After years of providing high quality, interactive, educational tours and programs regarding wolf and wildlife conservation, Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center now reaches approximately 40,000 people per year. It is important to educate people about the beautiful and majestic wolf, along with other misunderstood wild canids, and the importance of their roles in our ecosystems.
CWWC protects its resident animals by providing permanent, natural, spacious enclosures, proper diets, and the best of veterinary care. Our animals did not ask to live in captivity, but since they do, we give them the best possible life we can offer.
We believe that as stewards of this earth we should preserve and protect our wildlife; for not only their existence but for ours as well. To preserve our wildlife, we must understand the impact that humans have on the environment. Wildlife is suffering massive habitat loss not only in our own state but through the United States as a whole. Because of fear and lack of education, Colorado’s last wolf disappeared over 60 years ago. Despite the ecological value of the wolf, millions were trapped, poisoned, or shot to death during the 1st half of the 20th century. Ultimately, nearly all wolves were exterminated throughout the lower 48 states. The 1960s and 1970s launched the modern environmental era, bringing about conservation statutes, including the Endangered Species Act in 1973.
In 1995, USFWS embarked on an ambitious plan to recover wolves in the Northern Rockies by relocating and releasing 66 gray wolves from Canada into Yellowstone National Park and Central Idaho. In the years following reintroduction, wolves reproduced and established packs. Since returning to their native landscape, wolves have restored a more natural balance to Northern Rockies Ecosystems. Wolves benefit the health of elk and deer populations by virtue of their selection of prey animals, as they primarily take the old, the very young, the injured, and the diseased, leaving the healthiest animals to produce the next generation.
Unfortunately, on April 2, 2009, the US Fish and Wildlife Service de-listed the wolves and removed all protections of the endangered status. After several lawsuits, the wolves were once again protected until the “extinction” rider was slipped into a budget bill in 2011 which removed Grey Wolves from the ESA across the Northern Rockies. Wolves are once again being hunted to extinction in the Northern Rockies, despite a warm and fuzzy PR campaign by the states as well as USFWS.
The USFWS plans to delist the Grey Wolf across the whole of the lower 48 states, excluding a small population of Mexican Grey Wolves in the Southwest. This national delisting is poised to take place by the end of 2013. Wolves in the lower 48 states are not recovered yet, as they still have not been restored to most of their native range, and the delisting will prevent them from establishing in other areas with vast open spaces, such as Colorado, Utah, the Dakotas, and California which still lack wolves.
Part of our effort to preserve wildlife includes showing adults and children how they can serve as voices for ALL ANIMALS. With the educational materials and resources that we provide, people can take steps on their own to serve as stewards to preserve our existing wild animal populations and the habitats in which they live; from mountains, to plains, to oceans.