For more than 50 years, the Endangered Wolf Center has been leading the pack in conserving endangered wolves, foxes and African painted dogs.
Our Beloved Founders
In the 1960s and 70s, millions of children grew up glued to the television when Marlin Perkins invited them on a weekly journey across the world during “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.”
The beloved zoologist was the original celebrity wildlife expert, connecting kids to amazing animals in their native habitats.
In 1971, Marlin and his wife, Carol turned their attention toward one endangered animal in particular – the wolf. They joined with a group of individuals to found the Endangered Wolf Center to address the serious plight of wolves at risk of extinction.
Through carefully managed breeding programs, inspiring educational programs and innovative methods for introducing releasable wolves into their native habitats, our Center set out to change the fate of endangered canids.
And for more than 50 years, we’ve been doing just that.
Today, our nonprofit organization is considered the cornerstone of wolf conservation in America. In fact, every Mexican gray wolf in the wild can trace his or her roots back to our Center.
Our Mission and Our Vision
To preserve and protect Mexican wolves, red wolves and other wild canid species, with purpose and passion, through carefully managed breeding, reintroduction and inspiring education programs.
Our vision is a world where endangered wolves and other wild canids exist and thrive in their native habitats, recognized and valued for their vital roles as leading members of a healthy ecosystem.
Our 50-Year Legacy of Leading the Pack
Our Center is recognized for both our achievements and our leadership role in the recovery of the endangered species in our care. From a long list of “firsts” in our field to numerous success stories, our focus remains on the recovery of these top predators and the ecosystems depending on them. Our Center:
- Is the only Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) certified related wolf facility in the world
- Was the first institution to participate in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s red wolf and Mexican
wolf managed breeding programs
- Helped recover the Mexican wolf population from 9 wolves to 235 in managed care and over 75 in the wild
- Contributed one of the first red wolves to be reintroduced into the wild in North Carolina
- Is where more than 70% of the red wolves now roaming free in North Carolina can trace their roots
- Was one of the first two U.S. facilities selected to breed swift foxes for release
- Conducted the first cross-fostering of Mexican wolf pups in the wild in 2014
- Hosts more than 60,000 visitors each year, nearly 75% being children
Tyson Research Center
The Endangered Wolf Center is located on property owned by the Tyson Research Center – the environmental field station of Washington University in St. Louis. Tyson provides opportunities for environmental research and education for students and faculty from WashU and beyond. Research projects vary from single-season student projects to large scale experiments and long-term monitoring. The integration of Tyson educational programs with faculty-led research allows scientists to tackle big questions, and student apprentices to gain the expertise they need to become independent investigators with a drive for scientific discovery.