Canines, Carnivores, & Conservation

 

CANINES. They are humankind’s oldest friends. They enrich our lives in so many ways. Understanding them provides insight into how to care for their emotional and physical health as well as linking us profoundly to their ancestry — the wolf. Join our team in a study of Canines, their history, behaviors, and even tips to give them the best life possible. That’s simply what a best friend does.

CARNIVORES. Carnivores are often mythified in a variety of ways, mostly as dangerous creatures of lore and legend. Wolves, bears, large cats, and other carnivores play essential roles in the self-management of healthy ecosystems and wildernesses. Join our team as we delve into what makes these animals unique and a great partner to humankind as we work to manage our wild places.

CONSERVATION. Learning about carnivores can be fascinating, however, without the stewardship by humans, the landscape could be profoundly and dangerously altered. Join our team as we discuss the very recent brief history of conservation of apex predators, the factors that led to threats to their survival, and steps taken to protect their future.

Latest Posts

Urgent: Help Us Stand Up for Carnivores

Urgent: Help Us Stand Up for Carnivores

Our nation’s carnivores need our help. We’ve stood up for them and spread the word since our start in 1996, looking after the Sawtooth Pack: Wolves of the Nez Perce. We’ve spread awareness about wolves and built a community of dedicated people, like you, that have fallen in love with wolves and stood with us when it comes to protecting one of our most important apex predators. 

What is Functional Extinction?

What is Functional Extinction?

When you think about threatened or endangered species, what do you usually think of? The efforts to save them? The risk of them becoming extinct in the wild? When it comes to extinction, there’s extinction in which the population gets so low that the animal then disappears from the wild forever, and then there’s functional extinction.

Have you heard of the Culpeo?

Have you heard of the Culpeo?

Have you heard of the Culpeo? It’s a species of canid that lives in South America. They are a reddish or tawny color, with white on their bellies and darker fur around their tails. Their fur color depends on where they live, as Culpeos that live in more northern areas are lighter than those that live further south.

Misunderstood Mesos: Arctic Fox (Vulpes lagopus)

Misunderstood Mesos: Arctic Fox (Vulpes lagopus)

Built to survive in some of the harshest conditions on Earth, Arctic foxes play an important mesocarnivore role in ecosystems of the far North.  Living in lands that remain below freezing for most of the year is a huge challenge for such a small mammal, but these highly adapted and cunning foxes find a way to flourish on the dark, frozen landscape.  Their bright white fur may provide their most recognizable trait, but the density and layering of the fur, not the color, is their primary adaptation to battle the brutal cold.  

What is one of Africa’s rarest carnivores?

What is one of Africa’s rarest carnivores?

These wolves have long legs and a slender build with reddish fur on their bodies and white fur on their bellies. They used to be considered related to jackals, but thanks to DNA sequencing, scientists have discovered that they’re actually related to the gray wolf. It seems that their ancestor made their way into northern Africa through Eurasia over 100,000 years ago.

Let’s Talk About Bison Recovery

Let’s Talk About Bison Recovery

The call to help recover bison was one of the first big conservation successes in the world and kickstarted other efforts in conservation in America.1 Now, the National Park Service, Native American tribes, zoos, wildlife management agencies, non-governmental organizations, and more work together to help the bison populations we currently have.

Misunderstood Mesos: Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana)

Misunderstood Mesos: Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana)

Typically portrayed in popular culture as being ugly, opossums have several physical traits that make them unlike any other North American mammal.  First, they are the only marsupial inhabiting the United States and Canada.  Their indicative coloration of white heads with pink noses and gray bodies makes them easily identified, however, their most remarkable anatomy is their long, naked, prehensile tail.  Although their unusual tail sometimes gets them misidentified as huge rats, opossums are not related to rodents and use their muscular tail to grip branches when climbing trees.  

Misunderstood Mesos: Fishers

Misunderstood Mesos: Fishers

The fisher is one of the most reclusive and therefore misunderstood mammals in North America.  Sometimes known as a fisher cat, this large weasel is neither a cat nor does it eat fish, hence both titles are misnomers.  The name is believed to have originated by European settlers who called the animal “fitch,” a common name for the European polecat. 

Misunderstood Mesos: The Striped Skunk

Misunderstood Mesos: The Striped Skunk

It is built for a life foraging at the ground surface, with short, powerful legs and a stocky body.  The head and body measure 13-18 inches, with the notorious tail adding another 7-10 inches.  It’s weight varies greatly with average adults between 5-10 pounds, but some as heavy as fourteen pounds!

It is the Striped Skunk aka a Misunderstood Mesos.

Let’s Talk About Seals!

Let’s Talk About Seals!

Seals are carnivores that are in the Pinnipedia group – the word pinniped translates from Latin to mean “fin-footed”.1 This Pinnipedia group is divided into three groups:1&2 Odobenidae, which is made up of walruses Otariidae, which consists of fur seals and sea...

What’s the Largest Cat Within the U.S.?

What’s the Largest Cat Within the U.S.?

This carnivore is one of the largest cats in the world. They come in third place, right behind the tiger and lion. Within the United States, they take first place as the largest cat. Originally, their territory took up from the southern region of the United States down to the northern part of Argentina. However, they’ve lost more than half of their original territory since the late 19th century. Now they can be found mostly in Brazil, within the Amazon rainforest and the Pantanal.

Meet the jaguar.

Black-footed Ferret Conservation

Black-footed Ferret Conservation

Black-footed Ferrets are nocturnal and fossorial (living underground) members of the Mustelidae family. They are easily recognized by their black feet, black-tipped tails, and black masks on the face, while the rest of their body is a beige-white color. Black-footed Ferrets are the only species of ferret that’s native to North America.

They’re also one of the most endangered species in North America.

Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Does your dog start to shake when you pull your coat on and grab your keys? Does he howl as soon as you turn the lock and head toward the car? If so, your dog may have separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is a problem that can make it difficult for you to do what you need to do on a daily basis. However, there are certain ways to tackle this problem. 

Piping Plovers Are Endangered

Piping Plovers Are Endangered

Piping Plovers are shorebirds that have struggled to increase their numbers due to a variety of threats to their habitat. Originally, they were almost hunted to extinction until 1918 with the creation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Although they made a brief recovery by the middle of the 1920s, their numbers fell again in the 40s because of development.

Why Flea Prevention is Important

Why Flea Prevention is Important

Fleas are annoying for both you and your dog. This is why it’s essential to take the threat of fleas seriously and make sure you have preventative measures in place so that they never become a problem. Dogs can pick up fleas from outside and other animals. Once a flea has decided to make your dog its host, the issue can grow exponentially. One flea can lay a couple of thousand eggs, which hatch within ten days. These get transferred to different surfaces anytime your dog lays down or shakes – which means that fleas aren’t just present on your dog, but everywhere in your home and yard.

What is Wildlife Telemetry?

What is Wildlife Telemetry?

Wildlife Telemetry is when scientists place devices on wild animals to track their movements and behaviors. The information gathered from doing this helps us get a better understanding of a species’ behavior, their migratory patterns, where they spend most of their time, etc. This can help us make better decisions regarding their habitat – a good example is whether or not we can thin part of a forest to help against wildfires without hurting a species that lives there.

How do dogs help with Eurasian oystercatcher conservation? 

How do dogs help with Eurasian oystercatcher conservation? 

Coastal wetlands are important habitats for many bird species.  Additionally, these marshes filter sediment from waterways and absorb floodwaters, both of which are major benefits to humans living near the coast.  Unfortunately, industrial and residential development threatens coastal wetlands around the world.  Rising seas caused by climate warming add yet another stress upon these important ecosystems. 

Canine Deep Dive: Golden Retrievers

Canine Deep Dive: Golden Retrievers

These dogs were originally bred for retrieving for hunters. This history means they are the kind of dog that loves having a job to do and needs a decent amount of exercise to keep them happy. Walking, jogging, fetch, or dog sports like agility will keep them happy and focused.

They are Golden Retrievers.

What is Carrying Capacity?

What is Carrying Capacity?

It’s the balance between wildlife and the resources their habitats provide. It is defined as, “the average population density…of a species below which its numbers tend to increase and above which its numbers tend to decrease because of shortages of resources.”

And it’s balance is essential to healthy ecosystems.

THE SECRET IMPACT OF WOLVES THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
By The Wolf Education and Research Center

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW AS YOU START YOUR BIOLOGY CAREER
By Biologist Jeremy Heft of the Wolf Education and Research Center

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