2nd Block APES

Red Wolf (Canis Rufus)

Nickname: None


external image redwolf.jpg
Category: Mammal

Physical description: Red wolves are known for their reddish colored fur which is most apparent behind the ears and along the neck and legs. However, they are mostly brown with some black along their backs. To gray wolves and coyotes, the red wolves are intermediate in size. A red wolf, on average for an adult, weighs 45-80 pounds. On average they stand about 26 inches at the shoulder and is about 4 feet long from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail.

Diet: Red wolves prefer to eat white-tailed deer and raccoon, but will eat other animals if available.

Breeding: Adult red wolves mate between February and March every year. Two to three babies may be born during April or May. Once the young are of 6 months old they are mature enough to leave their parents and go off on their own.


Location: Red wolves today roam more than 1.7 million acres throughout northeastern North Carolina, including Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge.
Historic range: Red wolves ranged throughout the southeastern U.S. from Pennsylvania to Florida and as far west as Texas.
Live/nest: The biome for the red wolves is temperate deciduous forest. They live in coastal prairie and marsh areas.
Migratory: Yes, they will follow a food source if needed to ensure survival.
Hibernate: No, they hunt during the winter season.
Predators: Humans. With the decline in the population of red wolves, coyotes have been able to enter the territories of the red wolves and compete for food and other resources.


Red wolves have lost their habitat because of human development, negative attitudes that hinder restoration, harsh weather, death due to motor vehicles, and illegal killings. Interbreeding with coyotes have also caused problems and restoring the population of the red wolves species. The logging of humans has destroyed the forests in which the red wolves live in. From 1900 to the 1920s, red wolves were hunted due to their predation on cattle in nearby areas of their habitats.


In 2008, the Navy decided not to build an airstrip adjacent to a habitat that holds the only wild population of endangered red wolves. Legal action has been taken to ensure the safety of the red wolves. The Endangered Species List (ESL) has the red wolves on a list that enforces special regulations in designated areas. A remaining population of red wolves consisting of 17 red wolves, found along the Gulf coast of Texas and Louisiana. 14 of the 17 red wolves were taken by biologists and placed into a breeding program that became successful. Enough wolves were bred to start a restoration program on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern North Carolina. Since then, several more wildlife refugees have opened up to help increase the population of red wolves. Currently, adaptive management efforts have been able to reduce the threat of coyotes taking the red wolves' place in their habitat.