Thursday, June 26, 2014

RWSSP of the month—Endangered Wolf 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 through, we are continuing to feature different RWSSP locations.  

The RWSSP of the month is the Endangered Wolf Center (EWC) in Eureka, Missouri, founded by Marlin and Carol Perkins.  Marlin Perkins is most recognized from the popular television show “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” that was in production in the 1960s and 1970s.  In these episodes, he took the opportunity to educate audiences on rare animals and their native habitats. In 1971, they turned their attention on conservation of wolves and founded the EWC with the help of others. These visionary founders believed that no ecosystem could thrive without the top predator in place. For more than 40 years, this nonprofit organization has played a pivotal role in wolf conservation through carefully managed breeding programs, educating the public about wolves, and establishing a partnership with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to facilitate the release of endangered canids back into native habitats.

The Center is located on 63 isolated wooded acres near St. Louis and currently conserves and maintains five different species of endangered canids.  EWC has participated in the RWSSP since the early years of the program.  Since 1981, EWC has housed red wolves and immediately had success in captive breeding efforts, with litters born annually from 1982-1987.  The individuals born at EWC during this time included one of the original 8 animals released in 1987 at the current reintroduction site in northeastern North Carolina, 10205F.  This female red wolf is incredibly important in the recovery timeline, as she was the first animal to give birth in the wild (in 1988) after red wolves were reintroduced.  Over the years, 11 litters with 36 pups in total were born at EWC.
Red wolf at EWC. Photo credit: Ashley Brown.
The EWC is currently home to three red wolves, including breeding pair 1790M and 1586F.  1402M is currently solo after the recent loss of his mate, 1593F, to complications from whelping.  Both 1402M and 1790M arrived at EWC in early 2011, from the Wildlife Science Center (Columbus, MN), and Lincoln Park Zoo (Chicago, IL), respectively.  1586F was transferred from Fossil Rim Wildlife Center (Glen Rose, TX) in fall of 2012.
Red wolf breeding pair, 1586F and 1790M, at EWC. Photo credit: Ashley Brown.
The Endangered Wolf Center has also played a large role in red wolf education efforts, both within the RWSSP and public events at the site.  EWC offers multiple programs and opportunities for folks to learn about wolves including a variety of tours, howling events, camps, scout programs, and special events.  Please check out their calendar for more information and full event schedule.

Thank you to the staff, volunteers, and supporters at the Endangered Wolf Center!!

Please visit their website or Facebook page for more information!