Friday, August 12, 2016

Red Wolf Born at the Wolf Conservation Center Has Wild Pup of His Own

Photo: John Murphy/USFWS


What's a healthy young red wolf to do to help perpetuate his critically endangered species? Fly to Florida to find a romantic partner, of course. Back in 2013, red wolf M1804, a.k.a. "Thicket," flew from the Wolf Conservation Center to St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge, a remote barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, to be introduced to a potential mate on the wild landscape.

Fast forward three years - M1804 is a DAD with at least one confirmed pup! Born at the WCC in 2010, M1804 and his brother M1803 (Moose) are both now wearing the badge of fatherhood. We cannot wait to alert M1803's kiddos that they have a WILD cousin!

So throw back your head and join us in sending congratulatory howls to M1804! In lieu of gifts, the new papa asks that you help #SaveRedWolves by signing up to join the red wolf #Thunderclap to call on Dan Ashe to do his job and continue the red wolf recovery program in North Carolina!

A thunderclap is a crowd-speaking platform that helps people be heard by saying something together. On September 9th, Thunderclap will blast out a timed Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr post from all who join, creating a wave of attention.

Background

The red wolf (Canis rufus) is the only wolf species found completely within the United States. Once common throughout the southeastern United States, red wolf populations were decimated by the 1960s due to intensive predator control programs and loss of habitat. In 1980, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) declared red wolves extinct in the wild after the last wild red wolves were gathered to survive in captivity, their wildness caged. With the support of the Federal Red Wolf Species Survival Plan, a national initiative whose primary purpose is to support the reestablishment of red wolves in the wild through captive breeding, public education, and research, and under the aegis of the Endangered Species Act, red wolves were reintroduced in North Carolina in 1987. They were the first federally-listed species to be returned to their native habitat, and have served as models for other programs. But today, USFWS, the very agency charged by federal law with protecting endangered species, is walking away from recovering the last wild red wolves to satisfy a few very vocal opponents. The current estimate puts the remaining wild population at their lowest level in decades. Only 40-45 wild red wolves remain.

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