I am preparing for next month’s red wolf species survival plan (SSP) master plan meeting. This is an annual meeting where staff from institutions that house red wolves as well as other agencies that support red wolves get together to discuss the goals and issues facing the species. By “preparing” I mean not only dealing with the logistical issues of getting to the meeting but also gathering information to share about our current red wolves, general husbandry and veterinary questions, and reviewing information about the red wolf population as a whole.
It’s a two day meeting. We’ll spend the first day reviewing updates and reports from a variety of people: There will be a reproductive studies, veterinary, and education update. We’ll hear reports from the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on issues (I’m sure we’ll hear first hand about the current fires in Eastern NC and the effects on the red wolves) and successes with the wild population. We’ll review updates from facilities that house red wolves and discuss husbandry issues (this year I know we will be talking about operant conditioning and diets).
At the end of the first day we’ll begin our discussion of genetics and demographics: this will be the foundation for our work on day two when we start making breeding recommendations. Sarah Long, Senior Population Biologist from AZA’s Population Management Center
, usually leads our group through the genetics and “match making” portion of the meeting.
This year’s meeting is taking place at the Chattanooga Nature Center. I’ll share more information with you leading up to the meeting. If you have specific questions for me, just go to the comment section at the end of the post and leave me a message, or click here to ask your question.
The photo above is from last year’s Red Wolf SSP Master Plan meeting which took place at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. The people in the photo are some red wolf “big-wigs”. The man sitting away from the table in the left of the photo is Bud Fazio, the Red Wolf Recovery Program
Coordinator for USWFS at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. The other man, leaning over the table on the right of the photo, is Will Waddell, the Red Wolf Species coordinator. He is the link between all the wolves & institutions part of the captive population and all the wolves in the wild population and the people that deal with them. Sarah Long is to Will’s left.