Sunday, April 29, 2018

Rewilding America - A Special Event at the Explorers Club

“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


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.


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

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)!

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!

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.

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?

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

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!

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

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


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

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