didn't have an opportunity to comment before the July 30th deadline, now is your chance to take action.

Join the thousands of people speaking up for endangered red wolves before the August 28 deadline.

You can find additional information and talking points here.


Submit your comments HERE.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

OR-7's Adorable Pups of the Year Captured on Video



CUTENESS ALERT!

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service just published adorable trail camera footage from Earlier last month of Oregon wolf OR-7's newest kiddos!

Sending congratulatory howls to OR-7 (Journey) and his family!

Learn more about OR-7's storied past as a boundary-breaking wolf here via Oregon Wild

Thursday, August 9, 2018

How Do Wolves Stay Cool in the Summer Heat?

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With temperatures reaching over 90°F, the wolves have been all tongues this week...

Wolves (like dogs) will stay cool by panting to evaporate heat and moisture off their tongue. Panting is especially effective for wolves. A wolf’s elongated muzzle and the shape of the inner nose serve as an efficient cooling system. Wolves also alter their patterns of activity, staying hunkered down during the hottest times of the day.

Stay cool, everyone!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Carnivore Coexistence in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

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Curious about life in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem? Join the Wolf Conservation Center and biologist Melissa DiNino for a discussion on large carnivore coexistence!

DiNino will offer insight into challenges facing wolf, grizzly bear, and large carnivore recovery across the American West, while detailing her experience as a range rider and biologist among Montana's most wild places.

Date: August 30th at 6:30 pm

Fee: $20 per person



ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Melissa DiNino is a biologist working on livestock-predator conflict projects throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. She is best known for her work as a range rider in Montana’s Centennial Valley and Tom Miner Basin, from where she continues to live and work. She has also tracked the Lamar Canyon Pack with the Yellowstone Wolf Project to study predation rate in the park. Born and raised in Connecticut, she found her first opportunity to work with wolves through the Wolf Conservation Center before taking her passion out west.

Photo by Louise Johns.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Why do wolves' eyes glow in the dark?



Eyes that glow in the pitch-black night make for many a scary tale. But why do wolves' eyes glow in the dark?

Wolves have a special light-reflecting surface right behind their retinas called the tapetum lucidum that helps animals see better in the dark. When light enters the eye, it's supposed to hit a photoreceptor that transmits the information to the brain. But sometimes the light doesn't hit the photoreceptor, so the tapetum lucidum acts as a mirror to bounce it back for a second chance.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Ambassador wolf Alawa is so lazy, she howls lying down.


Essential. Elegant. Extremely chill! Nobody does Sunday better than Alawa!

Friday, August 3, 2018

PUPDATE - Mexican Wolf Pup Milestone


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Rosa (F1143) and Alleno's (M1198) pups are now three months old! The critically cute litter of nine received their twelve-week health check earlier today, with assistance from Dr. Bayha of Pound Ridge Veterinary Center, and each pup is healthy, strong, and wild - the perfect combination!



As part of the Wolf Conservation Center's participation in the Mexican gray wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP), these pups and their parents reside off-exhibit in an effort to safeguard their natural, elusive behaviors. Wolves in the wild are naturally afraid of people so the WCC staff follows a protocol to have minimal human contact with the Mexican wolves, which will ensure they have a greater probability of being successful if they are released into the wild as part of the recovery plan. Under these protocols, captive born pups must be checked during certain milestones in their development to ensure proper growth.


Learn more about Mexican gray wolves and the WCC's efforts to save them.

Join the lobos right now via LIVE webcams!