Wednesday, April 30, 2014

RWSSP site of the month--Wolf Conservation Center!

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, we are continuing to feature different RWSSP locations.  The RWSSP of the month is the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) in South Salem, New York.  WCC was founded in 1999 by Hélène Grimaud, as a private, not-for-profit environmental education organization. The WCC’s mission is to promote wolf conservation by teaching about wolves, their relationship to the environment, and the human role in protecting their future. The WCC accomplishes this mission through onsite and offsite education programs emphasizing wolf biology, the ecological benefits of wolves and other large predators, and the current status of wolf recovery in the United States.
Captive red wolf at WCC.  Photo credit: Rebecca Bose.

In 2003, the WCC joined the RWSSP program.  Additionally, the WCC also participates in the SSP for another critically endangered wolf species, the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi). Since then, WCC has grown both their wolf population and their staff, with 30 wolves and 4 full-time employees (and many talented volunteers!).  They have established 19 acres of protected land as home for their SSP programs, Ambassador wolf populations, and education programs.

Captive red wolf at WCC.  Photo credit: Rebecca Bose.
The WCC is currently home to four red wolves, including two breeding pairs 1394M and 1291F and 1565M and 1397F. Of these animals, 1291F has been a resident WCC the longest amount of time.  She arrived in 2004 from Trevor Zoo (Millbrook, NY). Her mate, M1394 was transferred to WCC from Mill Mountain (Roanoke, Virginia) in 2011. The other pair is a more recently duo, with M1565 arriving from St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge (Florida) in December 2013 (read about his journey here).  F1397 came to WCC from the North Carolina Zoo (Asheboro, NC) in 2009.  From their website, you can observe F1397 and M1565 through the den and exclosure cameras in their exhibit.

Captive red wolf at WCC.  Photo credit: Rebecca Bose.
Wolf Conservation Center has also played a large role in red wolf education efforts, both within the RWSSP network and through public events at the site.  WCC offers multiple programs and opportunities for kids to learn about wolves, use telemetry tracking tools, and meet wolf ambassadors. Registration for four day summer programs for grades 2-3 and grades 4-6 is currently open.

Thank you Wolf Conservation Center!! Special thanks to WCC's Curator, Rebecca Bose, for sharing her amazing photographs of the red wolves at WCC!

Please visit their website or Facebook page for more information!

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