Mexican gray wolf and red wolf were almost pushed to extinction. Because of conservation efforts, they are making a comeback.

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. 

The Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) in South Salem, New York. Is one organisation whose mission is to save the species. WCC is home to 22 wolves including 10 Mexican gray wolves and 8 red wolves. Every one of the endangered wolves in captivity is part of something bigger than their pack and the facilities that house them. 

WOLF1.jpg

The Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) in South Salem, New York. Is one organisation whose mission is to save the species. WCC is home to 22 wolves including 10 Mexican gray wolves and 8 red wolves. Every one of the endangered wolves in captivity is part of something bigger than their pack and the facilities that house them. 
 

In 2003 the WCC was accepted into the Species Survival Plan (SSP) for the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf and red wolf and has played a critical role in preserving and protecting the species through carefully managed breeding and reintroduction. The goal of the Recovery Plan is to restore Mexican gray wolves to a portion of their ancestral range in the south-west United States and Mexico. Their enclosures are not for public viewing so they have minimal human contact. This will ensure they have a greater probability of being successful if they are released into the wild as part of the recovery plan.

Photo by Karoline Hood.

Photo by Karoline Hood.

The Mexican gray wolf is the rarest subspecies of the gray wolf in North America. There are only about 400 Mexican gray wolves left in the world at the lowest there were only 7 in the world due to hunting, trapping, and poisoning. Because of conservation efforts, their population numbers have been built up. 

The red wolves were almost hunted to the brink of extinction, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rounded up fewer than 20 red wolves to be bred in captivity in 1980. There are approximately 250 red wolves left in the world and their numbers are declining. Most of the red wolves reside at captive breeding facilities across the united states, such as WCC. However, fewer than 45 red wolves currently live in the wild. 

WCC has released 4 wolves back into the wild, 3 Mexican wolves (2 in Arizona and 1 to northern Mexico and one red wolf to Saint Vincent Island off the coast of Florida.   
 

Photo by Karoline Hood. Canadian/Rocky Mountain Gray wolf

Photo by Karoline Hood. Canadian/Rocky Mountain Gray wolf

Types of Wolves

There are three widely recognised species of wolves in the world, the red wolf, gray wolf and the Ethiopian wolf and there is much debate whether the Ethiopian wolf is a true wolf. The gray wolf has 5 subspecies, such as the Mexican gray wolf. But with the red wolf, there are no subspecies. The gray wolf can be found in North America, Europe, and Asia whereas the Red wolf is native to North America.
WCC promotes conservation by teaching about wolves. 
4 of the wolves at WCC are ambassador wolves when you visit WWC you can see them up close. They used are used to inspiring adults and children to understand the importance of wolves in the wild so they can help save them for the future generations.
 

Wolves are known as keystone species, Wolves play a key role in keeping ecosystems healthy. They help keep deer and elk populations in check, which can benefit many other plant and animal species. The carcases of their prey also help to redistribute nutrients and provide food for other wildlife species, like grizzly bears and scavengers. Scientists are just beginning to fully understand the positive ripple effects that wolves have on ecosystems.
 

Photos by Karoline Hood

Photos by Karoline Hood

Ways To Help

Visit the  Wolf Conservation Center, donate or volunteer. 

Wolf conservation center hosts many events where you can get close to the wolves and learn about them, great for all ages. http://nywolf.org/program-calendar/  
Visting  WCC made a nice trip. The Metro North from Harlem (it was just under an hour.) to Katonah Station. From Katonah, a short taxi ride to WCC. Taxi numbers 914-666-5353  914-232-5772.  Katonah is an idyllic town a nice change from the busy, noisy streets of the city, with some nice restaurants near the train station such as KR Cafe. 63 Katonah Ave.