Federal Protection Restored for Wyoming Wolves

Kanti Running FastU.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson has restored federal protections to wolves in Wyoming, at least temporarily.

Wyoming assumed control over its wolves from the federal government in 2012 after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that the wolves’ numbers had rebounded sufficiently to justify taking them off the endangered species list.  The Wyoming wolf population at the time was estimated at 350 but has declined to about 300 animals since.

Environmental groups challenged the delisting in court, saying the Obama administration violated the Endangered Species Act in ceding management of Wyoming wolves to a state plan that failed to ensure the animal’s long-term survival.  In her decision on September 23, Judge Jackson sided with conservationists in finding that the Fish and Wildlife Service erred in accepting non-binding promises by the state for maintaining wolves at certain population levels.  However, she also left intact the decision which prompted the original delisting: that the species has recovered and is not endangered or threatened in “a significant portion” of its northern Rocky Mountains range.

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead has already expressed intent to ask a higher court to block the judge’s order and allow the state to keep its wolf management policies intact, including licensed hunting of the animals and rules permitting some to be shot on sight.

Original article available here.


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2013 Yellowstone Wolf Report Now Available Online

Wotan Howls at SunsetThe National Park Service has published the 2013 Yellowstone Wolf Project Annual Report.  You can read the executive summary here, and download the complete official report here.

2013 Yellowstone Wolf Pack TerritoriesSome highlights:

  • 95 wolves in 10 packs, including 8 breeding pairs, lived primarily in Yellowstone in 2013.  These numbers are similar to previous years.
  • 24% of the wolf population (21 wolves) has been radio collared.
  • Pack size ranged from 2 to 18, averaging 8.6.
  • Most packs had pups, with an average of 4.6 pups per pack.  At least 41 pups survived to the end of the year.
  • State-managed wolf hunts in 2013 did not significantly affect Yellowstone wolves.
  • Incidences of mange decreased, and distemper was not a mortality factor in 2013.
  • Wolf numbers have decreased by about 45% since 2003, likely due to fewer elk.

To learn more visit these links:

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Animal Behavior Seminar with Guest Speaker Beth Duman

DX279454 - Wolf Park - smallPositive Training 101 – Learn from Wolves and Dogs

March 13-15, 2015

This energizing weekend seminar will help you become a more compassionate and empathetic partner with you canine buddy. Learn how the staff at Wolf Park has perfected gentle handling of the wolves by understanding and dealing with their sensitivities and using science-based training methods.  The weekend experience will include time to get to know and handle Wolf Park wolves, plenty of training ideas, and an environment of community sharing.

Sign up today!

Or click here for more information!

Beth Duman received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology and has over 30 years of experience in canine behavior, physiology, and ecology. She has worked extensively with domestic dogs, wolf/dog hybrids, captive wolves and has also researched wild wolves.

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Now Accepting 2014-2015 Winter Internship Applications!

WP316400-volunteerrachelgreetskiriWorking towards a career in animal behavior, husbandry, handling or training?  Considering a PhD and want to get some experience with behavioral research techniques?  Just want to know if you have what it takes to run a wildlife facility?

Sign up now for winter 2014-2015 internship positions at Wolf Park!  We are now accepting winter applications!  (There is no fixed due date to apply, but we have limited spots and they are first come first served!)

Email our coordinator at internship@wolfpark.org or call our office at (765) 567-2265.  We can’t wait to meet you!

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Become a Wolf Park Volunteer!


Becoming a Wolf Park volunteer is more than a great opportunity to learn about wolves and their place in the world. It is a means of helping the cause of wildlife preservation and promoting the welfare of wolves in the wild and in captivity and furthering Wolf Park’s mission of research, education and conservation.

What are the volunteer requirements?

  • Be willing to help on a regular basis over a long period of time (months or even years)
  • Have your own transportation
  • Commit to at least 12 hours per month (more is better!)
  • Be at least 18 years old

What do volunteers do?

  • Give tours
  • Collect admission fees and staff the gift shop
  • Help clean enclosures and aid with other maintenance projects
  • Assist with crowd control and set up during special events
  • Help feed and water the animals during the week

Wolf Park will provide you with an orientation and reading materials about the Park. This will help you become acquainted with our mission, regulations, wolves and other animals. You will likely begin by taking admission or working in the Gift Shop. With time and training, you will be able to give tours, feed and water the animals, and perform other duties.

All volunteers should expect to volunteer for several weeks before going into enclosures with the animals. New volunteers will also need to listen to the lectures, and learn as much as possible about the animals. Animal time is very minimal, especially for new volunteers.

Volunteer Coordinator: Dana Drenzek – vol.managers@wolfpark.org

2014 Orientation Dates (registration required):
September 6, November 1
(please bring your volunteer applications with you or e-mail them before the orientation dates)

Want to join us? Print out a volunteer application from www.wolfpark.org.

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Join Us for Senior Day, Monday, September 29!

9:00 AM—12 NOON Buses ONLY (advance notice required)
1:00 PM-5:00 PM Guided Tours

For the third year in a row Wolf Park has planned a special day for seniors only! This is a chance for seniors ages 55+ from the Greater Lafayette area and surrounding communities to meet each other and learn about wolves. Come to Wolf Park on Monday, September 29th and enjoy guided tours and lectures, an educational experience for all ages! The senior discounted admission fee is $6.50 per person (licensed caretakers accompanying seniors are welcome free of charge)!

All other visitors 54 and younger pay regular admission for the day. Wolf Park members are free as always.

Senior groups and facilities with mini-buses can tour Wolf Park on their bus on this special day from 9am-1pm. Please call ahead to schedule your mini-bus tour.

Wolf Park is handicap accessible and has modern restroom facilities along with a gift shop that will be open all morning.

Please RSVP—if you are bringing a group, please let us know how many people will join you. Thank you for helping us to make this day a special one for all seniors!

For more information call 765-567-2265 weekdays.
General park information can be found online at wolfpark.org.

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Alexander Archipelago Wolf May Receive ESA Protection

Alexander Archipelago wolf.  Source: AKWildlife.org.

Alexander Archipelago wolf. Source: John Hyde/AKWildlife.org.

Federal authorities announced Friday that the isolated Alexander Archipelago wolf (Canis lupus ligoni, a subspecies of gray wolf), living solely in southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, may require protection under the Endangered Species Act.

The wolves, which den under western hemlock trees, primarily hunt black-tailed deer which also depend on the hemlock trees to shield them from harsh weather.  The wolves are in steep decline in portions of their range due to heavy logging operations.  Prince of Wales Island, home to the primary population of wolves, is already crossed by 3,000 miles of logging roads.

The subspecies was considered for listing in the 1990s, but the US Forest Service adopted protective standards in its 1997 Tongass Forest Plan which were expected to protect the wolf population.  A petition filed in 2011 by Greenpeace and the Center for Biological Diversity, however, argues that the Forest Service’s implementation of the plan is inadequate.

A recent study by David K. Person, a wildlife scientist and expert on wolves and deer in southeast Alaska, says that continued old-growth logging on the island “will likely be the collapse of a sustainable and resilient predator-prey ecological community.”

Original article is available here.

More information:

Wolves in Southeast Alaska (by Dr. David Person) from GSACC .net on Vimeo.

Person, D. K. and B. D. Logan. 2012. A spatial analysis of wolf harvest and harvest risk on Prince of Wales and associated islands, Southeast Alaska. Final wildlife research report, ADF&G/DWC/WRR-2012-06. Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Juneau,

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Pat’s Poetry Corner: How Do You Spell “Stenoecious”?

Science is full of extremely long and complicated words, such as crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk), omnivorous (eating both animals and plants), and deciduous (describing trees that shed leaves in the fall and grow new ones in the spring).  This helps them to jargonize, obfuscate, and adumbrate (maintain their tenure).

Scientists, who can be really masochistic sometimes, use mnemonics to help remember some of the more terrifying words.  Here’s the poem which will ensure that you always remember both the meaning and the spelling of stenoecious (living in only one type of environment):

An engraving of the Canard Digérateur, or “Digesting Duck” created by Jacques de Vaucanson in 1739.  This unique, imaginary duck, living in only one location, was stenoecious.  Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

An engraving of the Canard Digérateur, or “Digesting Duck” created by Jacques de Vaucanson in 1739. This unique, imaginary duck, living exclusively in one type of habitat (a museum), was stenoecious.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons.



How Do You Spell “Stenoecious”?

Animals which are stenoecious
Are neither daring nor bodacious
Just familiar habitat they tread
From date of birth until they’re dead
Their grip on the familiar
Is tenoacious.




“Pat’s Poetry Corner” wishes to eulogize its spell-checker, which chivalrously gave its life while researching this poem.  At first, our favorite part of the research was trying to locate an appropriate illustration.  Then our favorite part of the research was finding out there was once a “Digesting Duck” on exhibit in a French museum in the 1700s.  And, because we’re sure you’re all wondering, the opposite of “stenoecious” — living in a variety of habitats — is “euryoecious.”

“Without…the duck of Vaucanson, you will have nothing to remind you
of the glory of France.” —

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Register Now for Suzanne Clothier’s Seminar and Save $50!


August 8-10, 2014

Do you have a dog? Are you a dog behaviorist? Are you a dog trainer? You don’t want to miss “Head and Heart in Balance” with Suzanne Clothier August 8-10, 2014!

Head and Heart in Balance:

The elemental questions we ask others take us to the heart of relationship with them. Using knowledge of the basic needs shared by humans and other animals we will identify our assumptions about what motivates animals and what they like and dislike. Are the rewards and the enriching experiences we give our animals things they really like?   Are we interpreting animals’ behaviors correctly? Can we intertwine objective knowledge and imagination to enter the world of another species?

The seminar will include exercises using videos, case histories to help us identify our individual assumptions about other animals, and better interpret why specific animals respond to specific aspects of their environment as they do. More species than canids will be used to help us enter the worlds inside others’ heads.

Scholarship Opportunity: The Sterling Gillis Memorial K-9 SAR Scholarship was established by Suzanne Clothier to honor a promising young SAR dog who was tragically killed.  All K-9 SAR handlers are eligible for FREE seminar attendance when they apply on the SAR group’s official letterhead. (One handler per seminar, please.)  The Scholarship is only open to those who have not yet received this scholarship in the past.  Hurry, limited space available!

Wolf Park has been socializing wolves for over 40 years, and there is no better place to receive firsthand knowledge on captive wolves. Add to that the experience of  actually interacting with some wolves, and it is a truly unique and fulfilling weekend!

Click here for more details!
Be sure to sign up for the seminar BY PHONE to lock in your savings!

Save $50
Register this week for Suzanne Clothier’s seminar and save $50! Call Wolf Park at 765-567-2265 ext. 100 and mention this coupon. Not valid with online orders.

Offer Expires: August 8, 2014
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Your Dog Has Something to Tell You

Kadi the dog plays with a child's sorting toy.  Photo: Monty Sloan.

Kadi the dog plays with a child’s sorting toy. Photo: Monty Sloan.

Staff at Wolf Park have long known that dogs (and their cousins, wolves, foxes, and coyotes) have a rich inner life and a lot to “say”.  Do you know what your dog might be trying to tell you?  Alexandra Horowitz’s studies of canine cognition give remarkable insight into the minds of our furry friends.

When a dog looks sad when scolded, is it really feeling guilty?  Do dogs have a natural drive to rescue people in trouble?

Check out the original article on Mentalfloss.com here!

Want to learn more about canine cognition up close and personal with our socialized (hand-raised) wolves?  Wolf Park offers seminars year round, featuring our amazing staff and guest speakers like Suzanne Clothier and Ken McCort!  Sign up today for a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience!

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