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Wolf Conservation Center: A Day of Wolves!

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Wolf Conservation Center Wolves get a Checkup!

Diane Bentivegna participates and gives an account of her day at the Wolf Conservation Center.   Read her story, and watch both VIDEOS !

I had the chance to visit the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, NY on a day when they were processing critically endangered Mexican gray wolves, also known as “lobos” as well as highly endangered red wolves.  Maggie Howell, Managing Director of the Wolf Conservation Center, the staff, and WCC volunteers did a superb job of rounding these wild ones for their annual medical examinations which included blood tests, vaccinations and weight checks by a veterinarian.

Lobos and red wolves call the Wolf Conservation Center their home as part of a Species Survival Plan for critically endangered wolves.  The SSP program was developed in 1981 by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to manage and conserve a select and typically threatened or endangered species population in cooperation with other facilities under the Endangered Species Act.

Mexican gray wolves faced almost certain extinction and were listed as an endangered species in 1976, requiring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to recover the lobo to self-sustaining populations in the Southwest. More than 13 years after they were first reintroduced, there are still only around 50 Mexican wolves in the wild – the Blue Range Wolf Recovery area which is the Gila National Forest in New Mexico and the Apache National Forest in Arizona.  So far two of the WCC’s Mexican wolves have been released into the wild and they hope to give some other lobos the same opportunity soon.

Similarly, there are fewer than 300 red wolves in the world making it one of the rarest mammals in North America. A reintroduction program began in 1987 to recover red wolves. As of 2010, approximately 130 wild red wolves roam in the recovery area found in northeastern North Carolina. The Wolf Conservation Center is home to six of these critically endangered animals.

To learn more about these endangered wolves and what you can do to help them, please visit:

Wolf Conservation Center at:

Lobos of the Southwest at:

Red Wolf Coalition at:

Respectfully submitted,

Diane Bentivegna,

National Wolfwatcher Coalition

November 14, 2011



 Behind the Scene with WCC’s Mexican Wolves


Learning about Red Wolves at the WCC.

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