Birthdays abound! Wolves are mono-estrus, breeding only once a year during the winter months. Therefore, springtime is birthday season! Today we celebrate Mexican gray wolf F1226!
In October of 2015, Mexican Gray Wolf F1226 (affectionately nicknamed “Belle” by the Wolf Conservation Center’s community of webcam watchers) joined the WCC family in order to meet a handsome “husband” – Mexican gray wolf M1133.
The Species Survival Plan (SSP) management group for the Mexican gray wolf determines which wolves should breed each year by using software developed for the population management of endangered species. This is necessary because all Mexican wolves descended from just seven 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.
Sometimes saving a species is not very romantic, but it turns out that M1133 and F1226 are a vibrant, loving, and playful pair that make it look like a whole lot of fun!
The terrific twosome bonded effortlessly. The day the wolves officially met, a global audience witnessed (via webcam) the lovely lobos greet one another with a kiss! Their wild chemistry blossomed further when they welcomed three pups on May 25, 2016!
Today, with her well-earned badge of motherhood, F1226 is poised to repeat last year’s feat with a second litter sometime in May.
So here’s hoping F1226 gets a chance to rest up on her 6th birthday. With potential pups on the way, she will need as much energy as she can get!
Happy birthday, F1226!