Interdisciplinary Curriculum

Using Wolf Education to Promote Common Core Standards

Learn More

Action & Awareness Center

Stand for Wolves               Take Action

Northeast Wolf Coalition    Learn more

Carnivore Coexistence Lab Learn more

Visit us

Our education programs never fail to impress children and adults alike! They fill up quickly so please register today. Check out the WCC Calendar
Click here for more info about our programs

Wolf Conservation Center Prepares for Mexican Wolf Pups

Sometimes preserving and endangered species requires unusual steps. This week the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC)  will be among the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan (MWSSP) participants  taking extraordinary measures to aid the recovery of the critically endangered Mexican wolf (a.k.a. lobo).

In order to maintain genetic diversity within the Mexican wolf population, the  MWSSP management group  determines which captive lobos will be permitted to breed by using software developed for the population management of endangered species.  Wolf unions are chosen based on the genetic “value” of the individuals and the benefits their offspring would potentially contribute to the diversity of their rare species. Wolf couples with low inbreeding coefficients produce offspring that will best enhance the wild lobo gene pool. Lobo genetics are a matter of concern for the MWSSP because the founding population of all lobos here on Earth today can be counted on two hands (not including your thumbs!)

Although Mexican Wolves M740 and F749 were likely unaware, in 2012 scientists all over North America are crossing their fingers that the a vital pair would prove fruitful. They had the lowest inbreeding coefficient in the MWSSP. So you can imagine the excitement when during an early morning in May, F749 quietly had eight pups under a thicket. All five boys and three girls appeared to be in good health so WCC staff followed protocol and stayed out of the lobos’ way to allow the new parents do their job. Sadly, all 8 pups died within a month’s time. MWSSP procedure prevented WCC staff  from intervening and with our vast wild enclosures, it was impossible to determine what was ailing the newborn lobos.  While this loss was devastating on many levels, it did prompt the implementation of new MWSSP protocols for selective emergency intervention.

For the 2012-2013 wolf breeding season, F749 was chosen to breed with a former companion, Mexican wolf M804. The pair is an excellent match genetically, and supporters who have been spying on the two via our WildEarth.TV Webcams can attest that the couple appears to find comfort in each other’s company. So here we are a year later, and F749 appears to be pregnant again.  However, due to the  mother’s poor record of keeping her vulnerable and valuable pups alive (F749 has lost several litters in her 11 years), we will be pulling the pups no later than 18 hours after their birth to be hand reared and eventually placed with captive lobo foster parents. Ideally we would hand raise the pups at the WCC, but unfortunately we do not currently house a pair of lobos that have successfully raised a litter of their own. So, after we pull the pups, we’ll transport them to the Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden in Evansville, IN where they will be hand raised and fostered with a Mexican wolf couple with a stellar record of raising pups successfully.

In coming days we hope to announce the birth of a robust litter from F749, but it will be bitter sweet knowing that she will not be a part of their development. It takes tough and sometimes heart breaking decisions to preserve a species. We can only hope that F749 and M804 realize on some level that they are a part of something much larger than their pack, the recovery of their imperiled species.

This entry was posted in Mexican Gray Wolves and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Wolf Conservation Center Prepares for Mexican Wolf Pups

  1. Marlene Bauer says:

    Thank you – ok yes I watched her last year. It was very sad all eigt were lost. I understand after reading this. I hope the Mesker Park Zoo will keep us updated and with pictures. I wish them nothing but loveand health.

    Thank you guys again you do an awsome job!!!!!

    Sincerely Marlene

  2. john gunter says:

    I thank you are doing a rell good job I love wolf because I had a full boold one

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Contact Us

We love hearing from you! Get in touch

live-cam-wildearth2Keep an eye on our critically endangered wolves as well as Ambassador wolves Atka, Alawa, Zephyr and Nikai. Enjoy - and please let us know if you see anything interesting.

Great Nonprofits

Amazon Wishlist

Check out our wishlist on It's a great way to help support us!

Help us help wolves by shopping and saving at! Up to 20% of your purchase at thousands of online stores like Amazon, REI and The Children's Place will be donated back to our conservation efforts!

Shop & Help Wolves

When you shop via AmazonSmile, Amazon will make a donation to the Wolf Conservation Center!

Shop now

amazon smile

WCC on Facebook

WCC e-Cards

Show your family and friends how much you care by sending them a WCC e-card.   Learn More

Music to our Ears

Singer/songwriter Steve Jackson is donating 50% from each purchase of his new CD "Goodnight Moon" to the Wolf Conservation Center. This CD is available to download by clicking here.

If interested in ordering a hard copy, you can contact Steve by going to his website at