Monday, March 29, 2010

Caretaker's Cabin

As a volunteer caretaker with the Red Wolf Recovery Program I live in a primitive cabin in the heart of a pocosin wilderness while caring for the captive wolves. This unique opportunity enables me to frequently encounter the diversity of wildlife here at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Its truly an unforgettable experience! -- DJ

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mount Rufus (not the one in Tasmania!)

When vehicles and wildlife collide, wildlife rarely come out the winner. This male red wolf was killed when struck by a vehicle while crossing Highway 45 just west of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. Although he is no longer part of the wild red wolf population, he will continue to serve the educational needs of the Red Wolf Recovery Program as a taxidermic mount.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

How did you spend your morning?

0815 Hrs. -- Having just taken off from the Manteo Airport for today's telemetry flight, I get a nice look at the township of Manns Harbor and the northern portion of Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Conditions are overcast, but there is chance of clearing later in the day.

1030 Hrs. -- I get a nice shot of the farm fields from the air while tracking wolves across Tyrrell County. The clouds are continuing to burn off, making for a good flight.

1055 Hrs. -- Today I have surveyed more than 1.5 million acres for red wolf territories and now I am returning to the airport in Manteo. The Outer Banks and the Atlantic Ocean make a great backdrop as we approach the airport. -- Michael

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Releasing the Milltail Pack

One of the busiest times of the year for field biologists with the Red Wolf Recovery Program begins the first week of January and extends through May, corresponding to the breeding and denning seasons of the red wolves. Biologists spend most of their time during this period tracking and capturing wolves to fit or replace telemetry collars and to conduct a general health assessment of each animal. The telemetry collars will help the field biologists track the animals during the upcoming denning season as they look for new litters of pups, as well as being able to follow the pack throughout the rest of the year.

This past January was especially fruitful in our capturing efforts as nearly every member of the Milltail Pack (on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge) was captured and fitted with a new telemetry collar. A total of seven wolves, including the breeding pair, three juveniles born in 2008, and two pups born in 2009, were caught. All were in good health and soon released back in their territory. -- Ryan