North Carolina Red Wolf

(Canis rufus)

About the Red Wolf

Native to the Mountain region of North Carolina, the red wolf is one of the world’s most endangered wild dogs. They used to be common throughout the southeastern United States, but the red wolf populations had dropped a lot by the 1960s because of major "predator control" programs, simply because people feared them, and loss of habitat. The last of the wolves were taken into captivity,as there were only 17 left. They were officially declared extinct in the wild. To protect the species, in 1987, enough red wolves were bred in captivity to begin a restoration program on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina. Since then, the area has expanded to include three national wildlife refuges, state-owned lands, and private property, spanning a total of 1.5 million acres.