Photo: Current Bilogy

New research reveals that although it looks remarkably similar to the Eurasian golden jackal, the African golden jackal isn’t a jackal at all. The golden jackal of Africa (Canis aureus) has long been considered a conspecific of jackals distributed throughout Eurasia, with the nearest source populations in the Middle East. However, two recent reports found that mitochondrial haplotypes of some African golden jackals aligned more closely to gray wolves (Canis lupus) which is surprising given the absence of gray wolves in Africa and the phenotypic divergence between the two species. To test the distinct-species hypothesis and understand the evolutionary history that would account for this puzzling result, researchers analyzed extensive genomic data and results suggest that populations of golden jackals from Africa and Eurasia represent distinct monophyletic lineages separated for more than one million years!

They named the newly recognized species the African golden wolf, bringing the overall biodiversity of the Canidae family from 35 living species to 36.

Learn more:  Genome-wide Evidence Reveals that African and Eurasian Golden Jackals Are Distinct Species

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Free Family Event to Protect Our Wild Heritage

August 12, 2015
1PM – 3PM
Ward Pound Ridge Reservation (Shelter 5)
6 Reservation Road
Cross River, New York 10518

Notable author, Newbery award winner, and USFWS “Conservation Hero,” Jean Craighead George wrote books for children. Children are still in love with the wonders of nature, and she was, too. She told stories about a boy and a falcon, a girl and an elegant wolf pack, about owls, weasels, foxes, prairie dogs, the alpine tundra, the tropical rain forest and the splendor and elegance of wildness. And when the telling was done, Jean hoped they would want to protect all the beautiful creatures and places she taught them about in her books.

We are so grateful for the many years of good memories, and for all her beloved books that will live on forever.

Thus, it is with great pleasure that the Wolf Conservation Center‘s dedicates its third annual service-learning event, “WCC’s Family Walk to Protect America’s Wild Heritage,” to Jean Craighead George in celebration of her brave voice for wildlife and her powerful presence among us as she promoted peaceful coexistence with the natural world.

Through her books, Jean opened doors to understanding the plight of endangered species and the importance of rewilding the hearts of our children – a new generation of environmental stewards whose energy and action can collectively become the critical catalyst needed to protect our nation’s most important environmental law – the Endangered Species Act (ESA) – and all the imperiled species it helps to conserve.

During the event, participants will be introduced to at-risk species that have been given a chance at recovery thanks to the ESA. It will include learning activities, hikes, crafts, raffles and an appearance by the WCC’s ambassador wolf, Atka, too! We hope you can join us onthis special day!


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Don’t Sink The Ark!

Join the Movement to Save the Endangered Species Act

According to a new national poll from Earthjustice and Defenders of Wildlife, 90% of American registered voters support the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and 71% of voters believe ESA listing decisions should be made by scientists, not by politicians.

And yet the ESA is under increased attack with a slew of legislation proposed this year — including dozens of budget riders tacked onto unrelated bills — aimed at restricting wildlife protection. Among the riders is language directing the Secretary of the Interior to end federal protections for gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Wyoming and thus allow trophy hunting of wolves to resume within these regions. To add insult to injury, the rider includes “no judicial review” clauses thus prohibiting any legal challenge.

In response to these legislative attacks on America’s cornerstone of environmental law, it’s our hope we can come together with one common purpose – to raise awareness for the importance of the ESA – the law which is saving 1,500 plant and animal species from extinction.

#DontSinkTheArk Movement

Together we can broaden our reach to and create a national moment by harnessing the power of social media! It’s simple to join the #DontSinkTheArk movement, just use the special badge and “#DontSinkTheArk” hashtag when posting about the ESA on social media. The background is transparent so the badge can be set on top of photos. The badge reflects no affiliation with a single org, so it’s a neutral tool that if used by a number of #DontSinkTheArk partners, will strengthen the impact of this educational movement.

Download the #DontSinkTheArk badge HERE.

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16 year old Mexican gray wolf F613 (aka Mama) and her four 7-year-old children are among 28 wolves who call the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) home.

The Mexican gray wolf or “lobo” is the most genetically distinct lineage of wolves in the Western Hemisphere, and one of the most endangered mammals in North America. By the mid-1980s, hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the extinction of lobos in the wild, with only a handful remaining in captivity. In 1998 the wolves were reintroduced into the wild as part of a federal reintroduction program under the Endangered Species Act. Today in the U.S., there is a single wild population comprising only 109 individuals.

If you want to watch family yourself, visit our live webcams HERE.

Music: “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield

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For five years now, there has been a notable decline in the number of wolf sightings in Denali National Park and Preserve.

New research indicates that wolf mortality rates in Alaska’s Denali National Park have recently spiked to worrying levels, with the lowest estimated wolf density recorded this year since monitoring began in 1986.

And the percentage of sightseers who actually spot a wolf has dropped from 45% to only 6% percent as of last summer.

The wolves commonly seen by visitors to Denali National Park often leave the park to follow migrating prey species such as caribou. Prior to 2010, one of the areas at the boundary of the park most frequented by wolves was closed to hunting by the State of Alaska. However, in 2010, the NPS eliminated the zone making wandering wolves vulnerable as they slip into unprotected wilds.

With the disputed wolf hunt on state lands outside Denali National Park set to resume next month (August), we are calling for state officials to again make use of an emergency ban to block the hunt as they did earlier this year, when Alaska Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotten closed the wolf hunt northeast of the park in May, 2015 – two weeks early after a hunter legally killed two wolves. This ban expired June 30; so come August 10, Denali wolves will once again be vulnerable to hunting and trapping.

Alaska Governor Walker and the National Park Service both have agreed to begin negotiations for a permanent solution. Until then, however, we’re asking for emergency closures in the park and boundary areas before August 10th when wolf hunting resumes.

Please call on Governor Walker, Alaska Board of Fish and Game, and the representatives of the National Park Service to reinstate May’s emergency closure so that state and federal officials can finally negotiate a permanent conservation easement that will protect Denali’s wolves for future generations!

Take Action Here.

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