Mexican wolf pups in den photo c/o Annie Marie Musselman
Another litter of Mexican wolf
pups born at Wolf Haven
In last month's World of Wolves, we wrote about our new litter of eight red wolf pups. Now we focus on the four Mexican gray wolves born at Wolf Haven this spring and the federally managed recovery program for this
critically endangered species.
We were very excited when pups were born to first-time parents F1422 (Vida) and M1360 (Kochi) in April. These two wolves are very genetically valuable to the healthy preservation of the species; in fact, this new family is considered
the most genetically valuable group in the entire captive Mexican wolf population!
The Mexican wolf is a subspecies of the gray wolf and it's estimated that 4000+ of them once roamed across Texas, New Mexico and Arizona and were as abundant in Mexico. Due to extirpation programs, by the 1970s the Mexican wolf was nearly extinct. Their population was so low that wildlife officials felt the only option for their survival was captive breeding and reintroduction. The entire Mexican wolf population was founded by seven animals, making genetic diversity of critical importance.
Wolf Haven's involvement
A federally managed Mexican wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP) was initiated in 1977 to manage and oversee the captive breeding program and lend support to the reintroduction and recovery effort of the species in the wild. In 1994, Wolf Haven was approved to participate as both a captive breeding facility AND a pre-release facility (one of only three such facilities in the United States for the Mexican wolf).
Between 1996 and 2017, nine litters of Mexican pups have been born at Wolf Haven. In 1998, some of the first Mexican wolves released into the wild - after being absent for nearly 40 years - came from Wolf Haven. Mexican wolves from our sanctuary were also released in the southwest in 2000, and a family group of 11 was reintroduced to the wild in Mexico in 2016.
Today there are about 130 free ranging Mexican wolves in North America (Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico). There are 270 wolves in 52 facilities in the United States and Mexico. USFWS has just released a Mexican Wolf Draft Revised Recovery Plan Released for Public Comment, which Wolf Haven will review to provide input. If you have any thoughts or comments about this draft revision, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360.264.4695 x221.
In the meantime, enjoy this video (taken via remote camera) of our new, young family.
Mexican wolf pups with mom and dad
Wolf Haven in the news Sustainability in Prisons
Wolf Haven is proud to be a participant in the Sustainability in Prisons Program. This is a partnership founded by the WA State Department of Corrections and The Evergreen State College (TESC). In a blog that they recently posted, you can read (and see beautiful pictures) about inmate technicians who had a chance to see first-hand the rare prairie that they are helping to restore on our prairie. So many groups in the Pacific Northwest are dedicated to preserving and restoring our disappearing native prairies and we at Wolf Haven are grateful to all of them. Read More and See Photos Here.
Not meant to be pets
One of our primary messages at Wolf Haven is that wolves and wolfdogs are NOT pets. Even though it may be legal to breed and purchase one (depending upon where you live), it is typically the animal who suffers because of human desires. There are far too many wolves and wolfdogs living in captivity at places like Wolf Haven (and these are the lucky ones who aren't euthanized) when private "owners" realize that they don't have the time, resources or energy needed to maintain a wild animal. A recent tragic incident only reinforced the message that wild animals should be left in the wild. Dogs and cats were domesticated over thousands of years for a reason - to bond with humans. Below is an Editorial Opinion written by the local newspaper The Olympian about a recent tragic event.