Prepping for Endangered Mexican Gray Wolf Pups?
The arrival of spring means changing temperatures, chirping birds, and critically endangered wolf pups!
Pregnancy can be an exciting and magical time for parents but waiting can be excruciating for well-wishers! No pups yet for critically endangered Mexican gray wolf Trumpet (F1505), but her belly appears quite large – a sign of potential pregnancy. Over the next few weeks, WCC’s Curator, Rebecca Bose, will monitor her progress and record any milestones, i.e. plucking the hair from her big belly – a custom for expectant mothers when preparing for pups.
The WCC is one of 54 facilities in the U.S. and Mexico participating in the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP) – a bi-national initiative whose primary purpose is to support the reestablishment of Mexican wolves in the wild through captive breeding, public education, and research. The Mexican wolf 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 Trumpet and Lighthawk (M1564) are a great match on paper with an extremely low inbreeding coefficient.
Sometimes saving a species isn’t very romantic, but it turns out that Trumpet and Lighthawk are a vibrant, loving, and playful pair that make it look like a whole lot of fun! We saw the pair engage in several copulatory ties so given a gestation period of 63 days her due date would be around April 24th. Keep your paws crossed!
Join the expectant family now via LIVE webcam!
The Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) or “lobo” is the most genetically distinct lineage of wolves in the Western Hemisphere, and one of the most endangered mammals in North America. By the mid-1980s, hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the extinction of lobos in the wild, with only a handful remaining in captivity. In 1998 the wolves were reintroduced into the wild as part of a federal reintroduction program under the Endangered Species Act. Today in the U.S., there is a single wild population comprising 131 individuals – an increase from 117 counted at the end of 2017.