Canids Specialist Group

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ResourcesPopulation viability analysis and demographic models of endangered red wolves


To guide the restoration of endangered red wolf, researchers from the Lincoln Park Zoo, Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are developing population viability analysis (PVA) to evaluate management strategies and to predict future scenarios. The development of baseline in situ red wolf population viability models will provide a reference for understanding red wolf population trends and the effects of factors such as increased human-caused mortality on extinction risk and other demographic processes.  The team is simultaneously developing a parallel model for the ex situ population to enable evaluation of its viability and its ability to serve as a source of individuals for the reintroduction of red wolves in situ.  These results of the PVA will inform management efforts in the current reintroduced population, and will be critical to successfully establishing additional restoration/reintroduction sites. Determining and understanding red wolf population dynamics and trends in both in situ and ex situ populations would greatly enhance the ability of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Red Wolf Recovery Program and participants in the red wolf Species Survival Plan to conserve the species and advance red wolf recovery goals.