Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Red Wolves and Deer at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

A small and very vocal group of anti-wolf folks claim that red wolves have caused a wildlife disaster in eastern North Carolina. This single trail camera in the NC's Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge tells a different story.

 


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

When Alawa Howls, Mother Nature Claps


Monday, June 18, 2018

Bill Seeks to Remove Rare Red Wolves Off Endangered Species List

mom_pup_good (1)_edit_2The 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. Hunting, trapping, and habitat loss 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 politicians.

Although fewer than 30 red wolves remain in the wild, last week Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC) introduced H.R.6119 - a bill that seeks to "remove the red wolf from the list of endangered and threatened wildlife for North Carolina, and for other purposes."

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to follow the best available science, not politics, in recovery planning and implementation for an endangered species. Thus this anti-wolf proposal blatantly ignores this federal mandate and thus undermines the integrity of our nation’s most significant environmental law.

There is a perceived notion that red wolf recovery is a local or regional issue for the residents of North Carolina. However, endangered species recovery is a matter of pride and concern for all U.S. citizens and taxpayers.

How you can help.

The proposed bill has been referred to the Committee on Natural Resources - please take action today to ensure the bill never makes it out of the committee.

Use the form here to urge the House Committee on Natural Resources to let bill H.R.6119 die in committee.

TAKE ACTION.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Wishing All The Dads A Happy Fathers Day


Beyond their ecological importance as critical keystone predators, wolves are also really patient, generous, and loving dads.

Feat. Mexican gray wolves M1059 (Diego) and his daughter f1505 (Trumpet) from 2016.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Endangered wolves spotted in NYC




BREAKING NEWS! Endangered wolves spotted in NYC!

The elusive wolves were last observed on the corner of Broadway and West 43rd Street in New York'sTimes Square. Officials assume the keystone predators seek to raise awareness and support for red wolf and Mexican gray wolf recovery.

If you spot the Big Apple's shy and elusive wolves, send us a photo at info@nywolf.org!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

USFWS Consider Dropping Gray Wolf Protections Nationwide

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced their intent to remove Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves across the lower 48 states. The agency has begun a review of the status of the gray wolf and will publish a proposal by the end of the year if they decide to move forward with the delisting process.

Their rationale? Federal regulators say they've recovered and management can be handed over to the states, yet many states have expressed their interest in wolf hunting seasons once they resume control.


"Federal protections for wolves are essential to help the species recover and expand into still-suitable parts of its former range. The gray wolf has barely begun to recover or is absent from significant portions of its former range where substantial suitable habitat remains," states Maggie Howell, Executive Director of the Wolf Conservation Center.

USFWS proposed delisting the species nationwide in 2013, but an independent scientific peer review of its plan determined that science did *not support* the delisting.

"The ESA let our country give wolves a second chance. With second chances so hard to come by, should we be willing to throw one away?"

Monday, June 11, 2018

Rare Red Wolf Pups Get Ready to Rumble



PUPDATE -- At almost 8 weeks old, the red wolf pups are active romping and wrestling with one another! Beyond being great fun for the siblings, the pups are sharpening important skills, strengthening family bonds, and establishing their social status within the pack.

Tune in to join the family via live webcams!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Groups Call for Forest Service to Cancel Permit for Rancher Who Killed Mexican Wolf

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Conservation groups and wildlife advocates are demanding the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) revoke the grazing permits of a rancher who knowingly trapped and killed a critically endangered Mexican gray wolf. The wolf, nicknamed Mia Tuk through a nationwide naming contest for children, was less than a year old when he was trapped and brutally killed in 2015.

The rancher's punishment for killing a critically endangered wolf? A $2,300 fine and one year of probation. He grazes cattle on a Gila National Forest allotment called Canyon Del Buey, and has received over $300,000 of taxpayer money since 2015 in livestock subsidies. Should individuals who violate the Endangered Species Act receive taxpayer money, especially when a majority of Americans support the recovery of endangered species?

In a June 8th letter, 30 organizations, including the Wolf Conservation Center formally requested that Gila National Forest Supervisor Adam Mendonca “immediately cancel any and all grazing allotment permits that [Thiessen] holds.” Mendonca has the authority to cancel the permit if the permit holder is convicted for failing to comply with Federal laws or regulations relating to protection of fish and wildlife.

“This horrific crime should not be tolerated, and it proves that we need to protect all wolves even more and have more restraints against trapping and killing,” said Jaryn Allen, an Albuquerque sixth grader who named Mia Tuk. "It makes me sick to picture this act. I wanted the wolf that I named Mia Tuk to roam free and flourish, not have its life ended in this way.”

TAKE ACTION: Call the USFS and demand they revoke the rancher's grazing permit.

More via Lobos of the Southwest.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Seven-Week-Old Red Wolf Pups' Mighty Howl


Participating in a howl is critical in a wolf pup's development. Pups might first begin to squeak out un-solicited howls at just a couple of weeks old. But once their ears open and hearing improves at around one month, wolf pups learn about howling as both a communication tool as well as a method of family bonding.

Did we mention they're also really cute when they howl?

Tune in to watch the red wolf pups now via live webcams!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

PepsiCo Volunteer Day at the Wolf Conservation Center


Most people probably don’t wake up in the morning and head to work with the intention of renovating the homes of iconic apex predators, but for nearly 70 employees from PepsiCo’s Office in White Plains, NY, that’s exactly how they spent their workday.

Yesterday, the amazing PepsiCo volunteers spent the day at the Wolf Conservation Center working on various projects from landscaping, clean-up, to habitat enhancement.

Although ambassador wolf Atka was concerned about people rearranging his stuff, he was pleasantly surprised to return home to a lush carpet of soft sod – great to snooze on, roll on, and fun to tear up too!

The WCC wolves and staff extend sincere howls of gratitude to all of the generous PepsiCo volunteers who pitched in order to enrich the wolves’ environment and make the WCC a better place!

It’s amazing what a single group of people accomplished in just one day!

To learn about volunteer opportunities at the WCC, please click here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Wisconsin Wolf Survey Suggests Wolf Population Could Be Stabilizing



New data from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources suggests Wisconsin's wolf population may be stabilizing - a natural development which occurs to wolf populations when left undisturbed by humans (not managed via hunting, trapping, and hounding).

Wolf populations regulate themselves by natural forces such as intra-pack strife, competition with neighboring packs and predators, food availability, and ailments like distemper and mange. Packs continuously emerge and collapse; it’s Nature’s way.

Wolves were removed from the federal Endangered Species Act by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2011. The next year state lawmakers established a controversial trophy wolf hunt, which included the use of dogs. Hunters killed 654 wolves during three consecutive hunting seasons.

Despite a federal court ruling that restored federal protections for wolves in 2014, Republican lawmakers from Wisconsin along with a bipartisan group of the state’s congressional delegation have been calling for Congress to pass legislation stripping wolves of ESA protection to allow for trophy hunting and trapping to resume.

More.

Learning from Yellowstone

In 1995-96, wolves were released into Yellowstone National Park. The recovery of the gray wolf after its eradication from Yellowstone, nearly a century ago, serves as a demonstration of how critical keystone species are to the long-term sustainability of the ecosystems they inhabit.

Since reintroduction over 20 years ago, the 2+ million-acre park has acted as a laboratory, offering scientists a deeper understanding of the complexity of that ecosystem, including the diverse pressures (beyond lethal control by humans) that manage wolf populations.

Because hunting wolves is not permitted within the Park boundaries, Yellowstone offers us a chance to see what happens to wolf populations when left undisturbed by humans.

Source: National Park Service

In Yellowstone, wolf numbers have grown and stabilized to the point that wolves could essentially post a “no vacancy sign” at the park’s entrance. The wolf population has hovered for the last decade at 100, give or take, which experts consider Yellowstone’s carrying capacity.

Carrying capacity describes the maximum number of individuals or species that a specific environment's resources can sustain for an indefinite period without degrading it. Once a species reaches its carrying capacity, population numbers stabilize.

Factors that affect the carrying capacity include:
  • Food Availability 
  • Disease (canine distemper virus, mange, etc…) 
  • Intra- pack strife 
  • Competition with other predators (bears, mountain lions, coyotes)

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Red Wolf Pups Hear Lobo's Alarm



The almost 7-week-old red wolf pups took notice when they heard Mexican gray wolf Rhett's (M1133) alarm - and with good reason. Is danger near?

A howl’s long low pitch is well suited for long distance transmission. Wolves can howl to locate other wolves, advertise the size of their pack, and so much more over great distances. But when wolves seek to warn family members of danger, they bark- howl.

The critically endangered pups have heard their parents bark-howl before, but what does it mean when neighboring wolves sound the alarm?

Join the pups now via live webcam.

Monday, June 4, 2018

PUPDATE: 7-Week-Old Red Wolf Pups Growing More Independent

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The Wolf Conservation Center's critically endangered red wolf pups are almost seven weeks old!

The little wanderers are growing more independent every day.

Around five weeks old, the pups were moved out of the den to another location called a “rendezvous site.” Here, the pups are playing with just about anything they can get their paws and sharp little teeth on, but always under the watchful eyes of their parents.


The gradual process of weaning has begun - their menu has expanded to include small pieces of meat regurgitated by their parents and older siblings. Soon adult hair will become more apparent and their eyes will gradually change from blue to yellow-gold.

With disproportionately large feet and ears, the pups are romping, playing, biting, and tackling one another. Beyond being great fun for the siblings, the pups are sharpening important skills and establishing a pecking order in the family hierarchy.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

11-Year-Old Raises $30,000 for Endangered Species with Artwork


Meet Faces Of The Endangered artist Bria Neff! Over the past three years, 11-year-old Neff has spent more than 500 hours painting, researching, educating and raising awareness of endangered animals. 

Her efforts have benefited numerous animal conservation organizations, including the Wolf Conservation Center!

In fact, the conservation dynamo raised $15,000 for the WCC through the sale of her painting, "Majestic." WOW! Moreover, Bria was just chosen to become a “Girls with Heart” Ambassador for the clothing brand Justice!

Bria, thank you for opening minds, touching our hearts, and exemplifying the amazing potential of your generation to make this world a better place!  

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Six-Week-Old Red Wolf Pup Howls



Your moment of critically endangered cuteness!

Beyond being cute, this pocket-sized predator represents the Wolf Conservation Center's active participation in an effort to save a species from extinction.

While the WCC has been a vocal and visible advocate in trying to protect and preserve critically endangered red wolves, the center is also active in physically safeguarding representatives of the rare species that have been entrusted to its care.

The WCC is one of 43 facilities in the U.S. participating in the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP) – a breeding and management program whose primary purpose is to support the reestablishment of red wolves in the wild through captive breeding, public education, and research.

Red wolves, native to the southeastern United States, were almost driven to extinction by intensive predator control programs and habitat loss.

In 1980, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) captured the last wild red wolves (just 14 animals) and declared the species extinct in the wild.

In 1987, USFWS released the first captive red wolves in North Carolina’s Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge as part of a federal reintroduction program under the aegis of the Endangered Species Act.

Although the red wolf recovery program once served as a model for successful recovery of wolves, political barriers and consistent mismanagement by the USFWS have seriously threatened the continued existence of this highly imperiled species. In its most recent proposal announced in September of 2016, the agency called to remove most of the last wild red wolves to put them in captivity. Beyond effectively undermining decades of wild red wolf recovery, scientists warn that USFWS's proposal “will no doubt result in the extinction of red wolves in the wild.”

Current estimates put the wild population at the lowest level in decades, down from 130 just four years ago to fewer than 30 today.

Tune in to watch the red wolf family via live webcam.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Algonquin Wolves Need Protection


Algonquin wolves, also referred to as Eastern wolves, are classified as a “threatened” species. The wolves are found only in a handful of places, including Algonquin Park. There are approximately 237 individuals in Ontario but the province has still not implemented a total ban on the hunting and trapping of Algonquin wolves. Why?

When Ontario applies protection to Algonquin wolves, the measures must also apply to coyotes. And killing coyotes is popular.

 Learn more from our friends at Earthroots.

Monday, May 28, 2018

A Wild Salute

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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Killing Bears, Wolves, Coyotes and Their Young in National Wildlife Refuges

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Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke is attempting to reverse federal restrictions that protect bears, coyotes, and wolves on some national refuge land in Alaska.

Under the proposed new rules, trophy hunters will be allowed to:
  • Kill predators using bait, traps, and snares.
  • Hunt black bears with dogs.
  • Kill mother bears & cubs hibernating in their dens.
  • Kill wolves & coyotes, including pups, during denning season.
  • Shoot caribou from boats as they attempt to swim rivers

"Ironically Zinke is alarmed that hunting participation by Americans is in decline, and he believes that making legal such abhorrent practices will reverse this decline, said ecologist George Wuerthner. "What it will do is only reduce the social license among the greater public for support of hunting in general." More via The Wildlife News

Alaska's national refuges are not private game reserves. What are wildlife refuges, after all, if not refuges for wildlife?

Beyond this being an assault on wildlife, this proposal is a blow to the millions of Americans who treasure our shared public lands.

It is a choice between protecting iconic predators on our federal lands and declaring an open season on them. Which legacy should we leave your children?

Please help. Oppose the new draft rules by submitting comments here by July 23, 2018.

Friday, May 25, 2018

PUPDATE - Critically Endangered Red Wolf Pups Turn 5 Weeks Old



The Wolf Conservation Center's critically endangered red wolf pups have turned 5 weeks old!

This is a significant milestone for the adorable six-pack. With their eyes wide open now, the kiddos are able to wander out of the den while staying near the den entrance and their menu has expanded to include small pieces of meat regurgitated by their parents and older siblings. Things are getting pretty hectic in their den. Their high-pitched howls are gaining strength and dominance and play romping has commenced!

This red wolf family represents the Wolf Conservation Center's active participation to save a species from the brink of extinction.

Learn more about the significance of this litter.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Protect Wolves in America's National Wildlife Refuges



The National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) is the world’s premier system of public lands set aside for the protection of wildlife, fish, and plants.

Refuges are intended to be safe havens for wildlife.

Despite this, on May 21, 2018, the federal government announced its proposal to reverse federal restrictions that protect bears, coyotes, and wolves on some national refuge land in Alaska.

Under the proposed new rules, trophy hunters will be allowed to:
  • Kill predators using bait, traps, and snares.
  • Hunt black bears with dogs.
  • Use spotlights to shoot mother bears and cubs hibernating in their dens.
  • Kill wolves - including pups - during their denning season.
Alaska's national refuges are not private game reserves. What are wildlife refuges, after all, if not refuges for wildlife?

Beyond this being an assault on wildlife, this proposal is a blow to the millions of Americans who treasure our shared public lands.

It is a choice between protecting iconic predators on our federal lands and declaring an open season on them. Which legacy should we leave your children?

Please help. Oppose the new draft rules by submitting comments here by July 23, 2018

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Less than a Year After Losing Protections, 22 Wyoming Grizzlies To Be Hunted For Trophy


For 44 years, Yellowstone's grizzly bears were a federally protected endangered species.

This fall, up to 22 will die at the hands of trophy hunters.

Today, less than a month after 73 scientists wrote a letter in opposition to the proposed 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.

The grizzly bear trophy hunt season will begin in the fall and target 22 bears.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Feds Move to Allow Killing of Wolves and Pups on National Wildlife Refuge Land in Alaska

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Killing wolves and their pups in dens, aerial gunning, snaring, baiting ... on our National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska?

In 2015, federal rules outlawed nearly all predator hunting on national wildlife refuges in Alaska.

Today, the Department of the Interior is moving to reverse these federal rules in order to allow the excessive killing of iconic predators to promote "game" animals on public refuge land.


Alaska's national refuges are NOT private game reserves. What are wildlife refuges, after all, if not refuges for wildlife? Moreover, that wilderness belongs to all of us. So what would you allow on your National Wildlife Refuges? Would you allow killing wolves and their pups in their dens? Will you let people kill mother bears with cubs? What about baiting brown bears, shooting predators from aircraft, or killing them with traps and snares? If your answer is "no," your help is needed.

Members of the public have 60 days to provide comment on the proposed new rules.

Submit your comment here by July 23, 2018.

Monday, May 21, 2018

One-Month-Old Red Wolf Pups Wrestle



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

The one-month-old red wolf pups are growing more independent every day. The young siblings have been spending a lot of time outside their den playing with just about anything they can get their paws on, but always under the watchful eyes of their parents.

Watch the critically endangered red wolf family's progress via LIVE webcams.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

This Is What 30 Wolves Howling Sounds Like


It only takes one voice, at the right pitch, to start an avalanche. ~Dianna Hardy

Friday, May 18, 2018

Nine Rare Mexican Gray Wolf Pups Born at the Wolf Conservation Center

Elusive. Endangered. Extremely Cute.

A critically endangered Mexican gray wolf living at the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC), a 501c3 non-profit organization in South Salem, NY, made a priceless contribution to the recovery of her rare and at-risk species on last week – she had pups! On May 8, Mexican gray wolf F1143 (affectionately nicknamed Rosa by supporters) gave birth to a litter of nine pups – six boys and three girls. This is the first litter born to the pair - mom (age ten), and dad, (age eight).

Beyond being adorable, the wolf pups represent the Center’s active participation in an effort to save a species on the brink of extinction. The Mexican gray wolf or “lobo” is the most genetically distinct lineage of wolves in the Western Hemisphere, and one of the most endangered mammals in North America. By the mid-1980s, hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the extinction of lobos in the wild, with only a handful remaining in captivity. In 1998 the wolves were reintroduced into the wild as part of a federal reintroduction program under the Endangered Species Act. Current estimates put the wild population at 114 in the United States.

To watch the family's progress, tune in to their live webcams.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Sixteen Poignant Moments from Atka's Legendary Career!




In honor of Ambassador wolf Atka's 16th birthday, we reflect upon 16 poignant moments from his legendary career!

Thank you, Atka, for allowing the world to form lasting connections with not only you but your wild kin as well!

Ambassador Wolf Milestone - It's Atka's Sweet 16


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License to Thrill (and Educate)!

Today Ambassador Wolf Atka turns 16 years old!

The confident and charismatic ambassador has won the hearts and opened the minds of hundreds of thousands of people throughout his storied career.

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Although Atka retired from his career as a traveling Ambassador a couple of years ago, he continues to interact with advocates around the world. In May 2017, Atka created his own email account (atka@nywolf.org) and has welcomed a steady stream of passionate emails ever since! He’s Skyped with a budding scientist in Mexico, chatted with conservationists in Europe, and has received fan mail from all seven continents - even Antarctica!

And now with a license for his own set of wheels, his reach knows no bounds!

Happy Sweet 16, Atka! We love you!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Pupdate: Rare Red Wolves Grow Bolder




The Wolf Conservation Center’s critically endangered red wolf pups are almost four weeks old! This is a significant milestone for the pocket size predators.

With their eyes wide open now, the pups have expanded their range as they can wander out of the den. Their menu has expanded as well to include small pieces of meat regurgitated by their parents and older siblings. The pups are growing rapidly so be sure to tune in to the WCC webcams to follow their progress!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day!


Wishing Mexican gray wolf F1505 (a.k.a. Trumpet) and all the mothers out there a wonderful Mother's Day!

Congresswoman Nita Lowey (NY) Stands for Wolves

PHOTO: Rep. Nita Lowey, with (from the left) Wolf Conservation Center Executive Director Maggie Howell, WCC Founder Helene Grimaud, WCC Education Director Regan Downey, Mr. Stephen Lowey, and Richard Melnikoff

HOWLS of THANKS to Congresswoman Nita Lowey (NY), a leading Congressional proponent of wildlife and environmental protection, for her unwavering commitment to defend and preserve the integrity Endangered Species Act and the species whose survival depend on this vital federal law.

Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY) is currently serving her thirteenth term in Congress, representing parts of Westchester and Rockland Counties. She was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1988 and is the first woman to lead either party on the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

Responsible for passing appropriation bills along with its Senate counterpart, the United States House Committee on Appropriations is charged with regulating expenditures of money by the government of the United States. As such, it is one of the most powerful of the committees, and its members are seen as some of the most critically influential in our nation.

In 2011, federal protection afforded by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was stripped from wolves of the Northern Rockies by an unprecedented act. Wolves were “delisted” via a congressional rider attached to a must-pass appropriations bill marking the first time in history a species was removed from the ESA via an act of Congress rather than federally mandated scientific analysis.

In the years that followed, some members of Congress have repeatedly attached riders to government funding bills seeking to remove federal protections for wolves in other states – including the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf!

Thanks to her leadership, Congress has been able to defeat such political maneuvers and Lowey pledges to continue to stand strong to prevent history from repeating itself during upcoming appropriations debates.

On Mother’s day, the Wolf Conservation Center’s wolves and staff were able to extend their howls of thanks in person to Lowey for her commitment to protecting and preserving endangered species.

Congresswoman Lowey, you are a true champion for America's wolves!


Friday, May 11, 2018

For Wolves, Bath Time Helps Strengthen Family Bonds


When a mother wolf licks and nibbles her pups, not only is she keeping her kiddo’s fur clean and free of debris, her grooming efforts are gestures of intimacy that reaffirm the unique emotional bonds that shape the foundation of the family. 

Because when it comes to wolves, it’s all about family.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Areas With Most Predator Activity Have Fewer Ticks

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Areas with the most predator activity have far fewer ticks and far fewer ticks infected with Lyme Disease. Another reason to root for predators!

Mice are highly efficient transmitters of Lyme. They infect up to 95 percent of ticks that feed on them. Mice are responsible for infecting the majority of ticks carrying Lyme in the Northeast. And ticks love mice.

Tim R. Hofmeester's, at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, had a theory - that areas with high numbers of foxes and martens, a predator in the weasel family, would have fewer mice and fewer infected ticks.

What Hofmeester found is that not only do predators kill and eat some of the mice, they make the survivors jumpy.

Nervous mice tend to stay home. Mice that stay home don’t run into ticks, don’t provide food for the next generation of ticks and don’t become infected with Lyme disease. Areas with the most predator activity had almost the same number of mice as areas without predators but had one-fifth as many ticks and one-eighth as many infected ticks.

This could be the first paper to empirically show that predators are good for your health with respect to tick-borne pathogens!

More via the Times Herald

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

New Season Calls For Wild Hair Days for Wolves

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Flowers are blooming, the trees are green, and birds are chirping - all great signs pointing to the arrival of a new season! Although the official start to summer relies upon a date on the calendar, wolves rely on subtle cues from Mother Nature to begin preparations for the summer months. Ambassador wolves Atka, Alawa, and Zephyr know the season is changing so they're busy shedding their winter coats.

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

High levels of the hormone contribute to the following:
Development of the mammary gland for expectant wolf mothers
Maintenance of lactation – helps milk production in wolf mothers
Promotion of parental behavior in both males and females and thus enhances pup survival
Shedding of the undercoat!

So longer days alter the chemical makeup of wolves and help ensure that they spend the spring and summer months in comfort with their happy healthy packs.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Helping Endangered Species, One Painting at a Time

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Wolf Conservation Center supporter Bria Neff was selected one of South Dakota’s top two youth volunteers of 2018!

The conservation-minded kiddo of Faces Of The Endangered was honored in the nation’s capital last week for her outstanding volunteer service during the 23rd annual presentation of The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

The dedicated fifth-grader has raised more than $13,000 and worldwide awareness to help save endangered species by selling and displaying her paintings of over 200 vulnerable animals and landscapes.

Over the past three years, Neff has spent more than 500 hours painting, researching, educating and raising awareness of endangered animals.

Her efforts have benefited numerous animal conservation organizations, including the WCC!

Bria, thank you for opening minds, touching our hearts, and exemplifying the amazing potential of your generation to make this world a better place!

Bria will join Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier, world-renowned environmental photographers, and co-founders of Sea Legacy, at a WILD reception to benefit the Wolf Conservation Center on May 21st in NYC! We hope you can join us too!

Learn more!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Rare Mexican Gray Wolf Snuggles with her 5-day-old Pup


On April 30, first-time parents F1505 (affectionately nicknamed Trumpet) and M1564 (Lighthawk) welcomed three adorable pups! Beyond being cute, these pups represent the Wolf Conservation Center's active participation in the effort to save a species from extinction.

There are only 114 wild Mexican gray wolves living in the United States, so every new arrival represents a priceless contribution to the recovery the rare and at-risk species.
The WCC is one of more than 50 institutions in the U.S. and Mexico participating in the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan – a bi-national initiative whose primary purpose is to support the reestablishment of Mexican wolves in the wild through captive breeding, public education, and research.

Because the entire existing Mexican wolf population descended from just seven founders rescued from extinction, genetic health is the primary consideration governing not only reproductive pairings, but also captive-to-wild release efforts. Although both components are equally critical to Mexican wolf recovery, release events are far less frequent than successful breeding.

In recent positive steps toward recovery, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has been ushering genetically diverse captive wolf pups into the wilds of Arizona and New Mexico through its pup cross-fostering initiative. Cross-fostering is a coordinated event where captive-born pups are introduced into a similar-aged wild litter so the pups can grow up as wild wolves.

The Mexican wolf newborns, who will not be able to open their eyes for a week or so, are not eligible for wild-foster due to their litter size.

The wolf parents and pups are not on public exhibit, but thirteen live webcams, available on the WCC website, invite an unlimited number of viewers to enter the private lives of these elusive creatures.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Hélène Grimaud's Vision for Positive Change


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The 200 Women project is the realization of an epic global journey, bringing together amazing women from a diverse range of backgrounds, with the aim to bring positive change in a time when so many women are still fighting for justice and equality.

What would Wolf Conservation Center founder Hélène Grimaud change?

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

'Dencam' Captures Birth of Rare Mexican Gray Wolf Pups!




SOUTH SALEM, NY (May 1, 2018) – There is a baby boom at the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC)!

After welcoming two litters of critically endangered red wolf pups less than two weeks ago, the WCC is celebrating the arrival of critically endangered Mexican gray wolf pups as well!

On April 30, first-time parent F1505 (affectionately nicknamed Trumpet for her loud squeals upon her birth in 2016) welcomed three pups. Following in their mother’s footsteps, the noisy newborns entered the world amongst a chorus of sounds. “Trumpet’s solo act has grown into an orchestra of growls, yips, and peeps,” said Regan Downey, WCC Education Director. “The squeaky sounds are not only adorable, but are so rarely heard on the wild landscape.”

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There are only 114 wild Mexican gray wolves living in the United States, so every new arrival represents a priceless contribution to the recovery the rare and at-risk species.
The WCC is one of more than 50 institutions in the U.S. and Mexico participating in the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan – a bi-national initiative whose primary purpose is to support the reestablishment of Mexican wolves in the wild through captive breeding, public education, and research.

Because the entire existing Mexican wolf population descended from just seven founders rescued from extinction, genetic health is the primary consideration governing not only reproductive pairings, but also captive-to-wild release efforts. Although both components are equally critical to Mexican wolf recovery, release events are far less frequent than successful breeding.

In recent positive steps toward recovery, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has been ushering genetically diverse captive wolf pups into the wilds of Arizona and New Mexico through its pup cross-fostering initiative. Cross-fostering is a coordinated event where captive-born pups are introduced into a similar-aged wild litter so the pups can grow up as wild wolves.

The Mexican wolf newborns, who will not be able to open their eyes for a week or so, are not eligible for wild-foster due to their litter size.

“Although we hoped pups from our center would receive the ‘call of the wild’,” said WCC Curator Rebecca Bose, “We’re elated that there have been foster events from other facilities this year! Cross-fostering is an incredibly effective tool for augmenting the genetic health of the wild population.”

“Maybe next year some lobo pups from the WCC will get this amazing opportunity,” said Maggie Howell, WCC Executive Director. “In the meantime, we’re counting on USFWS to continue with releases beyond pup season because recovery demands releasing more family groups into the wild too.”

The wolf parents and pups are not on public exhibit, but thirteen live webcams, available on the WCC website, invite an unlimited number of viewers to enter the private lives of these elusive creatures.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Rewilding America - A Special Event at the Explorers Club

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“Rewilding” is redefining 21st-century frontiers, both physically and philosophically. But it is also controversial, especially when the subject is the reintroduction of wolves.

THURSDAY, May 3rd - Join Wolf Conservation Center Executive Director Maggie Howell and wildlife biologist Dr. Kyran Kunkel of American Prairie Reserve for a special discussion at The Explorers Club, "Rewilding" America.

For information and tickets, click here.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Strength of the Wolf Is Family


For wolves, playtime isn’t only fun, it strengthens family bonds and reaffirms social status within the pack. And when it comes to wolves, it's all about family.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Bittersweet Birthday for 10 Rare Wolf Pups


Ten red wolf pups were born at the Wolf Conservation Center last week, but fewer than 30 remain in the wild.

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. Urge U.S. Fish and Wildlife to recommit to preserving the last wild red wolves.

Please take action today!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Ten Endangered Red Wolf Pups Born at the Wolf Conservation Center

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Fewer than 30 Remain in the Wild

Mother’s Day came early this year at the Wolf Conservation Center!

Red wolf F2121 (affectionately nicknamed Charlotte) gave birth to four pups during the afternoon of April 19 and were followed by six pups, born to a different mother (red wolf F1858 or Veronica), just hours later.

With high pitch peeps and squeals, the adorable new residents announced their debut to a global community of onlookers via the WCC’s network of live webcams.

Beyond being cute, the pocket-sized predators represent the WCC's active participation in an effort to save a species from extinction.

While the WCC has been a vocal and visible advocate in trying to protect and preserve critically endangered red wolves, the center is also active in physically safeguarding representatives of the rare species that have been entrusted to its care.

The WCC is one of 43 facilities in the U.S. participating in the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP) – a breeding and management program whose primary purpose is to support the reestablishment of red wolves in the wild through captive breeding, public education, and research.

Red wolves, native to the southeastern United States, were almost driven to extinction by intensive predator control programs and habitat loss.

In 1980, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) captured the last wild red wolves (just 14 animals) and declared the species extinct in the wild.

In 1987, USFWS released the first captive red wolves in North Carolina’s Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge as part of a federal reintroduction program under the aegis of the Endangered Species Act.

Although the red wolf recovery program once served as a model for successful recovery of wolves, political barriers and consistent mismanagement by the USFWS have seriously threatened the continued existence of this highly imperiled species. In its most recent proposal announced in September of 2016, the agency called to remove most of the last wild red wolves to put them in captivity. Beyond effectively undermining decades of wild red wolf recovery, scientists warn that USFWS's proposal “will no doubt result in the extinction of red wolves in the wild.”

Current estimates put the wild population at the lowest level in decades, down from 130 just four years ago to fewer than 30 today.


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Earth Day Every Day


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Howls of Thanks


Before National Volunteer Week comes to a close, we want to extend HOWLS of gratitude to the Wolf Conservation Center's amazing team of volunteers!

The WCC staff, Board of Directors, and 30+ wolves are blessed to have such wise, wonderful, and WILD packmates. You each exemplify the amazing potential to make this world a better place!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Ambassador Wolves Alawa and Zephyr Turn Seven


Happy birthday to two of the cutest pups we ever did see!

Throughout their time as ambassador wolves at the Wolf Conservation Center, Zephyr and Alawa have awed, educated, and inspired thousands of people, reminding them that ultimately, when it comes to wolves, it’s all about family.

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So throw back your head and let out a celebratory birthday howl for Zephyr and Alawa! Welcome to the superb sevens, kiddos!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Taxpayers Fund Killing of Endangered Mexican Wolf - Plus 1.3 Million Other Native Animals

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One might imagine that an agency called "Wildlife Services" would take on a supportive role in safeguarding wildlife. Think again. Often dubbed "the Killing Agency," this branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture released it's annual report yesterday and the death toll is staggering,

In 2017, woefully misnamed agency killed at least 1,320,075 native animals.

And the killing was paid by taxpayers like you and me.

In a single year alone, Wildlife Services killed:
  • Critically endangered Mexican gray wolf F1557 of the Diamond Pack
  • 357 gray wolves 
  • 69,041 coyotes
  • 3,753 foxes
  • 552 black bears
  • 1,001 bobcats
  • 319 cougars
Plus tens of thousands of beavers, squirrels, prairie dogs, and more.

And pets and other endangered species too.

Are you willing to let your taxpayer dollars continue to fund this agency's destructive and inhumane lethal wildlife control practices?

Read the report here.

More via Wildearth Guardians.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Happy birthday to Mexican gray wolf M1564 (Lighthawk)!



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At first glance, M1564 seems like every other Mexican wolf residing in the Wolf Conservation Center’s Endangered Species facility: elusive, endangered, essential. But the shy male has experienced something only very few lobos have – the wild.

Born around April 15th, 2015, M1564 spent most of his young life roaming the vast terrain of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests as a member of the Hawks Nest Pack but his life as a wild lobo came to a devastating end when he was removed from the wild in the fall of 2016 for attacking livestock. The elusive male was then flown to the WCC in 2017 via a series of private flights (thanks to the organization Lighthawk) and introduced to a spacious enclosure, where he now resides with f1505.



The feisty female, affectionately known as “Trumpet”, captured the hearts of WCC staff and supporters when she was born to parents M1059 and F1143 in 2016. Webcam viewers were entertained by her boundless energy and endless antics, and were overjoyed upon learning about her union with M1564.

The pair has enjoyed months of “newlywed bliss” but it’s possible the honeymoon stage might be coming to a close. WCC staff is hopeful that f1505 might give birth to a litter of pups within the next few weeks, so the bonded family of two could very well become a loving family of at least three! Watch their webcam for clues.

Join us in sending congratulatory birthday howls to a wildly amazing wolf! Happy birthday, M1564!

Endangered Red Wolf Pups on the Way?


We are on puppy watch at the Wolf Conservation Center! We're keeping our eyes on 5 potentially pregnant females! Do you think critically endangered red wolf Veronica (F1858) is pregnant? We do!

Watch with us now via LIVE webcams!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Happy Birthday, Red Wolf M1784 a.k.a. Sam!

M1784_and_F1858_edit_8x10_logo_smBirthdays abound! Wolves are mono-estrus, breeding only once a year during the winter months. So springtime is birthday season!
Today we celebrate the big eight for red wolf M1784, a.k.a. Sam!

M1784 recently transferred to the Wolf Conservation Center from the Museum of Life and Science, where he proved that, when it comes to wolves, it’s all about family. M1784’s mate, F1858 (“Veronica”), gave birth to a litter of four pups in the spring of 2017 and M1784 immediately embraced his new role as father. Keepers observed M1784 constantly bringing food to F1858 and the pups – he even brought the pups a rat when they were three weeks old! Be still, our beating hearts!

Learn more about M1784.

Today, with his well-earned badge of fatherhood, M1784 is poised to repeat last year's feat with a second litter sometime this month. So here’s hoping M1784 gets a chance to rest up today on his 8th birthday. With potential pups on the way, he'll need as much energy as he can get! Happy birthday, M1784!

Watch M1784 and family via LIVE webcam.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Happy birthday to WCC Ambassador Wolf Nikai!

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Four years ago today... this guy happened!

Nikai (meaning “Little Saint” or "One Who Wanders”) is a gray wolf who joined the Wolf Conservation Center family in May of 2014. Born on April 13, 2014, Nikai quickly wiggled, hiccupped, and howled his way into the hearts of WCC staff and supporters.

Nikai resides in one of the WCC’s on-exhibit enclosures with his older siblings, Zephyr and Alawa, and assists with science-based education programming. He serves as a representative for his wild kin, allowing visitors, webcam watchers, and social media followers to form connections with animals they might never otherwise see.

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But although the handsome four year old capably fulfills his professional role, he’s also quite the mischievous troublemaker! Always up for some fun, Nikai can often be observed trying to entice his siblings into a quick game of chase but he’s also perfectly content playing on his own. Lucky webcam watchers once glimpsed Nikai playing with toys – how ingenious!



Happy birthday, Nikai! Howls of thanks for your tireless, and sometimes hilarious, efforts to create a better world for wolves!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Prepping for Red Wolf Pups?

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Pregnancy can be an exciting and magical time for parents but waiting can be excruciating for well-wishers! No pups yet for red wolves F1858 and M1784, but F1858 recently plucked the hair from her big belly - a custom for expectant mothers when preparing for pups.

Keep your paws crossed!

Join the expectant family now via LIVE webcam!

The red wolf (Canis rufus) is the only wolf species found completely within the United States. Once common throughout the southeastern United States, red wolf populations were decimated by the 1960s due to intensive predator control programs and loss of habitat. In 1980, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) declared red wolves extinct in the wild after the last wild red wolves were gathered to survive in captivity. With the support of the Federal Red Wolf Species Survival Plan, a national initiative whose primary purpose is to support the reestablishment of red wolves in the wild through captive breeding, public education, and research, and under the aegis of the Endangered Species Act, red wolves were reintroduced in North Carolina in 1987. They were the first federally-listed species to be returned to their native habitat, and have served as models for other programs.

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

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Wyoming Aiming to Kill Grizzly Bears for Trophy

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Nine months ago, Yellowstone's grizzly bears were a federally protected endangered species. Today, they're slated to become targets for trophy hunters.

Less than a year after U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed protection for the iconic bears, Wyoming is seeking to hunt them for trophy.

Grizzly bears are already facing threats posed by poachers, dwindling key food sources (including the seeds of whitebark pine), and high levels of mortality caused by hunter and livestock conflict. Federal biologists documented a record-high 61 grizzly deaths in 2015 and 58 in 2016, with the majority of those caused by people.

The first Wyoming grizzly bear trophy hunt in over four decades will begin in the fall and target 24 bears if the state’s proposal is put into action.

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

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

'Tis the Season for Wolf Pups!

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Did you know that spring is "wolf pup season"? Wolves engage in mating behavior in the winter months so a gestation period of 63 days means April, May, and early June could be potential pup birthdays!

The Wolf Conservation Center is home to several potential breeding pairs, both Mexican gray wolves and red wolves, and these pairs can all be watched via webcam. Let us know if you see anything exciting!

Learn more about the Mexican gray wolf and red wolf recovery programs here.


(Photo: Mexican wolf pup born in 2016 to parents M1133 and F1226)

Monday, April 9, 2018

Killing Alberta Wolves is Not Conservation

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Alberta has spent millions of dollars in attempts to recover critically endangered woodland caribou populations in the Little Smoky range, an area impacted by oil, gas, and forestry industries. Since the tax-funded wolf kill program began in 2005, over 1,200 wolves have been killed under the guise of "caribou protection." The results? Wolves have been shot from helicopters, poisoned with strychnine, and strangled in snares but there has been no growth in the caribou population.

This is not conservation. This is tax-funded wildlife slaughter. Rather than eliminate seismic lines and logging, Alberta has instead broadened their kill list to include bears, elk, and deer, in addition to wolves.

"Government is responsible for ethical wildlife management and should take into account and plan for the well-being of future generations," remarks Sadie Parr of Wolf Awareness Inc. "This is not just about caribou, wolves or oil. This is about examining our relationship with nature."

More via HuffPost Canada

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Denali Wolves Need Your Voice

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Wolves in Alaska are not protected under state or federal law. Thus, despite the fact that hunting and trapping are illegal within Denali National Park itself, wandering wolves are often vulnerable as soon as they slip across the park’s boundary.

On March 30, 2018, Alaska officials issued an emergency order closing the wolf hunting and trapping season on state land adjacent to the eastern boundary of Denali over concerns that excessive kills may destabilize this iconic wolf population.

Photos posted April 3, 2018, by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) show a man armed with an AR15 semiautomatic rifle displaying ten wolf carcasses outside Denali.

For several years now, there has been a notable decline in the number of wolf sightings in Denali and research indicates that wolf mortality rates in the park have recently spiked to worrying levels, with the lowest estimated wolf density recorded since monitoring began in 1986.

Meanwhile, the percentage of sightseers who have spotted a wolf, according to random surveys, had dropped from 45% to just 5%.

It’s time for the state to make changes. It’s too late for many wolves, but perhaps their legacy is to mobilize us to establish a no hunting/trapping buffer adjacent to Denali National Park and Preserve!

Please help by taking action to protect Denali’s wolves!

Take Action Here

Monday, April 2, 2018

A Win for Critically Endangered Mexican Gray Wolves

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Endangered Mexican gray wolves scored a big victory!

A federal judge just rejected portions of an illegal rule that limited their population numbers, banned them from needed recovery habitat, and loosened the rules against killing the animals in the wild.

“This ruling offers hope that the Mexican gray wolf can be pulled back from the brink of extinction before it is too late,” said Earthjustice attorney Timothy Preso.


Last week (LoboWeek) marked the 20th anniversary of the Mexican gray wolf's return to the wild - this win is the perfect anniversary gift!

More via Earthjustice.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Move Over, Easter Bunny


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Mexican Gray Wolf - The Wild Reborn




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

The Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) or “lobo” is the most genetically distinct lineage of wolves in the Western Hemisphere, and one of the most endangered mammals in North America. By the mid-1980s, hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the extinction of lobos in the wild, with only a handful remaining in captivity. Twenty years ago this month, 11 captive bred lobos were reintroduced into the wild as part of a federal reintroduction program under the Endangered Species Act. Today in the U.S., there is a single wild population comprising only 114 individuals – an increase of just one from 113 counted at the end of 2016.

For almost two decades, the Wolf Conservation Center has played a critical role in preserving and protecting these imperiled predators through carefully managed breeding, research, and reintroduction. To date, the WCC remains one of the three largest holding facilities for Mexican gray wolves and three wolves from the Center have been released to their ancestral homes in the wild. Furthermore, this season promises to be an especially exciting one with three potential Mexican wolf pup litters this April or May! Beyond being adorable, these pups will represent the WCC’s active participation to save species on the brink of extinction.

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