Red Wolf Facts
- The Red Wolf remains considered as the 6th rarest creature on earth and the rarest of all known wolves. The IUCN currently lists this beautiful canid as Critically Endangered.
- By the year 1980, only 20 individuals remained, all in captivity. As a result of a breeding program, it was subsequently reintroduced into the wild in North Carolina in 1987.
- Currently, roughly 200 individuals exist in captivity, while studies estimate its numbers in the wild to be slightly more than 100 individuals.
Red Wolf Physical Description
The lovely Red Wolf is a rather moderate-sized wild canine, approximately midway between the coyote and the gray wolf, with no noticeable degree of sexual dimorphism present.
Also, adults average 53.5 – 63 in (136 – 160 cm) in length and weigh an average of between 50 – 85 lb (23 – 39 kg). However, exceptional individuals sometimes attain larger sizes roughly equal to that of the gray wolf.
The fur also typically displays a tawny to gray in color, with numerous shades presented. In addition, white markings present themselves around the eyes and lips.
Its legs develop longer and slimmer than most related species, and the ears also grow proportionately much larger as well.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Carnivora
- Family: Canidae
- Genus: Canis
- Species: C. rufus
Red Wolf Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Evidence indicates that the range of the majestic Red Wolf once extended throughout what now forms the entire southeastern United States, in North America. This extended from Pennsylvania to Texas.
Due to conservation efforts and reintroduction efforts following its near extinction, its range currently covers five counties and 1.7 million acres (687,965 hectares) in various parts of North Carolina.
Since its historical distribution included a wide range of habitat types, experts assume it was a highly adaptable animal. The last known natural populations inhabited areas of swamps, prairie marshes, and even agricultural fields.
Evidence also indicates that the Red Wolf typically constituted an apex predator within its endemic range. As a carnivore, its diet usually includes smaller prey such as rabbits, raccoons, and rodents, but occasionally includes larger prey such as deer.
Species Sharing Its Range