Monday, March 16, 2009

Red wolves to get aid

Well, the N.C. State Wolfpack may have laid a number of eggs of late, but there's at least some good news for some other red wolves from North Carolina.

The red wolf, which roams wild only in North Carolina, is getting some federal help for the endangered species' most important task -- breeding [says the Charlotte Observer].

There is $870,000 tucked inside the $410 billion spending package signed recently by President Barack Obama for the red wolf revival program.

The money will help build a new breeding center near Tacoma, Wash., where encroaching development near the current center has dampened the wolves' breeding habits.

Some of the earmark funds would also expand the red wolf program in Asheville, which since 1985 has participated in the captive breeding effort with at least a pair and sometimes a pack of wolves. ...

It's all part of a decades-long effort to save the red wolf, a large animal with tinges of red on its shoulders, legs and ears. The species, all but wiped out by humans who viewed the animals as predators, had been reduced to only 17 known survivors in the 1970s.

[T]he wolves have made a gradual comeback since scientists began releasing them into the wild in 1986.

Now, an estimated 100 to 130 live free in Eastern North Carolina, in a five-county area that includes the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, said Buddy Fazio of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Manteo. ...

Go Pack! At least you guys are having a good year!

(Image from the Red Wolf Recovery Project's website)

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