Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131
April 11, 2006
Photo credit: Baron Crawford
The red wolf is one of the most endangered animals in the world, and its story of recovery is a remarkable one. Participate in Red Wolf Howling Safari for the experience of a lifetime!
Celebrate Earth Day with a Howl..... Or Howl This Summer!
Every year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Red Wolf Recovery Program and the Red Wolf Coalition jointly sponsor public howling safaris. The first howling of the 2006 season is an Earth Day Howling scheduled for April 22 at 7:30 pm. The 2006 summer safari schedule begins June 14 at 8:00 p.m. The highlight of each evening is listening to the characteristic “howl” of one or more red wolves as they communicate with each other. Nearly 900 local residents and visitors from across the United States attended these events during the 2005 season.
For a howling, participants meet on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge at Creef Cut Wildlife Trail at the intersection of Milltail Road and Highway 64. A short presentation provides an overview of the Red Wolf Recovery Program, as well as the role of the Red Wolf Coalition, a Friends organization dedicated to the preservation of the red wolf species . Visitors have an opportunity to obtain red wolf literature and to see both red wolf and coyote pelts, track casts, a red wolf skull and pup photos. Many items are available for sale such as T-shirts, hats, bumper stickers and journals. The Red Wolf Coalition will use money collected from these sales and any donations to support their education and outreach programs as well as their goal of building a red wolf visitor center near Columbia, NC. This facility will house live red wolves for public viewing, as well as provide a veterinary facility for wildlife biologists to “process” red wolves. “Processing” may include replacing a tracking collar, drawing blood, administering vaccinations or other minor medical procedures.
The red wolf is one of the most endangered animals in the world, and its story of recovery is a remarkable one. According to Bud Fazio, Red Wolf Recovery Program Team Leader, “The Service is heartened to see its restoration efforts successfully pull red wolves back from the brink of extinction. Forty years ago, only a handful of red wolves were found in the wild. Today, nearly 100 wild red wolves roam freely across five eastern North Carolina counties. There is a saying, 'Endangered means there's still time.' We have shown there is enough time to restore red wolves to a level more likely to ensure their long-term survival. I am proud of the field biologists whose skillful efforts allow red wolves to once again howl in the wild." This recovery program has served as a model for other reintroduction efforts.
For a 2006 schedule or to register for a safari, please contact the Red Wolf Coalition office at 252-796-5600 or visit their web site at www.redwolves.com.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 544 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 63 Fish and Wildlife Management offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.