Thursday, 27 June 2013

34 Critically Endangered Red wolf pups born this season in the wild

Additional 23 pups born as part of breeding programme
June 2013. The final red wolf pup count for the 2013 whelping season has been announced as Thirty-four, spread across seven litters in the restored red wolf population in eastern North Carolina, down slightly from recent years' pup counts.

Captive born pup raised by wild wolf
The Red Wolf Recovery Program reported 39 pups from nine litters born in the wild in 2012, 40 pups from 10 litters in 2011, and 43 pups from nine litters in 2010. The Red Wolf Recovery Program also reported 23 pups from 4 litters born in zoos and nature centres participating in the Species Survival Plan captive breeding program. In addition, as part of the efforts to increase the genetic diversity of the wild population, a captive-born pup was fostered into a wild-born litter to be raised as a wild wolf. Reasons for the decline in the number of pups born in the wild this year are not apparent.

World population reduced to just 17 animals
The red wolf (Canis rufus) is one of the world's most endangered wild canids. Once common throughout the south-eastern United States, red wolf populations were decimated by the 1960's due to intensive predator control programs and loss of habitat. A remnant population of red wolves was found along the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana. After being declared an endangered species in 1967, efforts were initiated to locate and capture as many wild red wolves as possible. Of the 17 remaining wolves captured by biologists, 14 became the founders of a successful captive breeding program. Consequently, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service declared red wolves extinct in the wild in 1980.

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