Monday, February 26, 2018

Endangered Wolf Family Released In Chihuahua, Mexico!

The Wild is Calling and the Lobos are Ready!

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

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

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

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Only 114 Mexican Gray Wolves Left in the Wild

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

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

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


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Are red wolves on the brink of extinction?

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

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

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

Learn more about red wolves here.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Red Wolf Love Is In The Air


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

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

Learn more about red wolves here.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Wolf Conservation Center Standing Up for Critically Endangered Lobos

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

So, we're taking USFWS to court.

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

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


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A Wolf Encounter in the High Arctic

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

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

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

Photo ©Doclights/Gulo Film Productions

Saturday, February 10, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Earth Touch: Lobos in Limbo

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

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Saving Endangered Wolves Via Artificial Insemination

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

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

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

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

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Super Bowl Gets Thrown to the Wolves

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

Wolf Hygiene 101

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

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

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

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Learning From Wolf "Scat'

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

 Learn more about the eastern (Algonquin) wolf here.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Algonquin Wolf Pack Howling

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

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

Learn more.

Recording and photo by Steve Dunsford of Impressions of Algonquin

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Get Wildly Romantic For Valentine's Day


Love is rare. So are wolves.

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

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

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

Tell someone you want to get wild with them today!

Learn more