Commissioned by Samantha Levreault
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This work was inspired by the life of the endangered red wolf. Found exclusively in the wilds of North Carolina, the red wolf is studied by many researchers who find themself uniquely interested in North American endangered fauna for its beautiful salvation story. The red wolf reminds us that we are not the only species that inhabit the Earth, and we need to take care of all living things. T
he techniques used in the work are imitations of howling and chuffing sounds produced by the red wolf.
Below is an article excerpt by Dr. Jessie Williams, an expert in the red wolf sanctuary.
"That one small dot on the horizon made all the difference in the day. In fact, it made all the difference in the world. That dot proved a point. It revealed to us that there was still hope. Defenders of Wildlife's Heather Clarkson and I were traveling along the dusty roads of Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina, the only place in the world where wild red wolves exist. American red wolves are so close to extinction in the wild, we could have counted them all on our fingers. Red wolves are so leery of humans, we knew we would be lucky to count any at all. Heather and I would have been overjoyed just to see a footprint, a pile of scat or to hear a howl.
The American red wolf is the most endangered canid in the world, and most endangered mammal in the United States. They are critically endangered. This is especially sad because they are "our wolf." They are uniquely American. Yet we have let them down. Their history mimics that of many of America's carnivores. Back when we had little understanding of the importance of apex carnivores to the health of ecosystems, we exterminated them. Heather and I knew there were only eight wolves roaming the 152,000 square mile refuge, and we dedicated the entire day to finding them.
Wolf 1849F spent the majority of her life as matriarch to her pack. She witnessed a fickle historyof American red wolf conservation. At one point, red wolves were declared extinct in the wild. But with application of some very determined and creative conservation methods, the wild red wolf population rebounded to nearly 150 individuals, with a safety net of around 200 in captivity. The red wolf recovery program was considered not only successful, but stood as a model for the rescue of several other endangered species.
In spite of success, sadly, the red wolf recovery project was gradually abandoned. Wolf 1849F watched her species dwindle in the wild to less than ten individuals, teetering on extinction yet again. But Americans would not have it. A public outcry and the work of a few conservation organizations turned the tide. A court mandate ordered the federal government to step in immediately and aggressively. Within a year, the assisted wild population grew to nearly twenty. This story is not over. Americans need to keep their eyes on this. History reveals a clear correlation between public will and red wolf existence."