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Endangered Red Wolves Make Valuable Contribution to Genetic Health of the Species

Red wolf yearling M2116 coming out of anesthesia (Thank you, kiddo!)

Today 5 critically endangered red wolves made very personal and valuable contributions to the genetic health of their rare species. Under the leadership of reproductive specialists Cheri Asa, Karen Bauman from the Saint Louis Zoo, and Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine‘s Soon Hon Cheong, Wolf Conservation Center staff and volunteers collected the wolves’ semen for potential future use.

Via gamete cryopreservation, the samples will remain “on ice” in a “frozen zoo” – the term of endearment used by scientists for the bank of wolf sperm and ovaries stored in cryogenic vaults where some of the most precious genes are being held for future reproductive use.

Although the “frozen zoo” is an effective (and fascinating) tool to preserve rare wolf genes, other recovery strategies need to occur immediately to rescue the wild red wolf population from the brink of extinction. Only 45 red wolves remain.

Please consider urging USFWS, the very agency charged by federal law with protecting endangered species, to recommit to red wolf recovery in the wild. Before it is too late… —

Take action here.