Saturday, October 13, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 12, 2018

Celebrate a Legend with Limited Edition Atka Apparel

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Southeastern Coyotes: Hunter or Scavenger? New Study Finds Answer

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Red Wolf Pup Milestone

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

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

Bigger teeth also make for a bigger toothy grin!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Think of Wolves This Election Day

The midterm elections are on November 6.

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

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

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

Monday, October 8, 2018

For Wolves, Song is Social Glue

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

Wolves can howl to locate other wolves, advertise the size of their pack or territory, to warn other family members of danger using a bark howl, and more.

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

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

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

Friday, October 5, 2018

Essential. Endangered. Extremely Chatty Red Wolf.

Did you know that wolves across the world speak in 21 different dialects, with differences depending both on species and location?

The largest-ever study of howling in the 'canid' family of species – which includes wolves, jackals, and domestic dogs – has shown that the various species and subspecies have distinguishing repertoires of howling, or "vocal fingerprints".

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

More via PHYS.ORG.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Fifty Wolves Howl to the Night

Nobody does night better than wolves.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Arctic Angel

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

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