Tag: Wolves

Breaking! A Historic Win After Spain Announces Plans To Ban The Hunting Of Wolves

Animal welfare groups worldwide are elated after Spain announces plans to ban the hunting of wolves.

All wolves in Spain have now been listed as protected species after receiving approval from the State Commission for Natural Heritage of the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge. Until now, only populations south of the Duero were protected and those to the north were still allowed to be hunted.

The Iberian wolf, also known as the Spanish wolf, is a subspecies of the grey wolf. There are only an estimated 1,500 – 2,000 remaining in the wild in Spain, with 90% living in the northern regions. Thankfully, this ban on hunting will help their species recover.

With this proposal for the inclusion of all Spanish wolf populations in the List of Wild Species under the Special Protection Regime, the opinion of the Scientific Committee that recommended their protection had taken into account their importance as cultural and scientific heritage.

Wolves are a key species that keep diverse ecosystems healthy and intact. Sadly, after the threats to wolves increased in Spain, action needed to be taken to protect them throughout the entire country, ensuring a healthy population and distribution in the long term.

Once the legal status of wolves has been resolved, the meeting of the State Commission for Natural Heritage and Biodiversity has proposed the constitution of a working group to develop a new strategy for the conservation of wolves throughout Spain.

The objective of this move will be to achieve the restoration of viable Wolf populations as an integral part of the ecosystems in Spain, while ensuring coexistence with humans in the territories in which wolves inhabit.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Ignores Biden’s Executive Order To Push To Restore Protections For Gray Wolves In The United States

President Biden recently ordered a broad review of the Trump administration’s wildlife policies, including the decision to strip Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves. Unfathomably, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asserted that the previous administration’s decision to delist gray wolves was valid in a cursory, three-paragraph letter to conservation groups.

On January 20th, one of Biden’s first executive orders required agencies to conduct a review of actions taken by the previous administration in order to ensure that “the Federal Government must be guided by the best science and be protected by processes that ensure the integrity of Federal decision-making.” At the end of the review, all agencies were required to submit a report to the president with their recommendations on how to proceed.

Instead of complying with this process, the Fish and Wildlife Service claimed in a letter signed by Gary Frazer, assistant director for ecological services, that the Trump administration’s rule removing Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves in the lower 48 states remains valid. Ridiculous!

“There is no way the Fish and Wildlife Service followed President Biden’s directive and completed its review in just five business days,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity, in a statement. “It’s baffling that they went rogue by not even waiting until there was a new secretary of Interior to assess what happened under Trump. This is a slap in the face to the American public, who want scientific integrity restored to the government, and to ensure that wolves are protected until they’re recovered across this country.”

The Service removed federal protection from wolves in October 2020, despite deep concerns raised by the peer review of the decision. Independent scientists raised substantial concerns that wolves remained still functionally extinct in the vast majority of their former range across the continental United States.

Even before the Trump administration, the Fish and Wildlife Service routinely ranked among the worst agencies in terms of concerns about political interference undermining the scientific process. In a 2015 survey, 70% of Fish and Wildlife Service scientists stated that considerations of political interests in agency decisions were too high.

“President Biden has made clear that listening to the science will be the hallmark of his administration. It’s sad the Fish and Wildlife Service didn’t get the memo,” said Hartl. “We won’t be able to take on the extinction crisis or the climate crisis if federal agencies like the Fish and Wildlife Service feel free to routinely ignore science whenever it suits them.”

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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Breaking! Court Rules That The Last Seven Critically Endangered Captive Red Wolves In North Carolina Must Be Released Into The Wild

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina ruled in a case brought by the Southern Environmental Law Center that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must develop a plan by March 1, 2021, to resume its longstanding and successful practice of releasing captive red wolves into the Red Wolf Recovery Area in North Carolina. The case was brought on behalf of the Red Wolf Coalition, Defenders of Wildlife, and Animal Welfare Institute.

As reported by WAN last month, there are tragically as few as seven red wolves remaining in the wild today. The court order temporarily prohibits the agency from implementing its recent policy change that would prevent the release of captive wolves into the wild.

On November 16, 2020, the Southern Environmental Law Center sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina for violations of the Endangered Species Act. This was caused by new, illegal agency policies that bar the use of proven management measures to save wild red wolves on behalf of Red Wolf Coalition, Defenders of Wildlife, and Animal Welfare Institute. It filed for a motion for preliminary injunction in the case on November 19, 2020.

“With only seven known red wolves left in the wild, it is past time for the Fish and Wildlife Service to resume conservation measures that it used successfully for decades,” Sierra Weaver, senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center which represents the conservation organizations, said in a statement. “The court was clear that the agency has to stop managing red wolves into extinction and instead take meaningful action to rebuild the wild red wolf population in North Carolina.”

“We are grateful that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will finally abide by its responsibility to protect this critically endangered wolf,” stated Ben Prater, Southeast program director at Defenders of Wildlife. “Releasing wolves into the wild is a common sense, science-backed approach to boost this population and stave off the red wolf’s extinction. While the species has a long way to go, this is a major step in the right direction.”

“This is a vital ruling that will breathe new life into the Red Wolf Recovery Program,” noted Johanna Hamburger, director and senior staff attorney for AWI’s terrestrial wildlife program. “The Court held that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s passive efforts to manage the wild red wolf population are woefully inadequate to recover the species. By ordering the agency to once again release wolves from captivity into the wild population, the Court is requiring much-needed action to prevent the continued downward spiral of this species.”

“The Red Wolf Coalition is grateful that the court saw the importance of releasing captive red wolves to the wild population,” said Kim Wheeler, Executive Director of Red Wolf Coalition. “These additional red wolves will add genetic diversity and breeding opportunities to the wild population in northeastern North Carolina.”

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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Breaking! Biden Announces U.S. Will Rejoin The Paris Climate Agreement & Also Enact Protections For Gray Wolves

As President Joe Biden took office yesterday, his administration announced a series of steps aimed at combating the climate crisis and protecting wildlife from extinction. These include reentering the Paris Climate Agreement, cancelling the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, and imposing a moratorium on oil leasing activities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

President Biden is also launching a broad review of the Trump administration’s policies, including why the administration stripped protection for birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, their move to undo Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves, and the administration’s failure to protect monarch butterflies.

“From Paris to Keystone to protecting gray wolves, these huge first moves from President Biden show he’s serious about stopping the climate and extinction crises,” said Kierán Suckling, Executive Director of the Center for Biological Diversity in a statement. “These strong steps must be the start of a furious race to avert catastrophe,” continued Suckling.

President Biden has the power to take other major executive actions to ward off climate catastrophe and the extinction crisis, even if Congress is slow to move. In December, the Center released transition recommendations detailing key actions the incoming Biden administration can take to combat climate change, safeguard the environment and protect wildlife.

More than 500 conservation, environmental justice, youth, health, faith, and labor groups have called for the declaration of a national climate emergency. The groups’ Climate President Action Plan calls for the use of existing executive powers to take bold and foundational steps on climate, including an immediate halt to new fossil fuel leases, infrastructure, and exports.

Ending the global wildlife extinction crisis will require bold leadership from the United States, including protecting 30% of America’s wildlands and waters by 2030 and half of them by 2050.

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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Sued For Failing To Protect The Last Seven Wild Red Wolves That Are On The Brink Of Extinction

On behalf of Red Wolf Coalition, Defenders of Wildlife, and Animal Welfare Institute, the Southern Environmental Law Center sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina recently for violations of the Endangered Species Act. The violations were caused by illegal agency policies that bar the use of proven management measures to save wild red wolves.

“The Fish and Wildlife Service is managing this species for extinction,” Sierra Weaver, senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center said in a statement. “Faced with a wild population of only seven known wolves left, the Fish and Wildlife Service is now claiming, without basis, that it’s not allowed to take proven, necessary measures to save the wild red wolves. The service urgently needs to restart red wolf releases from captivity, which it did regularly for 27 years.  Otherwise we’re going to lose the world’s only wild population of this wolf species.

“Under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s mismanagement, the world’s most endangered wolf has only moved closer to extinction,” said Jason Rylander, senior endangered species counsel at Defenders of Wildlife. “We have given the service every opportunity to reverse course and supplement the last wild population of red wolves with captive releases. Sadly, with only seven collared wolves left in the wild, it’s apparent we can’t wait any longer.”

Two years ago, in November 2018, a federal court found that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had violated the Endangered Species Act by suspending proven conservation measures for wild red wolves after the Southern Environmental Law Center went to court on behalf of the same conservation organizations.

Rather than resolving those violations, the agency has doubled down on its abandonment of those measures and invented a new, illegal policy, that it claims does not permit it to release red wolves from the captive population into the wild. The agency also now claims that its rules do not allow the agency to address hybridization with coyotes. As a result, the world’s only population of wild red wolves is now on the brink of extinction.

No red wolf pups were born in the wild in 2019 or 2020 for the first time since 1988. Meanwhile, the captive red wolf population continues to increase with more new pups being born every spring, even as the agency refuses to reinstate red wolf releases.

“We hope the USFWS will look closely at its red wolf conservation policies and enact the necessary changes that will make the survival of wild red wolves a priority.” stated Kim Wheeler, Executive Director of the Red Wolf Coalition.

Following successful conservation efforts and reintroductions from captive populations, America’s red wolves rebounded from extinction in the wild to about 100 individuals in 1980. That population level persisted for approximately a decade in eastern North Carolina. Since 2018, however, the wild red wolf population has plummeted by 70%.

“The ESA requires USFWS to carry out programs for the conservation of the red wolf and to ensure that its actions do not jeopardize the species’ continued existence,” said Johanna Hamburger, director and senior staff attorney for the Animal Welfare Institute’s terrestrial wildlife program. “The agency is failing on both counts. The current lack of action, by USFWS’ own admission, will cause the extinction of the wild red wolf population unless the agency immediately restarts conservation efforts.”

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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Victory! Colorado Approves Reintroduction Of Endangered Gray Wolves Bringing Hope To Their Species Throughout The West

An unprecedented state ballot initiative requiring wildlife officials to reintroduce endangered gray wolves in Colorado passed Tuesday’s election with a 20,000-vote majority and hundreds of pro-wolf precincts left to be counted. Opponents conceded that the measure has passed.

Proposition 114 requires Colorado Parks and Wildlife to develop a wolf restoration and management plan based on science and statewide public hearings. Reintroduction to areas west of the Continental Divide must begin by December 31st, 2023.

“Since time immemorial wolves were one of the most influential animals in shaping the ecology of Colorado’s forests and grasslands,” Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity told WAN. “Federal wolf poisoning and trapping on behalf of the livestock industry a century ago continues today to harm a myriad of other animal and plant species. Colorado voters wisely decided to begin to undo that harm.”

“This is a great victory for wolves coming on the heels of Trump’s illegal action to remove federal protection, and it will help restore the natural balance in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains,” Robinson also noted in a statement. “The people of Colorado have helped turn the page on a brutal chapter of our history that saw wolves exterminated across the West.”

Throughout the pandemic, hundreds of volunteers campaigned statewide for Proposition 114, staffing phone banks and waving banners along roads. The livestock industry bitterly opposed the measure and spent heavily on anti-wolf advertising.

Reintroducing gray wolves to Colorado will restore the species in a key portion of its range between existing populations of wolves in the northern Rockies, as well as critically imperiled Mexican gray wolves in New Mexico and Arizona. Mexican wolves could benefit from occasional interbreeding with northern wolves.

“Wolves are the engine of evolution for terrestrial ecosystems, and their return to Colorado will benefit deer and elk herds, the health of our forests, songbirds, and even rare wolverines,” said Robinson.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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Breaking! Endangered Species Act Protection Shockingly Stripped From Gray Wolves In The Lower 48 U.S. States Putting Their Species In Jeopardy

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) finalized a rule today that removes protection from gray wolves in the lower 48 states, except for a small population of Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico. The USFWS made its decision despite the fact that wolves are still functionally extinct in the vast majority of their former range across the continental United States.

In July, WAN reported that almost two million Americans opposed the Trump administration’s plan to remove Endangered Species Act protection for gray wolves. The number of comments submitted were the highest ever recorded on a federal decision involving endangered species, yet the administration still chose to move forward with this disastrous plan.

Even the scientific peer reviews written at the behest of the USFWS state that the agency’s proposal contained numerous errors and appeared to come to a predetermined conclusion, not even supported by its own science.

While there were once hundreds of thousands of wolves in the lower 48 states, now there are only an estimated 5,500 currently living in the continental United States; a fraction of the species’ historic population.

“Wolves are too imperiled and ecologically important to be cruelly trapped and gunned down for sport,” Collette Adkins, Carnivore Conservation Director at the Center for Biological Diversity told WAN. “The Interior Department is catering to trophy hunters, the livestock industry, and other special interests that want to kill wolves. We’ll do everything we can to stop it.”

“This is no ‘Mission Accomplished’ moment for wolf recovery,” said Kristen Boyles, an attorney for Earthjustice in a statement. “Wolves are only starting to get a toehold in places like Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, and wolves need federal protection to explore habitat in the Southern Rockies and the Northeast. This delisting decision is what happens when bad science drives bad policy — and it’s illegal, so we will see them in court.”

“We should be putting much more effort into coexistence with wolves, working to ensure that populations in the lower 48 are thriving and are able to play out their ecological role balancing our natural systems, instead of stripping critical protections still needed for their full recovery,” said Bonnie Rice, Senior Campaign Representative for Sierra Club. “The science is clear that to protect our communities and prevent future pandemics, we need to be doing more to protect nature and wildlife, not less.”

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Michigan Hunter Kurt Johnston Duncan Receives Jail Time & Is Banned From Hunting For Life After Poaching 18 Gray Wolves & Several Bald Eagles

A Michigan hunter named Kurt Johnston Duncan was sentenced Tuesday under a plea deal after being accused of poaching numerous species, including 18 gray wolves over the past 18 months.

Wolves are protected in Michigan and are on the federal endangered species list, they are off limits to hunters.

56-year-old Duncan pleaded guilty in September to seven poaching crimes following an investigation by Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers.

Chippewa County District Court Judge Eric Blubaugh sentenced Duncan to pay a total of $36,240; $27,000 as reimbursement for the animals illegally taken and $9,240 in court fees and costs. Duncan also received 90 days of jail time; 30 of which will be held in aside should he violate probation which will last between 18 and 24 months.

Perhaps most importantly, Duncan was penalized with a lifetime revocation of all hunting and trapping licenses in Michigan; including that he may not assist anyone else in any hunting or trapping activities. Duncan is not allowed to hunt in 48 states that are members of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.

“This is a historical case for the division and department,” Chief Gary Hagler, DNR Law Enforcement Division, said in a statement. “We hope this poaching case acts as a deterrent to criminals for committing future wildlife crimes such as this. Our officers did an excellent job working as a team and building this investigation so it could move quickly through the criminal justice system.”

The Michigan DNR’s months-long investigation of Duncan identified 125 wildlife misdemeanor crimes.

Species involved in the charges also include: deer, turkey, bear, and bobcat. DNR law enforcement detectives said that Duncan was using the animals for a variety of reasons including crafts and selling or disposing of them. They also stated that he was catching the animals because he could and “likes to do it.” That is sick.

On September 24th, Duncan accepted a plea deal by Chippewa County Prosecutor Robert Stratton. Duncan pleaded guilty to three counts of the illegal take and possession of wolves, three counts of the illegal take and possession of bald eagles, and one count of illegal commercialization of a wolf which, as noted above, is a protected species in Michigan.

Conservation officers in Michigan are fully commissioned state peace officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety, and protect citizens by providing general law enforcement duties and life-saving  operations in the communities they serve.

Anyone witnessing a natural resources crime or has information about such a crime is encouraged to call or text the DNR’s Report All Poaching Hotline at 800-292-7800.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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WAN Exclusive With Apex Protection Project, An Amazing Nonprofit That Saves Wolves & Wolf Hybrids In California

Photos from Apex Protection Project

Apex Protection Project is an amazing organization of dedicated people who work to protect wild wolves, captive-bred wolves, and wolf hybrids, as well as who educate the public about their plight. They are currently caring for two wolves and five hybrids that call the sanctuary their home.

There are countless reasons for people to become immersed in animal rescue and welfare and for Co-Founders of Apex Protection Project, Steve Wastell and Paula Ficara, it began with one beautiful wolf.

“Taboo is the reason why we do what we do,” Wastell told WAN, referring to a alpha female wolf hybrid who was their first rescue. “She was our daughter.”

Sadly, Taboo, who was about 60% to 70 % wolf passed away three months ago from cancer. Shortly before, Apex Protection Project experienced another significant loss when Merlin, a 15-year-old high content, 90% wolf, who was Taboo’s companion, also passed away.

“They died two months apart. Their love story was very romantic,” shared Ficara, likening it to when a human couple grows old together.”

“Taboo was the glue that held everything together. A good leader. A peacekeeper,” said Ficara, further explaining how the pack had to mourn Taboo’s passing, while trying to figure out the new structure and who the new alpha would be. “It was interesting and fascinating to watch.”

“Thor, one of the other male wolves became the new alpha, and he was the one who wanted it the least,” said Wastell.

It is not surprising to hear how lovingly Wastell and Ficara talk about their rescued Apex wolf pack, as the organization is dedicated to the care and well-being of the animals, striving to provide them with the happiest and most fulfilled lives possible, in safe and comfortable habitats, with daily exercise and enrichment, vet care, and lots of love and attention.

“Our relationships with the members of our pack are built on trust and respect, the two most important values to both wolves and humans,” noted Wastell. A philosophy that they also pass on to Apex Protection Project’s volunteers.

Having gone without any volunteers for three to four months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Apex team is beginning to bring back some of their established volunteers, including trained Animal Pack Caretakers who work daily with the wolves and wolf hybrids.

“While the past months have been hard, painful, and emotional, there has been a lot of beautiful and educational moments as well,” noted Ficara. One such moment is when the pack reunites with their Animal Pack Caretakers. “They miss them,” explained Ficara, further sharing that the Caretakers were even surprised at how the animals responded when they returned.

“They take hikes with them, spend time with them,” noted Wastell, who maintains that their human socialization of the animals make them loving and connected. “The key is building deep relationships. On average, It takes approximately six months to a year to build a strong trusting friendship, and sometimes longer.”

Wastell and Ficara also belong to a national network of rescuers. “On average, there are three to seven messages about wolves that need to be rescued each week,” noted Wastell. “Sometimes they are from breeders who close down, while other times, they are from individuals who can no longer care for them.”

The busy team is preparing to co-host their fourth annual Sedona Wolf Week with their partners Plan B to Save Wolves which will take place virtually November 10th through the 14th. The free event will be full of informative, entertaining, and valuable information from some of the country’s top wolf experts.

Apex Protection Project was founded in 2015. Located in the high desert north of Los Angeles, California, the small but growing organization is now working toward moving to a much larger property so that they may save more animals and provide them with a forever home. Wastell and Ficara told WAN that they would like to rescue between 16-25 wolves in the future.

Please donate to Apex Protection Project to help them continue their critical and compassionate work saving, protecting, caring for, and providing rescued wolves and wolf hybrids with forever homes HERE!

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Tragically, Only 9 Critically Endangered Red Wolves Remain In The Wild; A New Lawsuit Is Pushing For A Recovery Plan To Save Them

Photo by B. Bartel, USFWS

According to a legal agreement reached as a result of a lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must update its plan for saving critically endangered red wolves in the next two and a half years. Red wolves, which are native to the southeastern United States, have sadly dwindled to only nine known individuals in the wild, living in the eastern part of North Carolina.

“With only nine wolves known to remain in the wild, the red wolf desperately needed this good news,” Collette Adkins, carnivore conservation director at the Center, said in a statement. “The science shows that the red wolf can be saved, and I am hopeful that a new recovery plan will put the species back on the road to recovery.”

The agreement, approved on October 2nd by a North Carolina federal court, requires the Fish and Wildlife Service to complete a final revised recovery plan for red wolves by February 28, 2023.

This victory is the result of the Center’s 2019 lawsuit, which challenged the Fish and Wildlife Service’s failure to revise the outdated recovery plan from 1990. The Center filed its suit after the Service failed to follow through on its commitment to update the decades-old recovery plan by the end of 2018.

The Endangered Species Act requires that the agency prepare plans that serve as roadmaps to species recovery, identifying measures needed to ensure conservation and survival, such as reintroductions.

Last year, the Center released a report identifying five potential reintroduction sites that together could support nearly 500 breeding pairs of red wolves. All the sites are on public lands in: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia. 

The Fish and Wildlife Service has not taken steps to reintroduce red wolves elsewhere and has stopped taking action, such as widespread sterilization of coyotes to prevent hybrid animals from harming the gene pool which is necessary to conserve the remaining wild population.

“Time is running out to save red wolves and government foot-dragging has only made the problem worse,” continued Adkins. “It’s frustrating that we’ve had to sue time and again to get action. Hopefully this win finally gets these vulnerable wolves the help they need.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to release a draft revised red wolf recovery plan next year. The public will have an opportunity to comment on the draft plan.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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Washington Governor Jay Inslee Orders New Rules To Be Drafted Using Non-Lethal Methods To Address Wolves Involved In Conflicts With Livestock

On Friday, Washington Governor Jay Inslee instructed the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to draft new rules governing the killing of wolves involved in conflicts with livestock. This action reverses the commission’s denial of a petition filed by advocates in May that called for reforms of the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s lethal wolf management policies.

“This is a victory for Washington’s wolves and all of us who have been speaking out against the state’s relentless wolf killing,” said Sophia Ressler, a Washington wildlife advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity in a statement. “We are hopeful that the development of enforceable wolf management rules will protect our recovering wolf population and make wildlife officials accountable to the public they serve.”

The new rules will address the use of non-lethal measures to avoid livestock-wolf conflicts. They will further examine chronic conflict areas where the state has killed wolves year after year.

As previously reported by WAN, the state has killed 34 wolves since 2012. Twenty-nine were killed for the same livestock owner in prime wolf habitat in the Colville National Forest. After the Fish and Wildlife Commission denied the wolf advocates’ petition in June, the groups appealed to the governor, who had 45 days to decide whether to deny the appeal or require the commission to create new wolf-management rules.

Governor Inslee’s decision requires the commission to start a formal rulemaking process, which includes giving notice to the public and creating an opportunity to comment on proposed rules. The timeline for this process will be available on the department’s website when the rulemaking is announced.

“The governor’s decision to approve this petition is a necessary step in cleaning up the mess the Department has made of wolf management,” stated Jocelyn Leroux, Washington and Montana Director for Western Watersheds Project. “This decision will give a voice to the majority of Washingtonians that do not want wolves needlessly slaughtered year after year at the charge of a few livestock producers.”

“Demonstrating a commitment to environmental leadership, Governor Inslee has put the Department on notice: It’s time for fair rules, and public transparency, when it comes to Washington’s iconic wolves,” shared Samantha Bruegger, a wildlife coexistence campaigner at WildEarth Guardians.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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WAN Exclusive: W.O.L.F. Sanctuary Evacuates 30 Wolves & Wolf Hybrids From The Catastrophic Wildfires In Colorado

Photos from the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary and The Wild Animal Sanctuary

As wildfires continue to burn in Colorado, 30 wolves and wolf dog hybrids are now safe after being evacuated from the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary, and temporarily relocated to safety at The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS).

WAN talked exclusively with Jessica Kole, W.O.L.F. Sanctuary’s Director of Development, about the unique challenges that came with transferring these predominately elusive animals from one location to another, as well as the current status of the animals affected by the Colorado wildfires.

“It takes a lot of patience and work,” Kole told WAN, explaining that while the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary has a few animals that serve as social ambassadors, most wolves and wolf dogs prefer little to no human interaction. “Each wolf has a different personality. It was critical that we moved from one habitat to the next while putting the least amount of stress on the animals, creating as calm an atmosphere as possible.”

Kole also emphasized the importance of teamwork, expressing gratitude for the collaboration between the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary and The Wild Animal Sanctuary.

While Kole shared that volunteers and staff were able to collect the wolf social ambassadors and drive them away from the devastating wildfires, it was The Wild Animal Sanctuary’s Founder and Executive Director, Patrick Craig, and his team who arrived with the vehicles and equipment necessary to transfer the majority of the wolves to safety at their Keenesburg, Colorado, facility two-hours away.

There, the wolves and wolf dog hybrids remain in pairs with their mates, securely separated from other animals.

The length of time that the animals will stay at The Wild Animal Sanctuary is dependent on the weather and containment of the wildfires. While the Lewstone Fire has been contained, the Cameron Peak Fire continues to burn and threaten the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary.

“Our location could be at risk if the Cameron Peak Fire creeps closer,” said Kole. “We will not bring the animals back until we feel comfortable that the wildfire is contained. No concrete decision has been made.”

Most of the animals at the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary have been rescued from a harrowing life of mistreatment and fear. Many have been saved from dog breeders who try to exploit the animals as exotic pets. Once they start to display wolf traits, they can no longer take care of them. Other wolves have been rescued from equally deplorable and greedy industries, including those that were saved from fur farms.

“We are a nonprofit that relies on donations as we get no government funding,” Kole shared, further explaining that the organization also has little opportunities for grants as their captive-born wolves and wolf dog rescues cannot be released into the wild or adopted as pets. “They are different from domestic dogs.”

While the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary had a proactive evacuation plan in place, donations are needed now more than ever to purchase new trailers and crates, as well as an SUV to be more equipped for future emergencies.

Donations to the W.O.L.F. Sanctuary can be made HERE! 

Ways to help and donate to The Wild Animal Sanctuary can be made HERE!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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