Red wolf mother F1563 (a.k.a. Salty) shows off some impressive moves to elude her five relentless 4-month-old pups as they whine, and paw and lick about her muzzle hoping to elicit regurgitation. Adults feed pups who are too old to nurse but too young to hunt for themselves by regurgitation. This method of food transfer is unnecessary for humans, but proves an efficient way for a number of different species to feed their young. For wolves, the behavior of licking the muzzle is retained into adulthood by subordinate wolves where it functions as a gesture to reaffirm their role and station with the family.
Does your dog ever lick you on the mouth and nose?
Take Action for Red Wolves
Red wolves remain among the world’s most endangered species. The current estimate puts the only wild population of red wolves at their lowest level (50 – 75) since the late 1990s.
Only one place on the planet are wild red wolf populations viable and secure – North Carolina. But the state’s Wildlife Resources Commission has asked U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to terminate the red wolf recovery program there, a move which would inevitably result in the loss of the last wild population of red wolves and render the species extinct in the wild.
While USFWS, the very agency charged by federal law with protecting the endangered species, continues to review the program, it has halted all captive-to-wild releases and management activity critical to the success of this recovery program.
Please sign the petition to urge USFWS to restore the Red Wolf Recovery Program.