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Red Wolf - Canis rufus

red wolf

Characteristics
Range
Habitat
Diet
Life Cycle
Behavior

 Classification

 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Mammalia
 Order: Carnivora
 Family: Canidae
 Genus: Canis

Red Wolf
ICUN Redlist - World Status: Near Threatened Critically Endangered
US Fish and Wildlife - US Status: Endangered in US Endangered
 
  Characteristics
Red WolfThe red wolf has gray or black fur mixed with red, especially on its legs and sides. Ot has a long snout and a long, black-tipped tail. It is larger than a coyote and smaller than a gray wolf. The red wolf weighs between 45-80 pounds and stands about two feet tall from shoulders to feet and is about four feet long from nose to the tip of its tail.

  Range

mapThe red wolf once roamed over much of the eastern United States, but by the early 1900s it had disappeared from all states except Texas and Louisiana. The red wolves in those states were mating with coyotes and the population was becoming hybridized. Fearing the species would become extinct, the US Fish and Wildlife Service captured fourteen pure red wolves and started raising them in captivity.

Red WolfBy the 1980s, the red wolf had become extinct in the wild. The first group of captive wolves was released in the Alligator Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina in 1987. The refuge was chosen because it had no coyote population. Today, there are more than 100 red wolves in and around the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern North Carolina and over 200 red wolves in captive breeding facilities across the United States.

  Habitat
The red wolf makes its home in swamps, forests, and coastal plains.

 
  Diet

Red WolfThe red wolf is a carnivore. It eats rabbits, birds, rodents and occasionally white-tailed deer. It also eats carrion or dead animals.

 


  Life Cycle
Red WolfRed wolves mate from February through March. Two months after mating the female gives birth to a litter of between two and ten pups. Both the male and the female care for the young. Only the alpha male and female in a pack mate. Other wolves in the pack will help care for the young and bring food to the female.

  Behavior
Red WolfThe red wolf is mostly nocturnal, although it is sometimes active in the day during the winter months. It makes its den along stream banks in the enlarged burrows of other animals, under tree stumps or in hollow logs. The red wolf is a relatively social animals and it lives in packs that may include a breeding male and female and their pups. Occasionally, there is a second male in the group. Red wolves will sometimes form packs to hunt.




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