Red Wolf Family Moving to New Home in New York!
Museum of Life and Science‘s six critically endangered red wolves, a breeding pair and 4 pups born in April, will migrate north in early November to a new home at the Wolf Conservation Center that can best accommodate the growing family.
“This transfer is going to be bittersweet for us all,” said Sherry Samuels, the Durham museum’s Animal Department director and a member of the Red Wolf SSP Management Team.
“I know many people, myself included, have become incredibly attached to the pups; it’s been wonderful watching the family grow and thrive here, but we recognize that this transition is what’s best for the family and ultimately what is best for the red wolf species as a whole.”
“Saying goodbye is never easy,” said Maggie Howell, WCC’s Executive Director. “This red wolf family has unknowingly touched so many of the Museum’s supporters; we look forward to inviting them to follow the family’s progress via the WCC’s live webcams.”
The red wolf (Canis rufus) is the only wolf species found completely within the United States. Once common throughout the southeastern United States, red wolf populations were decimated by the 1960s due to intensive predator control programs and loss of habitat. In 1980, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) declared red wolves extinct in the wild after the last wild red wolves were gathered to survive in captivity, their wildness caged. With the support of the Federal Red Wolf Species Survival Plan, a national initiative whose primary purpose is to support the reestablishment of red wolves in the wild through captive breeding, public education, and research, and under the aegis of the Endangered Species Act, red wolves were reintroduced in North Carolina in 1987. They were the first federally-listed species to be returned to their native habitat, and have served as models for other programs.
The current estimate puts the remaining wild population at their lowest level in decades. Only 28 known wild red wolves remain.