About the California Wolf Center
The California Wolf Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to wolf recovery in the wild. Founded in 1977 to educate the public about wildlife and ecology, the physical center near Julian, CA is home to several packs of gray wolves. Through the years we have grown into a state-wide organization striving to pave the way for the return of wolves in our state. Among our resident wolf packs located in Julian, CA are highly endangered Mexican gray wolves, now being reintroduced into the southwestern United States. We play a critical role in the recovery of the Mexican gray wolf, one of the rarest land mammals in the world. Learn more about visiting our conservation center and our resident wolves here. We strive to provide complete and balanced information about gray wolves and the environment to the public so that people can make informed decisions about the issues that affect us all.
Photo Credit: Gary Borland
The California Wolf Center is dedicated to the recovery of wolves in the wildlands they once roamed. We envision a landscape where wolves thrive in healthy ecosystems and wolves and people successfully coexist.
We accomplish our mission through:
Wolves once roamed North America in countless numbers. Despite their important ecological role, and posing no real threat to humans, wolves were hunted nearly to extinction in the lower 48 United States. Today in the U.S., the haunting melody of a howling wolf pack is heard in only a handful of states, as wolves have been exterminated from a vast majority of their original range.
By learning factual information about wolves, people come to understand that this highly social and intelligent animal also plays a key role in the functioning of a healthy ecosystem, and we learn to coexist with an animal we once feared. This new understanding deepens our appreciation of and our sense of stewardship towards wolves and other species and the habitats they need to survive. Our survival depends on theirs, and their survival depends on our decisions and actions.
California Wolf Recovery Efforts
Photo Credit: Bonnie McDonald
The California Wolf Center is excited to celebrate the beginning of the return of gray wolves to California. This is an opportunity to restore a native, keystone predator and iconic symbol of wilderness to our state, after being absent for decades following extirpation by humans.
To prepare for the return of wolves, we are working to forge a new path for wolf recovery in California that focuses on solutions, instead of the conflict that has often pervaded wolf recovery elsewhere. Because human-caused mortality is the leading cause of death for gray wolves, human tolerance and acceptance of sharing the landscape with wolves is perhaps the single most important factor in safeguarding wolves' road to recovery. You can support these important efforts by making a tax-deductible donation today.
Through education programs, public outreach, partnerships with agencies and other conservation groups, and developing relationships with stakeholders in communities where wolves will first return, the California Wolf Center is building the foundation of support and tolerance that will allow wolves to thrive in California. Focusing our efforts in northern California, where wolves will first enter the state, since OR7's entry we are:
The California Wolf Center has years of experience supporting proactive, non-lethal methods to prevent conflicts between livestock and Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest. Our approach of partnering with stakeholders to find common ground and advance solutions has proven to reduce wolf-livestock conflicts and thereby directly support wolf recovery. Building on these successes in the Southwest, we are working to make non-lethal conflict reduction methods a part of the solution in California from the start.
Erin Hunt, Director of Operations: It has always been important to me to make a difference in the world around me, and I know that when I come to work at the California Wolf Center I have a direct impact on wolf recovery in the wild. I feel connected and inspired, and I am constantly reminded that I can be a force for positive change as part of this dedicated team.
Chelsea Davis, Animal Curator: It is a dream to be part of Mexican wolf recovery, coming from near extinction, and to learn more about wolf biology, ecology and conservation in California and beyond.
Christina Souto, Associate Director of Development and Communications: The California Wolf Center is an organization I dreamed of being involved with. The work I get to do on a daily basis helps wolf recovery in the wild; it does not get better than that!
Heidi Pankratz, Conservation Associate: I love working for an organization that is deeply involved with helping wolves recover and I love going to work every day knowing that I am making a difference for wolves.
John Murtaugh, Program Coordinator: Wolf recovery has been a passion of mine since first learning of the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park in 1995. Being able to commit myself daily to the future of this iconic species is a dream fulfilled and I am thrilled to be a part of the California Wolf Center's mission!
Karin Vardaman, Director of California Wolf Recovery: I am inspired to be a part of such a wonderful organization that makes a difference for wolves and our natural world each and every day.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Norm Switzer, DVM
Chairman of the Board, Executive Director
Profession: Veterinarian, Partner at Midland Animal Clinic
Daniel Moriarty, PhD
Profession: Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology, University of San Diego
Patrick Valentino, JD
Director of Public Relations
Profession: Partner, VLP Law Group LLP (San Francisco)
Profession: Clinical Research Nurse/ Registered Nurse
Profession: Teacher and Guidance Counselor
Profession: Retired Educator
Director of Volunteers
Profession: Retired Legal Specialist
Brett Carey, MBA
Chief Financial Officer
Profession: Corporate Finance, Qualcomm
Profession: Animal Care Supervisor, Collections, Husbandry, Science, San Diego Zoo; Vice President of the American Association of Zoo Keepers