Charles Towne Landing now home to red wolf habitat

  • Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Sewee Visitor and Environmental Education Center in Awendaw is also one of the rare captive breeding sites in the nation for endangered red wolves. STAFF FILE PHOTO BY TYLER HEFFERNAN

On July 9, the South Carolina State Park Service unveiled a new Red Wolf habitat in the Animal Forest at Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, completing an acquisition process that started more than a year and a half ago. The Animal Forest contains species that were native to South Carolina at the time of the first English settlement in the colony, and Red Wolves, though absent from the state today, were common in 1670. To add Red Wolves to the Animal Forest, the park service went through a Red Wolf Species Survival Application process that required habitat design drawings of a facility that would hold four wolves of the same sex. A committee reviewed the application and the facility was inspected and approved by a member of the species survival board. In addition, Jillian DeLorge-Davis, the Animal Forest curator, attended a Red Wolf Species Survival education workshop in July of 2012. Charles Towne Landing Animal Forest has now become the newest cooperating institution to participate in the Red Wolf Species Survival Program, and has accepted the placement of four females born last year at Trevor Zoo in Millbrook, N.Y. The wolves will be living in a specially designed 9,000-square-foot habitat constructed by International Public Works for the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. The Animal Forest is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Red Wolf facts

Once located throughout the Southeast, only about 100 red wolves now roam freely in the region, all of them in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and nearby lands in East Lake, N.C.

• Class: Mammal Family: Canidae

• Size: weight = 50 – 80 lbs.

• Length = 44 – 65 inches including tail

• Length of tail = 12-17 inches

• Height = 26 – 31 inches at the shoulder

• Habitat: floodplain forests, swamps, upland forests, grasslands

• Diet: carnivorous – deer, rabbits, raccoons, rodents and nutria (non-native wetland rodent)

• Life Span: 6-8 years in the wild, 15 in captivity

Red Wolf Awareness:

• These wolves are part of the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan.

• Currently, 42 facilities across the U.S. participate in the program.

• Red wolves exist today due to a captive breeding program begun in the 1970s.

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