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Adopt a Red Wolf

Smaller and ruddier in color than their gray wolf cousins, the red wolf is one of the most endangered canids in the world. Though red wolves once ranged across the southeastern United States, years of hunting and habitat loss had driven the species to the brink of extinction by 1970. As part of an ambitious captive-breeding program, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service captured the 14 remaining red wolves they could find in the wild. These wolves are the ancestors of the 100-120 animals that now live in North Carolina, the first animal to be successfully reintroduced after being declared extinct in the wild. Equally at home in forests, swamps, and coastal prairies, red wolves can thrive in a wide range of habitats. Historically the red wolf ranged from southeastern Texas to central Pennsylvania. Today the only place red wolves can be found in the wild is in eastern North Carolina Albemarle Peninsula. Red wolves mate for life, and each pack is formed around the breeding pair. Usually red wolves form a group of 5 to 8, composed of the breeding male and female and their offspring from different years. The pack is a very close family unit. Older offspring will help the breeding male and female raise their younger siblings, and will also attend the den. Within 1 to 3 years the younger wolves will leave the pack in search of their own mates and territory. Each pack has its own home range, which the wolves will hunt in and defend from other canids. Red wolves are fiercely territorial creatures, and will even fight other wolves if needed. Help NWF in its efforts to protect and recover the wild places that sustain wildlife. Adopt a red wolf today!


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