A potential love connection on St. Vincent Island

Red Wolf
Special to The Star
Published: Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 09:53 AM.

Red wolves are a critically endangered species and researchers are hoping the recent introduction of a young male red wolf on St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge will assist in adding to the numbers.

A three-and-a-half year old healthy male red wolf was recently flown to St. Vincent by the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC), according to a release from the center.

The goal is to introduce the wolf to a potential mate on the remote barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, which has several wolves within its boundaries.

Born at the WCC, the new male wolf is one of five captive red wolves living at the center as part of its participation in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) for the critically endangered species.

Currently, less than 100 live in the wild, all of them in North Carolina’s Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, while fewer than 200 are in captivity.

The male wolf was selected to be paired with one of the females currently living on St. Vincent because of his genetic profile.

“He’s the best breeding match for her in the SSP program in terms of diversity,” said Rebecca Bose, WCC curator, “It’s kind of like online dating except based almost exclusively on genetics. And of course the stakes – the survival of a species – are much higher.”

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