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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.

NPR story on our volunteers & breeding observations

Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on NPR story on our volunteers & breeding observations

NPR report 2 19 16

Mary Delach Leonard of St. Louis Public Radio (KWMU 90.7 FM), the St. Louis affiliate for NPR, visited the Endangered Wolf Center several times in January and February to report on our volunteers and their role in a decades-old breeding research program. Here’s a link to her story: http://tinyurl.com/EWConNPR

“Painted Dogs” as Super Bowl champs?

Posted by on Feb 17, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on “Painted Dogs” as Super Bowl champs?

Greg collar
African painted dogs might just as well appoint Greg Rasmussen as their official ambassador to the United States.

Rasmussen, the founder and executive director of Painted Dog Research Trust in Zimbabwe, is currently on a 22-city, 49-day tour of the United States, with a quick hop into Canada. He’s spending four nights in St. Louis, with visits to the Endangered Wolf Center and the Saint Louis Zoo.

On Tuesday night, Rasmussen championed on behalf of African painted dogs at the Endangered Wolf Center 2016 Speaker Series. More than three dozen people attended the talk.

“They have an incredible social system,” Rasmussen said. “There’s no hierarchy, no fighting, no leadership struggles,” he said, contrasting that to the presidential campaign taking place in the United States.

“Their teamwork is the best. If we could put them in the Super Bowl, they’d win every year. We ought to have a Super Bowl team called the Painted Dogs.”

Painted dogs, he said, operate in a true democracy. “Puppies will have chosen their leader by the time they are 12 months old. One in every pack is a little more adventurous, a little bolder, with true leadership qualities.” Size and strength are not the keys to becoming the pack’s alpha, Rasmussen said.

About 5,000 African painted dogs are in Africa today, down from perhaps a million dogs a century ago. Their story, he said, parallels what happened to wolves in the United States.

For the most part, they’ve fallen victim to efforts to exterminate them. Originally, Rasmussen said, they were known as tricolored dogs. But “the ranchers who hated them called them wild dogs,” he said, because it’s hard to whip up a frenzy to exterminate “tricolored dogs.”

That took place, he said, even though there is no record of an African painted dog ever attacking a human.

Rasmussen’s efforts in Zimbabwe – first as founder of Painted Dog Conservation and currently at Painted Dog Research Trust – are paying off. “Zimbabwe is the only place in the world where we successfully stopped the shooting of painted dogs.”

His current U.S. trip is also meeting with success. Before arriving in St. Louis on Monday, Feb. 15, 2016, Rasmussen met with a businessman in Ames, Iowa, who has agreed to provide solar power for collars for tracking painted dogs in the wild. On Tuesday, Rasmussen exchanged emails with a St. Louis businessman who wants to provide belting to make the lightweight collars. “They’re not doing this for business,” Rasmussen said. “They’re doing it because they care.”

He said Apple, Google and software companies are also working on the effort to improve tracking collars for painted dogs in the wild. “They want to help conservation,” he said.

The current prototype of collar is about 90 percent effective, he said, including small metal protrusions on the front that can free dogs that get trapped in snare wire.

Snares pose a huge threat to painted dogs in the wild, Rasmussen said, accounting for about 27 percent of their deaths. (70 percent are killed by farmers; 3 percent die of natural causes.)

The wire snares aren’t intended to kill painted dogs. They are placed by mercenaries trying to kill and ship large quantities of meat.

Rasmussen has concocted a clever means of battling the snares. Local villagers are paid to fashion art out of the snare wire, and those pieces are sold, with some of the profits going to the artisans. “It provides income for the community.”

And now, he said, he’s paying a bonus to those who provide their own snare wire, which encourages locals to find and dismantle illegal snare traps. Ultimately, he said, that will be more effective than paying for anti-poaching patrols.

Rasmussen brought snare art to be sold in the Endangered Wolf Center’s Celeste Ruwwe Gift Shop. Proceeds will be split among the non-profit Endangered Wolf Center and the locals in Zimbabwe who make the art.

The Speaker Series event was held at Washington University’s Tyson Research Center Living Learning Center. The Endangered Wolf Center is located on the Tyson property in Eureka, about 20 miles southwest of St. Louis. All proceeds from his talk directly benefit the Mexican wolves, red wolves, maned wolves, swift foxes, fennec foxes and African painted dogs living at the Endangered Wolf Center. The Center has three painted dogs, Dillon, a 9-year-old female, and 13-year-old brothers Tsavo and Dogo.