The Wolf Conservation Center teaches people about wolves, their relationship to the environment and the human role in protecting their future.
The Wolf Conservation Center (WCC), founded in 1999 by Hélène Grimaud, is a private, not-for-profit environmental education organization located in South Salem, NY. The WCC’s mission is to promote wolf conservation by teaching about wolves, their relationship to the environment, and the human role in protecting their future. The WCC accomplishes this mission through onsite and offsite education programs emphasizing wolf biology, the ecological benefits of wolves and other large predators, and the current status of wolf recovery in the United States.
The WCC also participates in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) and Recovery Plan 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 at one time were completely extinct in the wild. Presently there are approximately 400 Mexican gray wolves and 300 red wolves remaining in the world, the majority living within the network of facilities like the WCC participating in the SSP. Every one of these endangered wolves in captivity is a part of something bigger than their pack and the facilities that house them. These special canids are integral parts of the recovery of their rare species. Many of these wolves contribute as ambassadors, living on view at a variety of zoos throughout the United States to help people learn about the importance of their wild counterparts. The WCC's 2 SSP exhibits offers visitors to the Center an opportunity to behold these species and our 8 WildEarthTV webcams extend 4 wolf families to a global audience. Some of these education wolves can also contribute to the revitalization of their species more directly as participants of the SSP Wolf Captive Breeding program. A special faction of captive wolves, however, can have the most direct impact on the conservation of their species as well as their ancestral habitat in the wilds of North America. These wolves are candidates for release into the wild. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), under the Endangered Species Act, is re-introducing Mexican gray wolves and red wolves to portions of their historic range, and 2 wolves from the WCC have been given this greatest opportunity - a chance to bring an ecosystem back to balance.
Looking forward, the WCC aims to become the pre-eminent facility in the Eastern United States for the captive breeding and pre-release of endangered canid species, and to continue expanding our education and outreach programs to communities far beyond the gates of our facility.
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View our 2010 Annual Report (PDF)