Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Preparing for Wolf Breeding Season: Girls to the Left, Boys to the Right

Breeding season is an exciting time at the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC), especially since we have four potential litters to celebrate on the horizon! Preparing for breeding season, however, can be a lot of work. This time of year WCC staff and volunteers venture to the vast enclosures within our endangered species facility to harass some of the elusive Mexican gray wolves for one last time this season. During the season of romance, the Mexican wolf males need to be separated from the females to prevent spontaneous breeding from occurring. Inbreeding doesn't occur often in the wild but in captivity the lobos have limited options so a family member can appear pretty appealing when hormones are racing. All of our enclosures have a dividing fence line through their interior so packs will remain in their original territories, but males on one side and females on the other. It's kind of like a middle school dance! The real work for WCC staff and volunteers is to fortify the dividing fence lines with mesh to prevent breeding from occurring through the fence. Yes, you read correctly, they can do "it" though chain link fencing. So today is the day that Mexican wolf brothers and sisters will be captured by our team, identified, and sent to one side or another to reside with their same sex siblings until late March or early April.

No comments: