Tags: mexican | wolf | missouri | breed | endangered species

Mexican Wolf Pup in Missouri Raises Hope for Breed

Image: Mexican Wolf Pup in Missouri Raises Hope for Breed

A Mexican wolf pup was born this month at the Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka, Missouri. (Endangered Wolf Center)

By    |   Tuesday, 25 Apr 2017 08:40 AM

A Mexican wolf pup was born in Missouri by inseminating a frozen embryo, giving hope that the endangered species can be saved.

The birth at the Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka, Missouri, happened April 2 with assistance from the St. Louis Zoo, officials there told WTVI. Genetic samples from the wolves taken over the past 20 years were used in the artificial insemination.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the samples were collected by the zoo's research and animal staff and stored at its cryopreservation gene bank. The insemination happened Jan. 27.

"That's the first time in history this has ever been done," Regina Mossotti, director of animal care and conservation at the center, told WTVI. "The Endangered Wolf Center has been working with the St. Louis Zoo and the Fish and Wildlife Service for over 20 years to collect semen in the hopes that this would be able to happen someday. And the technology has finally caught up and we were successful and able to have a pup."

According to the Post-Dispatch, the Mexican wolf was eliminated from the wild in the United States in the 1970s and from Mexico in the 1980s.

"Reproductive technologies, such as frozen semen and artificial insemination, were developed to support gene diversity by allowing reproduction between genetically valuable individuals at different locations and even after natural death of a male," a joint statement from the Endangered Wolf Center, St. Louis Zoo, and the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens in Palm Desert, California, said, according to the Post-Dispatch.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the Mexican wolf is the rarest subspecies of gray wolf in North America. In 1977, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service started efforts to conserve the species.

Mexican wolves were released to the wild for the first time in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area within the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area in 1998. The howl of the Mexican wolf can be heard in the mountains of the southwestern United States because of the recovery plan, wrote FWS.

WTVI reported that there are only about 130 Mexican wolves left in the wild and most of those are found in the United States in Arizona and New Mexico.

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A Mexican wolf pup was born in Missouri by inseminating a frozen embryo, giving hope that the endangered species can be saved.
mexican, wolf, missouri, breed, endangered species
369
2017-40-25
Tuesday, 25 Apr 2017 08:40 AM
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