Lobo Love Bodes Well For Mexican Wolf Recovery
It’s an exciting time for wolves and the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) — it’s the season of romance! Hormones are racing and earlier this afternoon we witnessed Mexican gray wolves F1226 (Belle) and M1133 (Rhett) engage in a copulatory tie via webcam!
|Mexican wolf F1226 with her pups born May 2016|
The Species Survival Plan (SSP) management group for the Mexican gray 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 Mexican wolves descended from just 7 founders rescued from extinction. Genetic diversity is the primary consideration in the selection of Mexican wolf breeding pairs and M1133 and F1226 are a great match on paper with an extremely low inbreeding coefficient.
|Proud Papa, Mexican gray wolf M1133|
Sometimes saving a species isn’t very romantic, but it turns out that F1226 and M1133 are also a perfect pair “off paper!” They’re a vibrant, loving, and playful pair that make parenthood (the couple had three pups in May of 2016) and saving a species look like a whole lot of fun!
We won’t know the outcome of this union until May. So until then, please keep your paws crossed that F1226 and M1133 will be making some more and adorable contributions to the recovery of their rare species later this spring!