Thursday, June 23rd • Reception 6:30 pm, film 7:15 pm
Red Wolf Awareness Raiser for Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center and WildSouth
On Thursday, June 23, Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center, along with Wild South, will host a film screening and reception to celebrate the last red wolf population left in the world. Coming just weeks after conservation groups submitted an emergency petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) demanding increased preservation efforts, the screening and reception will showcase this distinct and highly endangered species, as well as demonstrate some of the ways we can help preserve the existing – but fast-dwindling – red wolf population. The reception begins at 6:30 p.m. at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church on Signal Mountain, and the screening, a documentary by Roshan Patel entitled “Red Wolf Revival” and a short film, “How Wolves Change Rivers,” will start at 7:15.
Red wolves, which once roamed much of the southeastern United States, faced near complete extinction by the 1960s. Conservation groups preserved 14 red wolves in captivity, and in 1987 released four breeding pairs into northeastern North Carolina. Although the population expanded significantly over the following decades to about 120 in 2010, it has since declined, primarily because hunters mistake the animals for coyotes. In 2016, there are approximately 50 red wolves left in the wild, and this population faces immediate threat of extinction.
Reflection Riding, which is home to a breeding pair of red wolves and their three two-month-old pups, is one of several places that has managed to successfully breed red wolves in captivity. The petition to the USFWS calls for, among other things, the establishment of a larger wild red wolf population across southern states by releasing additional wolves into the wild. Until recently, red wolves have served as a model for the restoration of a near-extinct species to its former habitat. Following the film, Defenders of Wildlife spokesperson Ben Prater will lead a talk on immediate action we can take to preserve the most endangered mammal in North America, and Tish Gailmard will discuss Reflection Riding’s efforts to breed and protect red wolves. Join Reflection Riding, Wild South, and advocates for red wolves to learn about and discuss this distinct species. Time is running out.
St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church
630 Mississippi Avenue
Signal Mountain, TN 37377
To register call 423-821-1160 for more information on this event.