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Red Wolf

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Red Wolf

Red Wolf
(Canis rufus)

Red Wolves are only one of two species of wolves in the world. The other species is the larger Gray Wolf. In 1973 they were declared an endangered species and in 1980 the USFWS officially declared the Red Wolf extinct in the wild. However the USFWS captured 17 red wolves prior to 1980 and has used an extensive breading program in over 38 zoos and nature centers around the US to bring their numbers back to around 265 individuals as of August 2005. In 1987 the Red Wolf was reintroduced first into the wilds of North Carolina and it is estimated that there are over 100 Red Wolves in the wild now. Another 165 or so are still in the captive breeding programs. Read the USFWS pamphlet to your right for more detailed information about this reintroduction.


Red Wolf Facts:


  • An adult red wolf weighs between 50-80 pounds and is about 4 feet long from the tip of its tail to its nose.
  • Red Wolves eat rabbits, deer, raccoons and rodents.
  • Red Wolves live in packs of 5 to 8 individuals. The packs consist of an adult breeding pair and their young of different ages.
  • They are called red wolves because of the reddish color of fur mostly behind their ears and along their legs and neck.
  • Best place to see or hear the Red Wolf in the wilds is the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge on the Coast of North Carolina.

In the early part of the 20th century extensive predator control program basically wiped out the entire red wolf population. Only two populations of red wolf were believe to exist by the late 1930s. One in the Ozarks/Quachita Mountain region of Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma and one in southeastern Texas and southern Louisiana. Today with over 265 animals in captivity and in the wild red wolves are starting to make a slow comeback.


For more information about Red Wolves visit the USFWS site below.


Red Wolf Recovery Project

Red Wolf PDF Cover Photo
USFWS - Pamphlet on Saving the Red Wolf
PDF File ( 297 KB Size)

Red Wolf with Pup photo
Greg Koch USFWS Photo

Red Wolf Photo
Greg Koch USFWS Photo

Red Wolf Panting Photo
Baron Crawford USFWS Photo

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