The Red Wolf
Beautiful and Threatened
The Most Endangered Canid in the World
The red wolf, or Canis rufus, is a dog of the biological family Canidae. Their population was large until the mid/late 1970s, when they were proclaimed endangered. By 1780, the red wolf was said to be extinct in the wild. Red wolves were predominant in the southeastern United States, including the Coastal Plain and Piedmont regions.
The red wolf's extinction in the wild can be attributed to unceasing and intense predator control programs, along with habitat destruction. However, the red wolf is protected by federal recovery plans and laws.
Dreaming for a Future
Although the fate of the red wolf may seem bleak, we should have hope in our hearts for the success of the recovery schemes. Before 1980, when this species was on the verge of extinction, a mad rush to capture the healthy bunch of the survivors by biologists commenced. 17 red wolves were captured, and of the lot 14 were easily bred in captivity. A restoration program has been created with an experimental population on the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.