gray wolf

Even if wolves don’t live near you, as John Muir once wrote ‘when one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world’. In other words, helping wild wolves in Canada, kangaroos in Australia and elephants in Africa, can only do good.

Gray Wolf is a beautifully illustrated guide to these wild dogs of the wilderness, for young readers, to encourage them to protect all creatures worldwide. Gray wolves live in packs, but they are very different from dogs. Find out why wolves howl, why they sniff each other’s butts (their way of shaking hands!) and how some wolves in Yellowstone National Park (USA) use thermal activity to heat their den.

You’ll also learn of the incredible relationship that grey wolves have with ravens (they play tug with wolf cubs) and learn about rewilding , which has brought wolves back from the brink of extinction to healthy ecosystems for all (there are still campaigns in Canada to stop hunters shooting wolves from helicopters in the false belief that it will help caribou (a bit like the bad science here causing badger culls, when it’s farmer-to-farmer transmission mainly that causes cattle TB). Brenna Cassidy is a wildlife biology PhD candidate at University of Montana, who studies the survival and reproductive ecology of gray wolves.

Like dogs (they’re not related), wolves live around 14 years and mostly in packs. They do howl (but not at the moon, they’re just howling at each other to communicate). Very caring and playful, they are also wonderful parents.

So how can people everywhere help wild wolves? Like anything really. Just live simple sustainable lives, and avoid purchasing anything that would hinder their welfare (fur, dodgy souvenirs etc). Help to protect natural habitats by avoiding plastic, too much oil and timber or palm oil. And don’t visit zoos (wild wolves need a lot of land to roam in, and conservation of endangered species of best done in natural habitats, with experts monitoring progress, not zoo managers monitoring profits to take bored children to look at bored animals in cages).

an inspiring true story of rewilding wolves

fourteen wolves

Fourteen Wolves is the true story of conservationists in the USA’s Yellowstone Park successfull rewilded wolves back into the area, due to the ecosystem collapsing when they disappeared, back in the 1930s. Herds of elk swarmed the plains, bears starved, rabbit families shrunk and birds flew to new homes. Plants vanished, trees withered and rivers meandered. When in 1995 wild wolves returned, everything began to change for the better. The book (for young readers) features beautiful illustrations by London artist Jenni Desmond.

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