Throw back your head and let out a long celebratory birthday howl for Atka! Today he turns 15 and a half years old! Happy (half) Birthday, Atka! We love you so

…and gesundheit!

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PACK Fellowship (WCC's Youth Activist Group) Youth

PACK Fellowship (WCC’s Youth Activist Group) at Coyote Awareness Day at Muscoot Farm

Today’s children and families often have limited opportunities to connect with the natural environment. Wstchester County Park’s robust environmental education programming/activities have prevented hundreds of thousands of children from losing touch with nature and the outdoors. This is critical, as children who regularly play outdoors have been shown to be happier, healthier, more confident and less anxious.

The recently released 2018 Westchester County budget included an elimination of all full time curators from Westchester County’s Parks, including the Wolf Conservation Center partners at Muscoot Farm and Trailside Nature Museum at Ward Pound Ridge. This amounts to an elimination of the County’s Conservation Division.

  • Without the Curators we would lose the ability to run our life changing ecology summer camps, Farm camps, and environmental programming which foster a close relationship with nature and personal growth for many children in our communities.
  • Without the Curators it will become extremely difficult to schedule field trips and school group visits to the parks.
  • Without the Curators we will lose the ability to have free public programs and education.
  • Reduced staff will effectively close the Nature Centers.
  • Though parks will still be open, the reduced monitoring of the grounds and buildings will
  • Without a consistent and constant presence of a curator, the nature preserves will lose the ability to organize and give credit for all of the many needed volunteer hours that go into maintaining and beautifying the preserves.
  • Grants to enhance the preserves and centers will become impossible to implement and greatly jeopardize any new grants in the future.

Today’s children and families often have limited opportunities to connect with the natural environment. Westchester County Parks have prevented hundreds of thousands of children from losing touch with nature and the outdoors. This is critical, as children who regularly play outdoors have been shown to be happier, healthier, more confident and less anxious.

Sign the Petition

Add Your Voice:

Westchester County residents, please consider taking action. Contact your Westchester County Board of Legislator and/or attend a meeting:

Numbered speaker cards will be given out at 6:15pm. Only one speaker card per person shall be given out. Speakers shall be limited to three (3) minutes. Anyone may submit a written statement in advance which will be included in the record. Note: Public Hearings are scheduled for 7pm. Doors open at 6:00pm.

  • 11/21 – Yonkers Riverfront Library, One Larkin Center, Yonkers, New York
  • 11/29 – Mount Kisco Public Library, 100 East Main Street, Mount Kisco, New York
  • 12/6 – BOL Chamber, 148 Martine Avenue, 8th Floor, White Plains, NY
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Mexican gray wolf M1564 (LightHawk) arriving at the WCC

Mexican gray wolf M1564 (LightHawk) arriving at the WCC

Hello everyone,

The Wolf Conservation Center participates in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) for two critically endangered wolf species, the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) and the red wolf (Canis rufus). 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.

While the WCC has been a vocal and visible advocate in trying to secure protections for critically endangered wolf species, we have also naturally been quite active in physically safeguarding the representatives of the rare species that have been entrusted to our care.

Organizations participating in the SSP are tasked with basic husbandry, collaborating in the carefully managed captive breeding program, recommendations for release, and research.

This work is literally “behind the scenes” as visitors rarely get to see the wolves because they are generally kept off-exhibit to maintain their healthy aversion to humans.

This winter promises to be an exciting one as it features not only our normal husbandry, but also five breeding pairs (three Mexican wolf pairs and two red), collection of genetic material, and even an extraordinary medical procedure.

Because the entire existing populations of Mexican wolves and red wolves are derived from such a limited founding populations (just 7 individuals for the Mexican wolf and 14 for the red wolf), genetic health is the primary consideration governing decisions re: reproductive pairings and captive-to-wild release events. It is also the reason that the SSP programs for both wolf species pursue extraordinary conservation measures to save these species including semen collection, gamete cryopreservation, and artificial insemination (AI).

Below is a summary of the red wolf and Mexican gray wolf breeding plans and transfers.


Breeding Update:

  • Receive red wolf parents M1784 and F1858 along with their pups m2206, m2208, f2210 and f2211 from the Museum of Life and Science. The parents will be given an opportunity to breed again this year to produce multigenerational pack.
  • Red wolf F2121 (Charlotte) will leave her siblings to be paired with red wolf M1606 from USFWS’s Sandy Ridge facility in North Carolina. They will be given an opportunity to breed.


  • Red wolf M2116 (Redford) will be transferred to the Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park to breed. I do not know the name or studbook number for the female. More about the Binghamton Zoo and red wolves (from 2014):
  • Red wolf F1568 (Argo) was be transferred to Mill Mountain Zoo, VA, to be a companion her brother, M1566 (Smokey)
  • Red wolf M1803 (Moose) was transferred to the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, NC where he will be paired with a female in hope they’ll produce pups.


Breeding Update:

  • Mexican gray wolf F1505 (Trumpet) will remain at the WCC and leave her parents to be paired with two-year-old Mexican gray wolf M1564 (LightHawk) for breeding.
  • Mexican gray wolves M1133 (Rhett) and F1226 (Belle) will be given an opportunity to breed again, however, this time via artificial insemination (AI). Because the yearlings are reaching sexual maturity, the males and females will need to be separated for breeding season. We’re  utilizing AI for breeding, as an alternate to permanently removing the yearlings from the family. If successful, the family will accommodate three generations of offspring.
  • Mexican gray wolves M1198 (Alléno) and F1143 (Rosa) will be given an opportunity to breed again. Last year the pair was given the opportunity via AI.  This year Rosa and Alléno will be paired physically.

Other Changes:Mexican gray wolf M1059 (Diego) will join Mexican gray wolf F1435 (Magdalena) and reside together (still at the WCC) as companions only.


Saying Goodbye…

So, this season we’re welcoming some new wolves (red wolf family, red wolf male, Mexican gray wolf male) and also saying goodbye to others (red wolves Redford, Moose and Argo). Saying goodbye is never easy, however, we honestly believe Redford, Moose and Argo will find better opportunities in their new homes. Argo was with her dear brother Smokey.  Redford will no longer be ranked lowest in the family hierarchy – at his new home he’ll be “top dog” and with a lady! And then there is Moose. Beyond granting an opportunity for Moose to breed again, his departure gives him a chance to be social again. Moose was born at the WCC in 2010. It is very unlikely that Moose will ever welcome a new mate if he remains at the WCC – he’s just too territorial when it comes to his home turf. So, by letting Moose go, we’re not only giving him a chance to support the recovery of his rare species via more potential pups, we’re also giving him a chance to love and be loved again by other wolves.

Diego and Rosa

Splitting up Diego and Rosa is the toughest pill for us to swallow. Last year we tried to allow the two to be paired with wolves who are a better genetic match via AI attempts. However, because we cannot count on AI to be as successful as a real breeding event, the Mexican Wolf SSP decided that Rosa and Alléno should be paired because their potential pups are critical to enhancing the genetic health of the captive population. The good news is both Rosa and Alléno will remain at the WCC and they will be given the opportunity to find love and companionship with new partners.

Get Ready

Hold on to your seats — next spring we can potentially welcome 5 litters.  Just imagine… Mini Trumpets! Mini Charlottes too! Trumpet half siblings! And more lovely little lobos with darling overbites (pups from Belle and Rhett).

Big thanks to all of you for watching. Your passion for wolves and wonderful support are among the reasons we love having you as members of the WCC pack!

Maggie Howell, Wolf Conservation Center Executive Director


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