Red Wolf (Canis Rufus)

What can you do to help?

Species Information

Current Status:
This animal is currently a critically endangered species. They were common throughout the eastern and south-central US, but designated as an endangered species in 1967. There are an estimated 100 in their native habitats and about 200 held in captive breeding facilities. They were actually said to be extinct in 1980 because there were only about 20 of red wolves, but because they were held in captive breeding facilities, they mated to make a lot more red wolves.


  • Primarily nocturnal
  • Communicate by scent marking, vocalizations, facial expressions and body postures
  • Hunt in groups
  • Small and fast
  • Coat is a cinnamon or tawny red with grey and black touches for camouflage
  • Smaller than grey wolves
  • Thinner coat


Historically red wolves ranged in the southeastern US. They ranged from Pennsylvania to Florida and as far west as Texas. Today they can be found in northeastern North Carolina.



Habitat loss and fragmentation are a major cause in the decline of red wolves. Fragmentation especially helped in the decline of these animals. Because of barriers and habitat conservation on both public and private land, it is a major threat to red wolves in the North Carolina where they inhabit. Also, because these species are wide-ranging in their movements, the fault is on humans taking the land for their own use and leaving the red wolves with no where to inhabit.

Other threats to red wolves include other natural or human factors. This can include gunshot mortality and vehicular strikes on red wolves that can be serious to the species. Eastern coyotes are also a threat since they prey on the red wolves.


Red Wolves

Current Conservation Efforts

Current efforts and groups have been quite successful in the preservation of red wolves. Groups such as FWS and the Red Wolf Sanctuary and Raptor Rehabilitation Center, from Indiana, help to preserve the species and many other endangered species in North America. Other groups have kept these endangered animals kept in captive breeding facilities because there was such a small amount of red wolves left that they needed to have them mate to repopulate the world with this animal.

Some treaties to the red wolf are as follows.
"Coordination with other federal agencies under Section 7 (interagency coordination) will assist in avoiding

and minimizing impacts from federal projects to the red wolf and could provide opportunities or activities that will contribute to the

conservation and recovery of the red wolf. In addition, through Section 6 funding, opportunities with the State may be utilized for

conservation efforts." (

"With a large portion of the NEP recovery area comprised of private lands, opportunities exist to utilize other ESA programs in the

conservation and recovery of red wolves. For example, a revision of the experimental designation under Section 4 could enhance the ability

of the recovery program to be more effective. Also, Section 10 permits could include scientific programs to promote recovery and could

also include HCPs for land acquisition to provide additional habitats." (

Links to Articles


This species is important because we need to keep biodiversity and why would we let an animal as amazing as the red wolf go extinct? Red wolves affect the ecosystem because they were once very prevalent and now they are at a close number of going extinct. The deer and raccoon need to be eaten by this animal, and if the red wolves aren't of existence, that could cause an overpopulation of these two animals. Saving the red wolves can impact the economy on lessening the hunt and vehicle accidents of these animals. We can help by contributing to the organizations and making sure people don't kill the red wolves, mistaking them for a coyote. This would lessen the amount of red wolves and save their existence.