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Day Three of Red Wolf Week: Conservationists with Wings!

The Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) would be unable to fulfill its mission without its volunteers.  Now that we’re two years into our second decade, it is easy to recognize how much our center has thrived.  The WCC started with small ambassador pack and a family of volunteers with an unyielding dedication to wolves and the environment.  Thanks to their efforts, the WCC is currently one of the pre-eminent facilities in the Eastern United States for the captive breeding and pre-release of endangered wolf species and we continue to grow our education program to help people better understand this important but misunderstood predator.

As we enter puppy season optimistic that red wolf pups will soon be born, it is important that we’re ready for their arrival and their possible departure!  If any of our red wolves do breed successfully and their pups are selected for release into the wild of North Carolina (see Captive-to-Wild Foster Program), we’ll need a way to get the youngsters to their new home.  For this occasion we call upon a very special group of volunteers — ones with wings!

Lighhawk is a volunteer-based environmental aviation organization that donates flights to conservation groups.  Even though no pups have yet to be born and there is no guarantee that the WCC will welcome any pups at all, one of Lighthawk’s volunteer pilots, Janice Newman, has generously set aside her time and put a plane (the Pilatus PC-12 donated for the mission by Tom Haas) on standby for a red wolf pup flight this Spring.

Lighthawk crew with M. Dwire (USFWS) and R. Bose
This won’t be the first time that Newman and Haas have swooped in from the sky to offer support to the WCC and the recovery of critically endangered wolves. In December of 2009, this dynamic duo flew Mexican gray wolf F749 to the WCC all the way from New Mexico!  
The WCC cannot thank Lighthawk’s generous volunteers enough for all the work they do for wolves and the environment.  Let’s hear it for Lighthawk!