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redwolf1.jpg - image of red wolfRed Wolves in North Carolina


Canis rufus

STATUS: Endangered

DESCRIPTION: A medium-sized, wild canid, the red wolf resembles the coyote but is larger and more robust. Its legs and ears are relatively longer than the coyote's. The red wolf's coloration is similar to that of the coyote, but the tawny element is more pronounced, and the pelage is usually somewhat coarser. This species is slightly smaller than the gray wolf (C. lupus) with a more slender and elongated head. It's pelage is shorter and coarser than in any race of lupus.

RANGE AND POPULATION LEVEL: The red wolf was once found throughout the southeastern United States, from the Atlantic coast to central Texas and from the Gulf Coast to central Missouri and southern Illinois. Between the period of 1900 to 1920, red wolves were extirpated from most of the eastern portion of their range. A small number persisted in the wild in southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana until the late 1970s. By 1980, the species was determined to be extinct in the wild.

To get current information on Red Wolf populations and recovery efforts, please vist the Red Wolf Recovery Program Homepage.

HABITAT: The last red wolves were found in coastal prairie and marsh habitat because this was the last area in which the animals were allowed to remain. Any habitat area in the southeastern United States of sufficient size, which provides adequate food, water, and the basic cover requirement of heavy vegetation, should be suitable habitat for the red wolf. Telemetry studies indicate that red wolf home range requirements vary from about 25 to 50 square miles.

Currently, there is an experimental population of red wolves which is being managed from the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.

Species Distribution from known occurrences. Species may occur in similar habitats in other counties.Green counties indicate observed within 20 years. Yellow counties indicate an obscure data reference to the species in the county. Red counties indicate observed more than 20 years ago.

redwolf.gif - North Carolina county map with species location

Species Location Map based on information provided by the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program.

For additional information regarding Red Wolves, please vist the Red Wolf Recovery Program Homepage.

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