We sponsor three California Range Stewards who protect our state’s three wolf packs.
Imagine listening to the sound of a wolf howl in the California wilderness! Wolves were eradicated in California by humans almost a century ago, but now they are naturally migrating back into their historic range. Mortality due to human actions is still the number one cause of death for wolves; therefore, human tolerance and understanding of wolves, and a vision of coexistence where all animals and people thrive, is critical to their long-term survival in the Golden State. Oakland Zoo is committed to protecting the return of the Gray Wolf through innovative solutions to wolf-livestock conflict and collaborative community programs that help people successfully share the landscape with this iconic species.
Wolves were exterminated in much of their historic range in North America because of people’s fear that they would prey on livestock. Stereotypes of the “big bad wolf” continue to influence perceptions of this species—despite being at odds with actual wolf behavior. As wolves have started ranging back into Northern California and establishing territories here, understandably many farmers and ranchers still have concerns about livestock predation. Wolves can also come into conflict with humans when they enter rural and suburban communities—where they encounter unsecured food, garbage, pets, and things that adversely affect their natural behavior. Auto accidents involving wolves also pose a threat to the species.
Wolves need large territorial areas to thrive—something that poses a challenge in California, where our wild spaces exist side-by-side with agricultural and urban areas. California’s large human population and ongoing development also puts pressure on wild spaces and wildlife.
Oakland Zoo supports the mission of Working Circle, a non-profit organization that unites the values and views of rural and urban communities around sustainable ranching and large predator conservation. Through an annual partnership grant, Oakland Zoo supports Range Stewards who work directly with ranchers to reduce vulnerability in cattle and prevent predation. The zoo also supports the California Wolf Center through exhibit design, animal management programs, workshops that increase understanding for shared landscapes.
Oakland Zoo provides yearly professional development training for field partners, offering them a myriad of staff skills and resources to enhance conservation efforts.
Oakland Zoo’s gift shop helps support Oakland Zoo’s conservation commitment to wolves through the “Round Up for Wolves” program, offering guests the opportunity to “round up” their purchase fee to save gray wolves. The Gift Shop also offers Mt. Shasta Wild Predator Friendly Beef sticks, produced at a ranch that upholds the highest standards of caring for both cattle and wildlife, like wolves.
Oakland Zoo shares conservation issues facing gray wolves and empowering solutions to conserve them to the public through a variety of channels: Docents and Volunteers, Teen Wild Guides, education programs, events, habitats, campaigns, keeper talks, and media stories.
Our male wolf Sequoia is from the California Wolf Center, and our female wolf Siskiyou came from a conservation facility in Montana. In 2019, four wolf pups were born, creating a healthy and thriving pack at Oakland Zoo.
California Wolf Center is a non-profit organization working to foster unity among various communities through conservation, education, and research to ensure wolves, livestock, and humans thrive together in the modern world.
Working Circle is non-profit community organization dedicated to ensuring wolves, livestock, and people can successfully coexist and thrive on shared lands, with an emphasis on cultivating healthy, resilient, and ecologically diverse wild-working landscapes that incorporate large predators.