Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131
June 15, 2006
Photo credit: Jamie Richie
Take advantage of the opportunity to venture out into the wild and "howl up" red wolves. Call 252-796-5600 or visit www.redwolves.com
for more information or to register. Alligator River and Pea Island also offer bird walks, canoe tours, and other weekly programns thoughout the summer months. Visit http://www.fws.gov/alligatorriver/spec.html or call the Pea Island Visitor Center (252-987-2394) for details.
REFUGE RED WOLF HOWLING SAFARIS BEGIN
Every summer the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Red Wolf Recovery Program and the Red Wolf Coalition jointly sponsor weekly Howling Safaris. The 2006 summer Safari Schedule began mid-June and runs through the first week in September. Pre-registration is required. Times vary as times for sunset vary, so participants should verify the starting time when they register. The highlight of the evening is listening to the characteristic “howl” of one or more red wolves as they communicate with each other and the “howlers” in the group. The 2005 safaris hosted over 1,000 people.
Registered participants meet on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge at Creef Cut Wildlife Trail, located at the intersection of Milltail Road and Highway 64. A short presentation provides an overview of the Red Wolf Recovery Program and the role of the Red Wolf Coalition, a Friends organization dedicated to the preservation of red wolves. There are hands-on experiences, and the program is highly recommended for all age groups. While it’s rare to see a wolf, participants are almost certain to hear them howl. Visitors will have the opportunity to try howling and listen for a response. Red wolves howled at every weekly safari during 2005.
Prior to the presentation, the Red Wolf Coalition will have items available for sale, including T-shirts, hats, bumper stickers and journals. These sales support red wolf education and outreach and will also go toward building a red wolf visitor center near Columbia, NC.
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."
For a 2006 schedule or to register for a safari, please contact the Red Wolf Coalition 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.