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Red Wolf SSP by Jay Tetzloff

On April 29, 2017, four male Red Wolf pups were born at Miller Park Zoo (MPZ).  These pups are part of a wonderful conservation story that began in the 1970s.  At that time, only 14 pure Red Wolves roamed the planet.  By 1980, these wolves had been removed from the wild and placed in a breeding program to restore their population.

In 1984, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums joined forces to establish a long-term reproduction program as well as a Species Survival Plan (SSP) for the Red Wolves.  The SSP program was in its infancy and Red Wolves were one of the first endangered species to be placed in the program.

In 1987, the Red Wolf breeding and reintroduction programs proved successful when Red Wolves were released into their native environment at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, NC.  The first wild wolf pups were born a year later.  Since then, the wild Red Wolf population has been tracked and studied.  Their numbers continue to increase and now there are about 50 Red Wolves living in the wild.

Why is it so important to reintroduce Red Wolves in the wild?  Wolves are an “apex predator”.  Apex predators prevent species overpopulation by preying on a wide variety of animals.  When the apex predator disappears, the populations of other animals, such as white-tail deer or rabbits, explode and cause problems such as overgrazing.  Also, the apex predator tends to prey on weaker animals.  This helps to improve the genetic health of the prey animal populations.  Wolves are a key to keeping an ecosystem healthy.

The birth of the Red Wolf litter at Miller Park Zoo is significant to the SSP because it is the first offspring for our pair, Elohi (Dad) and Kawoni (Mom).  In the future, these pups will broaden the genetic diversity of the Red Wolf SSP and improving the chances of survival of this endangered species.

The Red Wolf Species Survival Plan is an outstanding example of successful zoo-based conservation.  Today, the SSP contains nearly 200 wolves in more than 40 facilities.  We at MPZ are proud of our contribution to the Red Wolf SSP and proud to say that this litter marks the fifth time Red Wolves have been born at MPZ.


WHO'S AT THE ZOO
{animals at Miller Park Zoo - list may not be current}
Mammals
African Hedgehog
Cairo Spiny Mouse
Callimico
Chinchilla
Cotton-Top Tamarin
Domestic Goat
Domestic Rabbit
Domestic Rat
Eurasian Red Squirrel
Grey Short-Tailed Opossum
Guinea Pig
Harbor Seal
Hill Wallaroo
Linne’s Two-Toed Sloth
Malayan Sun Bear
Meerkat
Mueller’s Gibbon
New Guinea Singing Dog
North American River Otter Northern Tree Shrew
Pallas’ Cat
Prehensile-Tailed Porcupine
Red-Handed Tamarin
Red Panda
Red Wolf Red
Ruffed Lemur
Reindeer
Rusty-Spotted Genet
San Clemente Island Goat
Snow Leopard
Sumatran Tiger
Three-Banded Armadillo
Virginia Opossum
White-Faced Saki

Amphibians
Asiatic Black-Spined Toad Axolotl
Brown Mantella
Colorado River Toad Golden Mantella
Golfodulcean Poison Dart Frog

Great Plains Toad
Kaiser Newt
Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad Panamanian Golden Frog Poison Dart Frog
Red-Eyed Tree Frog
Smoky Jungle Frog

Birds
Bald Eagle
Barn Owl
Bar-Headed Goose
Black-Billed Whistling Duck Blue-Capped Cordon Bleu Black-Necked Stilt
Blue-Black Grassquilt
Blue-Grey Tanager
Blue-Winged Parrotlet Brazilian Tanager Budgerigar
Burrowing Owl
Crested Quail Dove
Crimson-Backed Tanager Domestic Chicken
Eastern Screech Owl
Galah
Goffin’s Cockatoo
Gouldian Finch
Green Aracari
Green-Checked Amazon Parrot
Green-Winged Macaw Kookaburra
Northern Spotted Tanager Orange-Winged Amazon Parrot
Parrot-Billed Seedeater Peruvian Thick-Knee
Piping Guan
Red-Capped Cardinal
Red-Fronted Macaw
Red-Legged Honeycreeper Red-Tailed Hawk
Saffron Finch
Salmon-Crested Cockatoo Scarlet Ibis
Spotted Tanager
Sunbittern
Swan Goose
Tawny Frogmouth
Turkey Vulture
Turquoise Tanager
Troupial Variable Seedeater Violaceous Euphonia
White Cockatoo
White-Tailed Trogon


 

Reptiles
Asian Brown Tortoise
Baker's Spiny-tailed Iguana Ball Python
Blue-Tongued Skink
Brazilian Rainbow Boa Colombian Slider
Corn Snake
Crocodile Skink
Desert Rosy Boa
Eastern Box Turtle
Galapagos Tortoise
Green Tree Python
Indian Star Tortoise
Kenyan Sand Boa

Madagascar Giant Day Gecko
Mexican Beaded Lizard
New Caledonia Giant Gecko Prehensile-Tailed Skink Radiated Tortoise
Red-Footed Tortoise
Spiny-Tailed Lizard
Timor Python
Western Hognose Snake Yellow-Footed Tortoise

Invertebrates
Asian Forest Scorpion Caribbean Giant Cockroach Chilean Rose Tarantula Desert Hairy Scorpion
Giant African Millipede
Jade-Headed Buffalo Beetle
Madagascar Hissing Cockroach
Malaysian Walking Stick Mexican Red-Kneed Tarantula Millipede
Two-Spotted Assassin Bug

Fish
Blotched Foxface
Hippo Tang
Koi
Lawnmower Blenny
Leopard Wrasse
Ocellaris Clownfish

Miller Park Zoological Society © 2009