Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Where there's a Will, there's a way.

Having the chance to ride along with the Red Wolf Recovery Program biologists a few weeks ago as they began their annual search for red wolf dens, I can back up Ryan’s recent blog postings that finding dens takes a great deal of patience and effort. After the first few days I wondered if the biologists were setting me up by looking for dens in locations that could test the abilities of a triathlete. However the reward of finding a litter was well worth the briar scratches and tick plucking, and it was apparent that these kinds of areas provided the wolves needed cover and security as they go about the business of rearing their young.

[Will tests his "sixth sense" in finding a den. Photo credit: A. Beyer/USFWS]

With the miles of dirt roads, fields, and drainage ditches it’s easy to get disoriented as the biologists rattle off the name of this or that pack, road, or location. Radio telemetry no doubt helps, but when combined with their experience, knowledge of the area, and an uncanny sixth sense, the crew has remarkable success locating dens.

[Will finds his very first red wolf pup in the wild. Photo credit: A. Beyer/USFWS]

As coordinator for the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan, being able to help search for wild dens gave me the opportunity to take a step back and look at the Red Wolf Recovery Program from a “big picture” perspective. It also underscored that there are many individuals, agencies, and organizations committed to ensuring that red wolves will continue to thrive. -- Will

1 comment:

  1. I am glad to find your blog. I have just finished reading Barry Lopez's book _Of Wolves and Men_. Since I live in the SE U.S., I was particularly moved to discover what, if any, wolf activity or information was to be had about wolves in my so-called neck of the woods. I hope the effort to reestablish the red wolf population will continue. I look forward to watching what happens.