Last week, different collaborators from 15 facilities participating in the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan (RWSSP) met for the annual RWSSP meeting in Homosassa Springs, Florida at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. The Red Wolf Recovery Program Assistant Coordinator, Becky, joined the group composed of folks from Chattanooga Nature Center (Chattanooga, TN), Endangered Wolf Center (Eureka, MO), North Carolina Museum of Life & Science (Durham, NC), Wildlife Science Center (Forest Lake, MN),Wolf Conservation Center of New York (South Salem, NY), Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site(Charleston, SC), Tampa Lowry Park Zoo (Tampa, FL), North Carolina Zoological Park (Asheboro, NC), Tallahassee Museum of Natural History, (Tallahassee, FL), Knoxville Zoological Gardens, (Knoxville, TN), Salisbury Zoological Park, (Salisbury, MD), Western NC Nature Center, (Asheville, NC), Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, (Glen Rose, TX), Wolf Haven International, (Tenino, WA), Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, (Homosassa, FL), Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, (Tacoma, WA), and researchers from Louisiana State University.
|2013 Red Wolf Species Survival Plan Group. Photo credit: K. Brzeski|
Participants met over 3.5 days to discuss husbandry methods and techniques, current and ongoing red wolf research, and facility updates. The bulk of the meeting is dedicated to examining all the available breeding wolves in the SSP program (across 40+ locations) to see if individuals need to be moved from facility to facility to form the best potential breeding pairs. With more than 175 breeding red wolves in the captive population, this is no small feat. Age, health history, genetic relatedness, and logistical difficulties of transferring animals are all taken into consideration when deciding new pairs. While the matchmaking and moving process looks like a complicated process, the group was a well-oiled machine and successfully tracked and paired all individuals. Hope's hoping to successful pairings and more pups next spring!
|Organizing individuals at different RWSSP facilities.|
|Examining pairs and red wolf matchmaking.|
|A tied pair during breeding season. Photo credit: Greg Dodge.|
We would like to extend a big thank you to the RWSSP Coordinator, Will, for organizing everyone for the meeting and to the staff at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park for hosting us!
Please visit the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan to learn more about the facilities participating in the captive breeding program and recovery efforts.