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Conserving Wolves through Education, Recovery, and Advocacy

Wolves once ranged across most of North America, a vital part of many varied ecosystems.  But by 1950, an unremitting slaughter by humans had brought many species to the brink of extinction.  A few survived only in captivity, their wildness caged.  And the lands where they once roamed were diminished, as was our own relationship to the wilderness.

Over the last several decades, however, efforts have begun to right this horrible wrong: to reintroduce and restore these magnificent creatures to their rightful places in our landscapes, in our hearts and in our culture.

The Wolf Conservation Center has been part of this effort for two decades.

The WCC is working to protect and preserve wolves in North America through science-based education, advocacy, and participation in the federal recovery and release programs for two critically endangered wolf species – the Mexican gray wolf and red wolf. We have nurtured wolves, educated hundreds of thousands about their plight, and fought for their habitat and protection, both in and out of court.

The Mexican gray wolf and the red wolf are among the rarest mammals in North America; both species were at one time extinct in the wild. The WCC is currently home to 20 red wolves and 27 Mexican gray wolves that, unbeknownst to them, are the future of their critically endangered species.

Without education and increased awareness, these animals would cease to exist.

As some of the rarest animals in the world, their past brushes with extinction and current conservation challenges often go unnoticed. This lack of awareness can result in increased illegal killings in the wild and legislative conservation challenges, but the most devastating byproduct is a lack of empathy. With only fourteen known red wolves remaining in the wild and approximately 131 wild Mexican gray wolves, forgetting about their existence can often be easier than recognizing the human effort that is needed to save them. We make it impossible to forget.

With live camera feeds running 24/7, an entire global audience is connected to the red wolves and Mexican gray wolves at the WCC. It is impossible to remain apathetic while watching a critically endangered red wolf pup take their first tentative steps outside of their den but just as extremely, it is impossible to not feel joyous when the howls of a red wolf family reverberate through the camera speakers. We are their voices, their last connection to a world that has largely failed them – so we cannot fail.