Red Wolf

The Red Wolf is part of the animal kingdom of the southern and central United States.
It formerly ranged from the coast of Texas to Florida and as far north as Missouri and some say even Nebraska.

There are three subspecies which were recognized as red wolves, one of which (the Florida Red Wolf) was extinct in the early 1930’s, The Texas Red Wolf and the Mississippi Red Wolf.

They are named Red wolves for their orange red fur, which ranges from bright to rust colored.

The Red Wolf is much smaller and has a more thin/slender body than its cousin the grey wolf.

Red Wolf
Red Wolf

Red wolves live in packs, much as grey wolves to, only smaller, ranging from 4 to 10 wolves, including mated pairs and children.
Much like the gray wolf, the Red wolf was persecuted greatly by humankind. This, in conjunction with the loss of its native habitat brought it to hovering on the brink of extinction.

The red wolf is the wolf of the southeast central United States. Its former range extended from Texas to Florida, and at least as far north as Missouri.

Three subspecies are recognized: the Florida (extinct by 1930), Mississippi Valley, and Texas red wolf. Named for its rusty-red fur, the red wolf is smaller and more slender than the grey wolf.

In 1970 very few true Red Wolves were left. A very minute population still remained in Texas, and Louisiana.

Researchers determined that survival without assistance of the same human intervention which had caused their destruction would be patently impossible.

Many Red wolves, because of the loss of breeding partners had bred with coyotes, and as such not the entire population of Red Wolves remained genetically pure.

In the late seventies a breeding program began which took from the wild 14 of the red wolves which were found to be genetically pure and they were bred back.

By early 1980, there were effectively no Red Wolves existing in the wild. They were determined to be extinct. In 1988, the first release of red wolves occurred in North Caroline.

By the end of the first year, they had reproduced on their own and wild wolves were born for the first time since the Red wolf had been considered extinct.

Concurrent releases of Red Wolves have since taken place in Tennessee as well as Florida.
In the early 1990’s there were only 80 Red Wolves left scattered in 8 different locations in the US.

In 2003 that number had risen slightly to 100 Red wolves which were free ranging in 20 packs in the United States.

Today in 2007 the number of Red Wolves continues to rise, but only slightly each year. The animal is considered to be critically endangered and still in need of great assistance.

Each Red wolf left to us today takes its origins from the original 14 which were captured in the early 1970’s.

Without mans interventions, the Red Wolf would now be extinct. Yet, without mans interventions. The Red Wolf would never have been endangered to begin with.

Find out more about the Red Wolf over at Wikipedia »


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