Thursday, October 31, 2013

RWSSP of the month—North Carolina Museum of Life & Science!

The Red Wolf Species Survival Plan (RWSSP) is the foundation of the Red Wolf Recovery Program. To let people know what’s happening throughout the program through, we are continuing to feature different RWSSP locations.  The RWSSP of the month is the North Carolina Museum of Life & Science (MLS) in Durham, North Carolina. The Museum was first established in 1946 by volunteers as North Carolina’s first trail-side nature center. Originally known as the “Children’s Museum,” the center flourished and evolved into the state-of-the art facility it is today encompassing 84-acres, including an interactive science park includes a science center, a butterfly conservatory (which is one of the largest in the world) and beautifully-landscaped outdoor exhibits featuring black bears, lemurs, and endangered red wolves.

MLS currently is home to a pair of red wolves, female 1287 and male 1414.  The first red wolf came to MLS in 1992, and a litter of pups followed in 1993 and again in 2002.  Both of the current wolves were born at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, (Tacoma, WA).  The male is currently 8 years old and came to Museum just last fall in 2012 from Miller Park Zoo (Bloomington, IL). The female is currently 10 years ago and arrived at the Museum in 2010 from Roger Williams Park Zoo (Providence, RI).  While it’s not anticipated that 1287 & 1414 might breed this year, anything can happen!  The animals are a great pair together and are regularly photographed on exhibit.

Red wolf pair at MLS. Photo credit: B. Bartel/USFWS.  

Red wolf female 1287 at MLS. Photo credit: B. Bartel/USFWS.
Red wolf male 1414 at MLS. Photo credit: B. Bartel/USFWS.

To keep up with all the red wolf happenings and other news in the Animal Department at the Museum, you can follow their blog.

Just last week, members of the Red Wolf Recovery Program, Red Wolf Species Survival Plan, NC Wildlife Resources Commission, and numerous researchers from different universities met at the Museum for an initial meeting of the reorganized Red Wolf Recovery Implementation Team.  We also got to tour the red wolf exhibit and check out the pair.  A big thank to the Museum and its staff for generously hosting us!  Special thanks to Sherry Samuels, the Director of the Animal Department for the tour and help with arrangements! We are grateful to these partners for their continued role in the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan and send a thank you to all their staff.

Please visit their website or Facebook page for more information!

Monday, October 21, 2013

We're back!

As many of you know, the Red Wolf Recovery Program, National Wildlife Refuges, and many, many other government agencies were closed for several weeks during October as part of the lapse in funding and subsequent government shutdown. We are very grateful to our partners and all the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan (RWSSP) sites for continuing to provide lots of good information and updates to our supporters. We know we missed a lot of opportunities to promote red wolf conservation and events, including Wolf Awareness Week 2013 (October 13-19).  We are still catching up from missed time, but we just wanted to thank everyone for their continued support!  

Fall is a busy time for the field and RWSSP staff.  Many of the captive wolves are receiving their annual physical examinations, and transfers are occurring throughout the sites in order to create new potential red wolf mating pairs for upcoming mating season.  These matches were discussed and finalized at the 2013 Annual Red Wolf SSP meeting this past July.   

Starting this week, the Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival is hosting numerous events from October 22-27, 2013 in northeastern North Carolina including Red Wolf 101, a program offered by the Red Wolf Coalition at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Red Wolf Education and Healthcare Facility in Columbia, North Carolina, as well as a Red Wolf Howling Safari, occurring on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.  Both of these events are Wednesday, Oct. 23.  If you’re interested in participating, you can register and view the schedule online.   

We’re have more news soon including the RWSSP of the month, field updates, and news from the Red Wolf Research Implementation Team.  Stay tuned!