Howl-Worthy News from Wolf Conservation Center’s Species Survival Plan Facility
Recent proposals and subsequent decisions affecting the recovery of the Mexican gray wolf and red wolf had a direct impact on the scope of the WCC’s focus in 2014. The Center’s expert testimony in two federal hearings and our decision to unite with other organizations to challenge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were among the WCC’s efforts to help secure the necessary protections required to re-establish viable, genetically diverse self-sustaining populations for these iconic symbols of the wild.
While the WCC has been a vocal and visible advocate for both species, we have also naturally been quite active in physically safeguarding the endangered wolves that have been entrusted to our care.
‘Tis the Season… For Wolf Romance!
January marks the beginning of the 2015 breeding season! Wolves are “mono-estrus” — breeding only once a year during the winter months. This winter promises to be a romantic one at the WCC, eight of our critically endangered wolves have been selected to breed! The Species Survival Plan (SSP) management groups for both the Mexican gray wolf and the red wolf determine which wolves should be bred each year by using software developed for the population management of endangered species. Today’s Mexican wolf population descended from just 7 founders, and the red wolf only 14. Thus, genetic health is the primary consideration in pairing.
We won’t know the outcome of any of these unions until “pup season” in April or May. So until then, keep your fingers crossed and an eye on the lovebirds via WCC’s webcams!