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- A smaller relative of the grey wolf, the red wolf is one of the rarest canids in the world.
- The red wolf was declared extinct in the wild in 1980, but fortunately a captive breeding program enabled the species to be reintroduced.
- As of 2010, the reintroduced population of red wolves was thought to total around 130 individuals.
- Breeding pairs of red wolves mate for life, and typically live in small packs with their offspring.
Red wolf biology
The red wolf is generally a crepuscular species, most active at dawn and dusk. It lives in discrete packs, which have an exclusive territory within their home range. A pack typically contains a breeding pair (who mate for life) and their offspring, although larger packs have been recorded. The breeding season occurs between January and March, and dens are located among dense vegetation, in deep burrows between fields or in canal banks, or in the hollows of large trees. Litters contain an average of three to six pups, but may range up to eight pups. The breeding pair both rear the young with help from the other young members of the pack. Offspring typically disperse from their natal pack between 15 to 20 months old.
This wolf preys on mammals such as swamp rabbits, coypu, deer and raccoon, and is also reported to feed on carrion.