ST. LOUIS, MO: To further growth efforts at the Eureka, Missouri-based Endangered Wolf Center (EWC), Virginia Busch will transition from executive director to Chief Executive Officer, overseeing strategic planning, conservation initiatives, donor development and marketing. The EWC has begun a search for a new executive director who will focus on the day-to-day operations of the Center, and in conjunction with Busch will work to expand the organization and its mission through outreach, on-site programming, donor development and environmental leadership.

Busch joined the EWC as executive director in 2012, during which time it has grown significantly in size as well as revenue. The nonprofit organization is considered the cornerstone of wolf conservation in America, having earned a global reputation for breeding endangered wolves and other canids, leading husbandry research and participating in releasing wolves in the wild as part of the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s recovery programs, recently making history with two successful cross-fosters in Arizona and New Mexico. In fact, every Mexican gray wolf in the wild can trace his or her roots back to one place – the Endangered Wolf Center.

But the successful recovery of an endangered species is a constant challenge, and Busch intends to expand the work of the EWC. “While the essential role wolves play in the health and sustainability of an ecosystem is undisputed scientifically, fear and misconceptions about wolves and other top predators are old storylines that take effort and persistence to shift. I plan to concentrate on changing that narrative through conservation initiatives and partnerships, along with increased outreach beyond traditional environmental channels.”

Founded in 1971 by Marlin and Carol Perkins, the Endangered Wolf Center has worked to preserve and protect Mexican wolves, red wolves and other wild canid species, with purpose and passion, through carefully managed breeding, research, reintroduction and inspiring education programs. The Center is a non-profit organization located near St. Louis, Mo. Open to the public, the EWC is a one-of-a-kind destination for conservationists and animal lovers alike. Through their participation in education and outreach, visitors not only contribute to the Center’s conservation efforts at home but also in the places where Mexican and red wolves live in the wild.

In addition to her role at the Endangered Wolf Center, Busch contributes to conservation and animal welfare at home and abroad as a National Council and board member for World Wildlife Fund, board member for Wild Earth Allies, and the Humane Society of Missouri.