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June 18, 2018  |  Login

Red Wolf
Canis rufus

What Are They Like?

Once a prominent predator that roamed the Southeastern United States, the red wolf has been driven to the brink of extinction; the population has shrunk to roughly a hundred individuals left in the wild. Red wolves can reach up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) in length and weigh up to 90 pounds (41 kilograms). Their coat may be cinnamon-brown or gray, with dark shading along the back and tail.

Where Do They Live?

Red wolf populations in the wild can only be found in North Carolina. They inhabit a variety of terrain, ranging from agricultural lands to forest/wetlands.

Did You Know?
The only two species of wolves in North America are the gray Wolf and the red Wolf.

How Are Babies Made?

Like gray wolves, red wolves mate for life. Females usually produce a single litter of one to ten pups per year.

What Do They Eat?

Red wolves are carnivores and hunt rabbits, raccoons and white-tailed deer.

Did You Know?
The Red Wolf's large ears help it cool down in hot and humid climates.

What Do They Do?

Red wolves are social animals and live in small packs, usually consisting of a dominant breeding pair and their offspring. These groups may be made up of two to twelve wolves. Red wolves tend to be most active from dusk until dawn, and often hunt alone.

How Concerned Should We Be?

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which keeps a "Red List" of species in danger worldwide, lists the red wolf as "critically endangered." In 1980, red wolves officially became extinct in the wild, and only existed in captivity.

What's Being Done?

After a series of successful captive breeding programs, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service reintroduced them back into the wild in 1987. As of now, that wild population is still extremely low, and the survival of the species is threatened by interbreeding with coyotes and habitat loss caused by humans.


Red Wolves

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