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Historic cross-fostering involves 2 pups from Center

Posted by on Apr 29, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Historic cross-fostering involves 2 pups from Center

CF-5

Regina Mossotti, Director of Animal Care and Conservation, conducts a quick pup check.

News Release April 29, 2016
For Immediate Use

Mexican wolf pups fly into the recovery effort

The Endangered Wolf Center and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service collaborate to fly two 9-day-old pups born at the Center from St. Louis to their new family in the wilds of New Mexico.

ST. LOUIS — The Endangered Wolf Center flew two just-born critically endangered Mexican wolf pups to New Mexico to be cross-fostered by a wild pack on Saturday, April 23, 2016. This historic collaborative effort between the Endangered Wolf Center staff and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services represents the first time pups born in captivity have been “adopted out” in this way.

This technique of inserting captive born pups into wild dens has never been tried with Mexican wolves. With fewer than 100 individuals left in the wild, these two pups born April 15, 2016 (male pup mp1461, named Lindbergh after the famous St. Louis aviator, and female pup fp1462, named Vida) represent a vital new component of the recovery effort.

“Years of work went into this moment,” said Regina Mossotti, Director of Animal Care and Conservation at the Endangered Wolf Center, “and we are elated to be a part of history. The Endangered Wolf Center has been working over the last 45 years to help make breakthroughs in conservation efforts. Getting these pups from a den in St. Louis to a den in New Mexico successfully was nothing short of exhilarating—and exhausting!”

Pups in backpack

Lindbergh and Vida travel by backpack to their new den.

The two pups flew to New Mexico, under the care of Mossotti and Animal Keeper Emma Miller. “Our staff are the best in the field and they did an excellent job of making sure these pups were warm, safe and healthy every step on their way into the wild,” said Virginia Busch, Executive Director of the Endangered Wolf Center.

Cross-fostering is a technique where wolf puppies from one litter are placed with another litter. The wolf mother will adopt the additions as her own. Placing pups from captivity into a wild litter helps increase genetic diversity. It is also a wonderful way to have wild parents (with an established territory and experience) raise and teach the pups how to survive.

Extreme terrain and logistics make it very challenging, and timing has to be just right. Wild and captive litters have to be born within a few days of each other, and generally the transfer from captivity to the wild has to occur before the pups are 10 days old. This means the wild den location needs to be known, a flight needs to be scheduled, perfect weather conditions need to exist and many other logistics need to be coordinated. All of these factors make the successful efforts of the Endangered Wolf Center and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services all the more remarkable.

The pack that the pups were released into was the SBP (Sheepherders Baseball Park) Pack, named after a New Mexico landmark in their territory. The father is M1284 (collared) and the mom is M1392.

Mexican wolves are the smallest, southernmost and most genetically distinct subspecies of gray wolf. At one point, Mexican wolves numbered only five in the wild. When those five were captured and brought into managed breeding facilities, the Mexican wolf was declared extinct in the wild in 1980. The first release of Mexican wolves back in the wild took place in March 1998, with nine of the 11 wolves released coming from the Endangered Wolf Center. The 2015 survey of Mexican wolves counted 97.

Mexican wolves were native to New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and Mexico. Today, they can be found in New Mexico and Arizona, and Mexico.

The Endangered Wolf Center was founded in 1971 by Dr. Marlin Perkins, longtime host of TV’s “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” and former director of the Saint Louis Zoo, and his wife Carol. It is located on the grounds of Washington University’s Tyson Research Center in Eureka,
Missouri, about 20 miles southwest of St. Louis.

For more information contact:
Steve Parker
Director of Operations
[email protected]
636-938-5900 office 314-724-8037 cell

Pups' new home

The two pups’ new landscape.

Vida

Vida.

Settlement provides hope for Mexican wolves

Posted by on Apr 28, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Settlement provides hope for Mexican wolves

Rogue1_Adopt
A settlement has been reached in federal court that will require the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency charged with protecting the Mexican wolf, to prepare a recovery plan — decades after it was supposed to do so.

The Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka, Missouri, just outside St. Louis, has played a key role in helping save this wolf from extinction and reintroducing it back to the wild. The settlement results from a lawsuit filed in 2014 by Earthjustice on behalf of a coalition of wolf-conservation interests, including the Endangered Wolf Center.

Parties represented in the lawsuit jointly issued this news release:

News Release: For immediate use

Court settlement provides hope for Mexican wolves

Forty years after Endangered Species Act protection, government is required to prepare a recovery plan

Tucson, Ariz. — A coalition of wolf conservation groups, environmental organizations and a retired federal wolf biologist have announced a court settlement requiring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service) to prepare a long-delayed recovery plan for Mexican gray wolves by November 2017.

With only 97 individuals existing in the wild at the end of 2015, and fewer than 25 in Mexico, the Mexican gray wolf is one of the most endangered mammals in North America and faces a serious risk of extinction. Thanks to the courts, the Service is finally required to meet its legal obligation of completing a legally sufficient recovery plan, with the ultimate goal of a healthy, sustainable population of Mexican gray wolves in the wild.

“The Mexican wolf is the sentry of the southwest,” said Virginia Busch, Executive Director of the Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka, Missouri, one of the parties in the lawsuit. “This critically endangered wolf is vital to keeping the ecosystem healthy, which is why it needs a recovery plan based on sound science to save it from extinction.”

The Endangered Wolf Center has played a key role in Mexican wolf recovery efforts ever since it was founded in 1971.

Earthjustice filed a lawsuit in November 2014 to challenge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s multi-decade delay in completing a recovery plan for the Mexican wolf. Earthjustice represents the Endangered Wolf Center; Defenders of Wildlife; the Center for Biological Diversity; retired Fish and Wildlife Service Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator David R. Parsons; and the Wolf Conservation Center in the case. The settlement agreement follows a September 2015 ruling by a federal judge in Tucson that rejected the government’s effort to dismiss the case.

“The settlement provides hope that the lobo can be a living, breathing part of the southwestern landscape instead of just a long-lost frontier legend,” said Tim Preso, Earthjustice attorney. “But to realize that hope, federal officials must take up the challenge of developing a legitimate, science-based recovery plan for the Mexican wolf rather than yielding to political pressure.”

“Wolves love to follow paths,” said former Mexican wolf recovery leader David Parsons. “Now, finally, the path to recovery for the critically endangered lobos of the southwest will be blazed.”

“After four decades of delay, a scientific roadmap for recovery of the Mexican gray wolf will finally be reality,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity. “The recovery plan should trigger new releases of captive-bred wolves into the wild and establish new Mexican wolf populations in the Grand Canyon and southern Rocky Mountain ecosystems.”

The Service developed a document it labeled a “recovery plan” for the Mexican wolf in 1982 — but the Service itself admits that this document was incomplete, intended for only short-term application, and “did not contain objective and measurable recovery criteria for delisting as required by [the Endangered Species Act].” Most importantly, the 34-year-old document did not provide the necessary science-based guidance to move the Mexican gray wolf toward recovery. Without a recovery plan in place, the Service’s Mexican gray wolf conservation efforts have been hobbled by insufficient releases of captive wolves into the wild population, excessive removals of wolves from the wild, and arbitrary geographic restrictions on wolf occupancy of promising recovery habitat. The Service in 2010 admitted that the wild Mexican gray wolf population “is not thriving” and remains “at risk of failure,” and further admitted that “failure to develop an up-to-date recovery plan results in inadequate guidance for the reintroduction and recovery effort.”

“We are racing extinction on the Mexican gray wolf,” said Eva Sargent, senior Southwest representative for Defenders of Wildlife. “The best available science, not political pressure, should lead the recovery planning for the Mexican gray wolf. We need more wolves and less politics.”

The plaintiffs joining the April 25 settlement agreement include two environmental education organizations that operate captive-breeding facilities that have supported recovery efforts by providing Mexican gray wolves for release into the wild. Despite their efforts, Mexican gray wolf survival continues to be threatened by the lack of a recovery plan to ensure that wolf releases are sufficient to establish a viable population.

“Failing to plan is planning to fail,” said Maggie Howell, executive director of the Wolf Conservation Center in New York. “And for these iconic and imperiled wolves, failure means extinction. This settlement represents a necessary and long overdue step toward recovering America’s most endangered gray wolf and preventing an irrevocable loss from happening on our watch.”

“Education is a key component to the recovery of a species, especially for an animal that has been historically misunderstood and misrepresented. Equally important is an active, up-to-date recovery plan for the species in the wild,” said Busch of the Endangered Wolf Center just outside St. Louis.

“The genetic variability that organizations like the Endangered Wolf Center hold with the Mexican wolf population is hugely valuable for releases and cross-fostering opportunities in the wild, Busch said. “We are pleased to hear that the Service will be taking an active role in developing a recovery plan in a timely manner.”


Resources:

Background on Mexican gray wolves and photos for media use: Earthjustice materials
Read the settlement document: Read the settlement
Versión en línea: Read the settlement in Spanish

Background: The Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi)—the “lobo” of southwestern lore—is the most genetically distinct lineage of wolves in the Western Hemisphere, and one of the most endangered mammals in North America. By the mid-1980s, hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the extinction of lobos in the wild, with only a handful remaining in captivity. In 1998 the wolves were reintroduced into the wild as part of a federal reintroduction program under the Endangered Species Act. Today in the U.S., there is a single wild population in the Blue Range area of Arizona and New Mexico comprising only 97 individuals, all descendants of just seven wild founders of a captive breeding program. These wolves are threatened by illegal killings, legal removals due to conflicts with livestock, and a lack of genetic diversity. Within the past year alone, escalating mortalities and illegal killing, along with reduced pup survival, reduced the wild population from 110 to 97 individuals.

The Service has never written or implemented a legally sufficient Mexican gray wolf recovery plan. Its most recent recovery team has done extensive, rigorous work to determine what needs to be done to save the Mexican gray wolf. Recovery team scientists agreed that, in order to survive, lobos require the establishment of at least three linked populations. Habitat capable of supporting the two additional populations exists in the Grand Canyon ecoregion and in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. The recovery team drafted a plan in 2012 that called for establishing three interconnected Mexican gray wolf populations totaling at least 750 animals in these areas, but the plan has never been finalized.
The settlement requires the Service to complete a valid recovery plan by November 2017 and requires peer review of the recovery plan to ensure its scientific integrity. The settlement has been presented to the federal judge overseeing the case, who must approve it before the settlement becomes binding on the parties.

Contacts:

Rebecca Bowe, Earthjustice, 415-217-2093, [email protected]

Steve Parker, Endangered Wolf Center, 636-938-5900, [email protected]

Michael Robinson, Center for Biological Diversity, (575) 313-7017, [email protected]

Maggie Howell, Wolf Conservation Center, 914-763-2373, [email protected]

Catalina Tresky, Defenders of Wildlife, (202) 772-0253, [email protected]

Preguntas de prensa en Español: Betsy Lopez-Wagner, (415) 217-2159, [email protected]

May 19 Speaker Series: New mammals in Missouri

Posted by on Apr 15, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on May 19 Speaker Series: New mammals in Missouri

Chadwick bear

Tom Meister poses with a tranquilized black bear during Missouri Department of Conservation research in the Chadwick Area of the Mark Twain National Forest. The bear was weighed, measured, radio-collared, and his ear was tagged and tattooed before release. Meister says the bear weighed more than 400 pounds and broke the scale.

Please join us May 19 as Tom Meister of the Missouri Department of Conservation discusses mammals that are relatively new on the Missouri landscape — mountain lions, black bears, feral hogs, elk,  armadillos, nutria, wolves. (Wolves?) He’ll discuss how these animals got here or whether they’ve always been here. In either case, what impact could they have on the diversity of the state’s natural resources?

Meister has more than 20 years’ experience as a naturalist and wildlife biologist, and is currently Wildlife Damage Biologist with the Department of Conservation. He has been a member of research/relocation/response teams for mountain lions, black bears, elk and feral hogs.

His talk — “New Mammals in Missouri: Invasive, Introduced or Interlopers?” ­— will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 19, and is part of the Endangered Wolf Center’s 2016 Speaker Series.

The cost is just $10. Reservations are required and easily made by calling 636-938-5900. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The one-hour Speaker Series program, followed by a question and answer session, will be held in Tyson Research Center’s Living Learning Center. Come to the Endangered Wolf Center’s front gate at 6750 Tyson Valley Road, Eureka, MO 63025, and you’ll be directed to the Living Learning Center. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the talk will start at 7 p.m.

Volunteer Larry Jewell receives Harrison Award

Posted by on Apr 14, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Volunteer Larry Jewell receives Harrison Award

Larry Jewel

Volunteer Larry Jewel models the pioneer garb he often sports at Campfire Wolf Howls.

Larry Jewell, a longtime volunteer at the Endangered Wolf Center, was honored as recipient of the 2016 Harrison Award for extraordinary contributions to the Center.

Endangered Wolf Center visitors see evidence of his contributions on every visit: The wood signs that give directions and identify buildings are his handiwork. He also is a frequent host (dressed in pioneer garb) of Campfire Wolf Howls and has served as the gate keeper and greeter for many years at Wolf Fest, the Center’s annual open house.

The Harrison Award was initiated in 2015, when it was given to its namesake, PJ Harrison, herself a longtime volunteer and former member and officer of the Endangered Wolf Center Board of Trustees.

Jewell was named the 2016 recipient during the Center’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner, held Sunday evening April 10 at Shaw Nature Reserve’s Dana Brown Overnight Center in Gray Summit, Missouri.

A sign was unveiled honoring the five volunteers who donated the most hours in 2015:

  • Gail Meyers (1,026)
  • Debbie Yauch (452.5)
  • Michelle Steinmeyer (425.5)
  • Sue Berra (357)
  • Karen Zelle (246.75)

Eight volunteers received five-year service pins:  Deborah Coleman, Steve Johnson, Charlie Meyers, Sandy O’Shaughnessy, Tim O’Shaughnessy, Steve Thomas, Jack Webb and Sharon Weber.

Twelve volunteers were awarded one-year service pins:  Angela Ewing,  Jamie Gann, Katie Lucas, Zach Meier, Cathryn Moore, Michelle Musto, Scott Rice, Abby Uphoff, Cecelia Virgili,  John Wagner, Lee Walters and Karen Zelle

Deborah Coleman and Renee Meier received “Wolf Pins” marking 1,000 hours of volunteer service.

Four volunteers received “Fox Pins” marking 500 hours of service: Sue Berra, Lydia Nichols, Doris Perry and Sharon Weber.

In total, volunteers donated 8,353 hours in 2015. Junior Volunteers (ages 14 to 17), under the supervision of Youth Programs Coordinator Maggie McCoy, gave 1,051 hours in 2015.

The 2016 Volunteer Appreciation Dinner was attended by 46 volunteers, Board Member Diane Maixner and 15 members of the Endangered Wolf Center staff.  Leslie Valdez, who was Volunteer Coordinator at the time of the dinner; Executive Director Virginia Busch; and Director of Animal Care and Conservation Regina Mossotti addressed the volunteers and thanked them for their service.

The Center is deeply appreciative of Shaw Nature Reserve’s generosity in providing the location for this annual event.

Honor

The plaque honoring Larry Jewell includes a painting by one of the maned wolves at the Center.

May 10 Speaker Series: Reproductive science & wolves

Posted by on Apr 5, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on May 10 Speaker Series: Reproductive science & wolves

Asa headshot

Dr. Cheryl Asa of the Saint Louis Zoo

Here’s your chance to hear world-renowned scientist Cheryl Asa of the Saint Louis Zoo,  whose work in reproductive science has contributed greatly to the recovery of Mexican wolves.

She will appear at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, as  part of the Endangered Wolf Center 2016 Speaker Series.

Dr. Asa, PhD, will be retiring this summer from the positions of Director of Reproductive and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the AZA Reproductive Management Center at the Saint Louis Zoo after almost 28 years.

Her Speaker Series presentation — “How Reproductive Science Contributes to Mexican Wolf Recovery” ­— will be of keen interest to friends of the Endangered Wolf Center and anyone with an interest in saving threatened species.

The cost is just $10 a person for this chance to meet Dr. Asa and ask her questions. Reservations are required and easily made by calling 636-938-5900. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

After being declared extinct in the wild, Mexican wolves have been successfully bred in zoos in the United States and Mexico to provide animals for reintroduction.  Reproductive science and management have contributed to this success through gene banking, hormone monitoring, artificial insemination, behavioral observations and even contraception.

In 1990, Dr. Asa was asked by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to establish a semen bank for the Mexican wolf, which has expanded to include eggs and ovarian tissue from females as well. Her lab has pioneered assisted reproduction methods for management of Mexican wolf population genetics and has identified factors affecting fertility across canid species.

Dr. Asa’s first canid research was in Peru in 1981 with Sechuran desert foxes.  She has since studied gray wolves, including the Mexican wolf; fennec foxes; African painted dogs; coyotes; and island foxes.

The one-hour Speaker Series program, followed by a question and answer session, will be held in Tyson Research Center’s Living Learning Center. Come to the Endangered Wolf Center’s front gate at 6750 Tyson Valley Road, Eureka, MO 63025, and you’ll be directed to the Living Learning Center. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the talk will start at 7 p.m.

Ad Anna

 

Our tours are closed for puppy season

Posted by on Apr 4, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Our tours are closed for puppy season

Pups 4.20.15

These three pups were born April 17, 2015, to Mexican wolves Sibi and Lazarus, who were a breeding pair again this year.

We’ve just gone through breeding season at the Endangered Wolf Center. With multiple breeding pairs, including both red and Mexican wolves, we’re hopeful that many pups will be joining our pack this spring.
During the next couple months, when wolves may be pregnant and puppies may be appearing, we close all of our public and private tours. Our last day for tours was Sunday, April 3. Birth dates are an inexact science, so we can’t yet say when tours will resume, other than we expect it to be around early or mid-June. Check this website or our Facebook page in coming weeks for updates.
In the meantime, the Endangered Wolf Center has many events scheduled, including Frog Watch Campfires April 15 and May 13, Foxy Cinco de Mayo for adults (meet a fennec fox) May 5, and two Mini Camps April 23 and May 21. Check our Calendar of Events for a complete list of our tours and events through the summer, fall and winter.

Want to lead one of our tours?

Posted by on Mar 25, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Want to lead one of our tours?

Are you interested in becoming a Certified Naturalist and perhaps becoming a Docent who leads tours at the Endangered Wolf Center?

First, you’ll need to take one of our Certified Naturalist training courses. Those who want to become Docents must take one additional class. If you’re interested, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Matt Fox at [email protected] or 636-938-5900 to learn when the courses will next be offered.

 

Classes are taught by members of our Animal Care and Education departments.

Trivia Night 2016 Sponsors & Donors

Posted by on Mar 25, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Trivia Night 2016 Sponsors & Donors

Trivia Night Crowd
The Endangered Wolf Center Trivia Night 2016 was a huge success. Make plans now to be at 2017’s event.

Well over 300 people turned out for the evening of fun Friday, March 18, at the Kirkwood Community Center, 111 South Geyer Road, Kirkwood, MO 63122. Figures are still being tallied but about $30,000 was raised. The top-scoring table had 93 correct out of 100 questions. Two teams got 92 correct, with a tiebreaker of predicted team score deciding second place.

We’d like to thank the following sponsors and donors:

Trivia Night Sponsors:

Event Sponsors:
Anonymous
Jay Smith

Gift Shop Sponsor:
Brncic Family
Harvest Plaza Animal Hospital & St. Charles Animal Hospital and Clinic
Virgil and Sandra VanTrease

Beverage Sponsors:
Anonymous
Duggan Contracting
Craig and Denise Austin

Round Sponsors:

Sponsors of Round 1: Didn’t You Used to Be?
The Broom Family
CHE Consulting, Inc.
Penny and Connor

Sponsors of Round 2: Animal Song Titles (Music round)
Jo Anna Dale
In Memory of Dora

Sponsors of Round 3: Road Trip
Drury Inn & Suites
Lesley and Don Gottlinger
Bill and Julie Gerlach

Sponsors of Round 4: Galloping Gourmets (Jelly Belly taste test)
Celeste Ruwwe and Gerry Hufker
Celeste Ruwwe and Gerry Hufker
Celeste Ruwwe and Gerry Hufker

Swift Fox in Box
Sponsors of Round 5: Wild Wild Best
The Kostman Family
Maxine, Bradley, Bob, Trè, and Dorothy Mae
Cheryl Morrow

Sponsors of Round 6: Sports Through the Decades
In loving memory of Kevin (Cubby) Houska and Babs Nelson
Saint Louis Zoo Animal Health Department

Odie
Sponsors of Round 7: Hey, Aren’t You? (Cartoon animals)
Soulard Wolf Pack
Tana and Bill Settle
Vet Stop Animal Clinic

Sponsors of Round 8: Potpourri
Linda and Ruby Straubinger
Trueman’s Place
George and Lee Weber

We would like to thank the following for their generous donations that helped
provide the silent auction and raffle items and prizes for our Trivia Night 2016:

Anonymous
Atlas Restaurant
Auto Zone
Avenue Restaurant and Bar
Betty and Kim Winkler
Brick Tops
Cheesecake Factory
Chris Sexton
Citizen Kane’s Steak House
Claire Applewhite
Clayton Pilates Studio
CQ Express Car Wash
Dickerson Park Zoo
The Egan Family
Eureka Feed and Supply
5 Star Burgers in Kirkwood
Funny Bone Comedy Club at Westport Plaza
Gateway Grizzlies
Grey Eagle Distributors
Harry and David
Hidden Valley Ski Resort
Imo’s
Kennelwood Pet Resorts
Lazy River Grill
Louisa Food Products
Missouri Museum of Transportation
O’Charley’s Restaurant
Olive Garden
Patty Clark
P.F. Chang’s
Pietro’s
P.J. Harrison
Rachel Broom
Raging Rivers Water Park
Sandy and Tim O’Shaughnessy
Shaw Nature Reserve
Starbucks
St. Louis Rams
Ted Drewes
Trueman’s Place
Union Studio
Urban Chestnut Brewing Co in The Grove
Urban Feed and Supply
Watering Bowl
Yellowstone Café
026 Pub and Biergarten

Prizes were awarded for the top three scoring tables. In addition, there were raffle prizes, door prizes, a 50-50 raffle and a silent auction. Free Anheuser-Busch beer was provided to guests over age 21. Free soda, water and snacks were provided as well.

Trivia2016

Summer Camp Intern opportunity

Posted by on Feb 23, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Summer Camp Intern opportunity

Organization: Endangered Wolf Center (AZA Member)

Location: Eureka, Missouri, United States

Job or Internship: Internship

Job Description: Summer Camp Intern

Reports to: Youth Programs Coordinator

Job Summary:

Responsible for assisting the Youth Programs Coordinator and Summer Camp Counselor with day-to-day activities during the five sessions of Summer Wolf Camp, as well as learning how to prepare for a camp session. Candidate must be comfortable assisting the Youth Programs Coordinator with multiple outdoor activities and supervising large groups of children.
This is a two month, unpaid internship position. Internship dates will run June 1 through July 29.


Responsibilities:

• Job shadow the Youth Programs Coordinator and Summer Camp Counselor to learn how to plan and prepare camp sessions for different age groups.
• Assist with day-to-day activities of Summer Wolf Camp, including long nature hikes, crafts, tours of the animal enclosures, games and many other activities.
• Complete list of internship experience goals provided by Youth Programs Coordinator to ensure a quality learning experience is achieved during the internship, including our docent training course.
• Perform other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications:

• High School Degree with intentions of pursuing a college degree in Education or a related field.
• Experience interacting with children.
• Ability to participate in long hikes in hot weather conditions.
• Flexible schedule.

Preferred Qualifications:

• CPR/First Aid Certified.
• Previous camp experience.

This internship is unpaid. Please send your resume and cover
letter to Maggie McCoy, Youth Programs Coordinator, at [email protected] or by mail to P.O. Box 760 Tyson Valley Rd. Eureka, MO 63025.

The Endangered Wolf Center is an equal opportunity employer.

Wild Mexican wolf population declines

Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Wild Mexican wolf population declines

1049towild

The number of Mexican wolves in the wild declined last year to 97 from 110 the previous year, according to an annual census of the critically endangered wolf.

The Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka, Missouri, has been instrumental in saving the Mexican wolf from extinction. At one time, only five Mexican wolves existed in the wild. When those five were captured between 1977 and 1980 and brought into managed care, the species was declared extinct in the wild. The first release of wolves from managed care facilities took place in March 1998. Nine of the 11 wolves in that release were from the Endangered Wolf Center.

A year-end population survey is conducted annually by the Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team (IFT) and the results are announced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), which oversees the recovery program.

The decline to 97 wolves follows five straight years of growing numbers. The survey found 42 in 2009, down from 52 the previous year. Since then the population had grown every year: 50 in 2010, 58 in 2011, 75 in 2012, 83 in 2013 and 110 in 2014.

In its news release Thursday, the USFWS attributed the decline in 2015 to a combination of factors:
·There were 13 Mexican wolf mortalities compared to 11 in 2014. Of these 13 mortalities, nine were females and four were males.
·Eleven additional wolves are considered fate unknown compared to three in 2014.
·A significantly lower proportion of pups survived to December, relative to last year: 55 percent survival in 2015 compared to high 86 percent in 2014.

In its news release, the USFWS explained how the survey is conducted:

The annual population number is derived from on-the-ground surveys conducted by the IFT from November through December of 2015, as well as from an aerial survey conducted in January and February 2016. The number is considered a minimum number of Mexican wolves known to exist in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico, as other Mexican wolves may be present. The Mexican wolf mortalities are under investigation by the USFWS’ Office of Law Enforcement in an effort to determine cause of death.

Sixteen Mexican wolves, including three breeding pairs, live at the Endangered Wolf Center. Last year, three pups were born at the Center. About 300 Mexican wolves are in managed care facilities in the United States and Mexico.

Mexican wolves are the smallest, southernmost and most genetically distinct subspecies of gray wolf. Mexican wolves were native to Mexico, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. The recovery program releases them in New Mexico and Arizona and Mexico.

The Endangered Wolf Center also houses eight red wolves, another critically endangered species of wolf involved in a USFWS recovery program. Their release area is limited to North Carolina.

Red wolves once roamed from Pennsylvania into Missouri, down to Texas and throughout the southwest.

The Endangered Wolf Center was founded in 1971 by Marlin Perkins, the longtime host of TV’s “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” and director of the Saint Louis Zoo, and his wife Carol. They recognized that wolves everywhere were in danger of going extinct.

The Center is located on the grounds of Washington University’s Tyson Research Center in Eureka, about 20 miles southwest of St. Louis.

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