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The Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) family just got a little bigger!

Yesterday, red wolf Everest (F2204) arrived at the WCC from the Tallahassee Museum. Once she settles in, the dark beauty will be introduced to red wolf brothers Moose Jr (M2119) and Tyke (M2118) in hope that Everest will fall in love with one of the brothers and make a valuable contribution to the recovery of their rare species by having pups in the spring.

Genetic diversity is the primary consideration in the selection of Mexican wolf breeding pairs. 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.

We won’t know the outcome of a potential union until “pup season” in April or May. But in the meantime, throw back your head and let out a long welcoming howl for the newest member of the WCC family!

Check in on her via live webcam!

 

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Wildlife officials announced in their Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Monthly Update that five critically endangered Mexican gray wolves were found dead in November, bringing the total of documented wolf mortalities so far this year to 17.

The deceased wolves, all located in New Mexico, include AM1447 of the Frieborn Pack, fp1826 of the Prieto Pack, AM1038 of the Hawks Nest Pack, m1680 of the Saffel Pack, and Single M1486.

All of the incidents are currently under investigation by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Law Enforcement.

While their deaths alone are devastating, the implications could be far-ranging. A recent study found that USFWS officials who manage the Mexican wolf recovery program are underestimating the rate of poaching by up to 21%.

Between 1998 and 2015, there were 155 deaths and disappearances in New Mexico and Arizona of radio-collared Mexican wolves. Of these wolves, 53 had “unknown fates.”

At last count in the U.S., just 114 Mexican gray wolves remain in the wild.

 

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Rediscovering species once thought to be extinct or on the edge of extinction is rare. Red wolves have been extinct along the American Gulf Coast since 1980, with their last populations found in coastal Louisiana and Texas.

But in a paper published yesterday, researchers report the rediscovery of red wolf ghost alleles in a canid population on Galveston Island, Texas.

This could be groundbreaking for the species and broader conservation efforts.

Find more scientific papers re red wolves.

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