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.