Monday, April 3, 2017

Red Wolf F1568 Turns 10 Years Old!

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This is the first year red wolf F1568 (affectionately nicknamed “Argo”) has celebrated a birthday at the Wolf Conservation Center; she’s a relatively new member of the WCC family arriving in December of 2016. She resides off-exhibit in one of the WCC’s spacious SSP enclosures and will hopefully be joined by some pups later this spring!

The Species Survival Plan (SSP) management group for the red wolf determines which wolves should be bred each year by using software developed for the population management of endangered species. This is necessary because all red wolves descended from just 14 founders rescued from extinction. Genetic diversity is the primary consideration in the selection of red wolf breeding pairs and F1397 and one of the WCC’s resident male red wolves, M1803, are a great match on paper with a low inbreeding coefficient.

Unfortunately, the pair proved to be incompatible. While they now reside in separate enclosures, they were still given the chance to aid in the survival of their critically endangered species through artificial insemination. WCC staff helped M1803 make an “investment” in the recovery of the red wolf species by collecting his semen in early February 2017 and then inseminating F1568. The gestation period (length of pregnancy) for wolves is 63 days so we won’t know the outcome of their union until mid-April.

So join us in sending congratulating howls to F1568 for celebrating another year of life. And who knows… perhaps she’ll celebrate her 10th birthday with a new litter of elusive, beautiful pups!

Happy birthday, F1568!

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