I’m in Chattanooga and I am getting ready for day two of the red wolf master plan meeting, which I wrote about a month or so ago. We covered a lot of important topics yesterday and had interesting discussions.
We learned which types of contraception we should, and more importantly should not use, if we have to contracept red wolves. Most of the time, for red wolves, we are able to use separation of males and females during the short breeding season, or pairing non-breeders (ones that are too old, too young, or have medical conditions as to why they cannot breed) as the means by which we contracept, but as the red wolf population grows we may need to find alternate ways to prevent unwanted offspring.
We also reviewed reproductive and genetic studies from the past 20 years. The data shows that female wolves age 3-6 are the most likely to have litters of pups. It’s best if younger males, 3-10, are the breeders too as sperm count goes down with age. And, again no surprise, the more inbred the wolves are, the smaller the litter size is.
Much more was discussed, but I need to run and get ready for today’s session where we start to make the recommendations for next year’s pairings and wolf transfers. Read more soon.