Museum of Life of Science's Red Wolf Family Will Transfer to New York’s Wolf Conservation Center


Published:

On Nov. 6, the endangered red wolf family will transfer to an expanded, 1-acre habitat at the Wolf Conservation Center of South Salem, New York.

Photos courtesy of the Museum of Life and Science

The Museum of Life and Science has announced recommendations from the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP) for a Nov. 6 transfer of the museum’s endangered red wolf (Canis rufus) family to an expanded, 1-acre habitat at the Wolf Conservation Center of South Salem, New York. Comprised of two adults and four pups born at the museum in late April, the departure of the current red wolf family will be closely followed by the arrival of a new red wolf breeding pair to the museum. Transportation of the entire family will occur via van driven by museum staff.

Prior to their departure each wolf will receive a hands-on vet check to verify health; all four pups completed their last “well pup” check in early September and were found to be in excellent health. To reduce stress, each pup will be partnered with a sibling in their transfer crate. A team of drivers will make minimal stops during the transport and conduct a visual inspection of the family every four hours.

Members of the community are invited to share well wishes, pictures, and videos of the current red wolf family with the Museum’s Facebook page and Instagram using the hashtag #RedWolfStory as the institution prepares to say goodbye.

All red wolves living at the museum are a part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Red Wolf Recovery Program, which partners with the Red Wolf SSP, a collaborative breeding and management program developed by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) to ensure the sustainability of endangered animal populations. Once a top predator throughout the southeastern United States and one of only two apex predators native to North Carolina, the red wolf is critically endangered with captive and wild populations totaling less than 300 individuals.

Identified by the SSP in the summer 2016 as a potential high value breeding pair to maintain genetic diversity within the red wolf population, the museum’s current breeding adults, female #1858 and male #1784, will continue to remain paired for another breeding season. Red wolf families in the wild are often comprised of parents with one or two generations of offspring; pups frequently begin to disperse from their parents around 6-18 months of age.

“During our annual planning meeting to evaluate the captive breeding program, the Red Wolf SSP made the decision that it would be best for the entire family to stay together with the hope that the parents will breed again next year,” says Sherry Samuels, Museum of Life and Science’s Animal Department Director and member of the Red Wolf SSP Management Team. “We also realize that it's best to have the family in an exhibit area with additional space to accommodate future growth; fortunately, we were able to come up with a plan that made all of this possible.”

The museum’s current red wolf family will transition to a one-acre habitat environment at the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) in South Salem, New York. A private, not-for-profit environmental education organization, WCC is dedicated to promoting wolf conservation through programs emphasizing wolf biology, the ecological benefits of wolves, and the current status of wolf recovery in the U.S. The WCC also participates in the SSP and recovery program for the critically endangered Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi).

“This transfer is going to be bittersweet for us all,” Samuels says. “I know many people, myself included, have become incredibly attached to the pups; it’s been wonderful watching the family grow and thrive here, but we recognize that this transition is what’s best for the family and ultimately what is best for the red wolf species as a whole. With recent developments surrounding the wild population, the responsibility of SSP institutions and the captive breeding program is more critical than ever before — this family has a big role to play in what happens next for the species.”

About the Red Wolf

In addition to the cinnamon coat highlights which lend them their name, red wolves are visibly smaller and more slender than gray wolves. Adult red wolves typically weigh between 45-80 pounds and can live up to 15 years in captivity, but rarely longer than seven years in the wild.

Once a top predator throughout the southeastern United States, the red wolf is now categorized as critically endangered. To protect the remaining red wolf population, a managed breeding program was established in 1973 by the US Fish and Wildlife Service at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. The success of this breeding program led to the reintroduction of red wolves to North Carolina’s Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in 1987. Red wolves now inhabit a five-county area in northeastern North Carolina and although their numbers had grown, gunshot, vehicle strikes, and habitat loss has reduced the wild population numbers and continue to threaten their survival. The red wolf is one of our planet’s most endangered species and continues to be at risk.

 

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Downtown
500 S Salisbury St
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: Let's Roam
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: Kelly
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Calling all Black tech leaders and visionaries! Are you looking to spur future collaborations, discover new business and career opportunities, and invest in this community? Join us for T.H.E. State...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Durham Convention Center
301 W Morgan St
Durham, NC  27701
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Contact Name: Tarryn Henry
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Kindermusik is a research-based early childhood curriculum that includes 45-minute classroom lessons with materials and resources that encourages parental involvement . Research has linked...

Cost: $70/month

Where:
Hope Community Building
2080 E Williams St
Hope Community Building, Fuquay Varina Room
Apex/Holly Springs, NC  27539
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Telephone: 191-990-25432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
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Live online classes for kids - FREE! Kids and families can join our online classes from home while school is out. Our special guests teach kids about art, medicine, music, cooking, science and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Online at your Home
265 Cambridge Ave #60923
Palo Alto, NC  94306
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Sponsor: ActivityHero
Telephone: 800-437-6125
Contact Name: Mabelle
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Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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The 16th Annual (Virtual) Beaver Queen Pageant, Beavers in the Stream! The Beaver Queen Pageant is the Triangle’s own special mix of folly, pageantry, and humor. Contestants take on beaver...

Cost: free

Where:
Online
, NC


Sponsor: Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association
Telephone: 919-423-1502
Contact Name: Rachel Cohn
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We invite all Triangle youth between the ages of 8 thru 17 with a sincere interest in the Performance Art of Magic to join Magic Youth Raleigh! This youth program teaches magic history and theory,...

Cost: $35 per Student

Where:
New Horizons Fellowship
820 E. Williams St.
Apex, NC  27502
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Sponsor: The International Brotherhood of Magicians
Contact Name: Roger Way
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The Beaver Queen Pageant is the Triangle’s own special mix of folly, pageantry, and humor. Contestants take on beaver personalities and compete for the title of Beaver Queen with their fashion,...

Cost: free

Where:
Online
, NC


Sponsor: Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association
Telephone: 919-698-9729
Contact Name: Rachel Cohn
Website »

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River Jam at the U.S. National Whitewater Center brings together live musical performances throughout the year to a one-of-a-kind outdoor venue, right in the middle of the world’s largest...

Cost: $6

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
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Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Contact Name: Jenny Hill
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