To begin, what is a Mammal?
A Mammal is an Animal that is a
hairy, warm blooded,
vertebrate (has a backbone) that
breathes air, gives birth live,
and the female of the species nurses
The Red Wolf, who once roamed freely in many parts
of the Country, had become so decimated by 1967,
that adding it to the Endangered Species List,
(ESL) was its last and only hope.
See a great history of them here:
Endangered Red Wolves
The other two Florida Species had been hunted to
Ranchers and farmers fear of wolves killing their stock,
Habitat encroachment and just general ignorance
were the biggest factors in their road to extinction.
A few years later, in 1969, fearing the complete extinction
of the species, a small number of them were carefully
selected and taken into captivity for protective breeding.
By 1980, the Red Wolf was considered extinct in the wild.
Today in several Southern states including Florida,
the Red Wolf is being protected and carefully watched.
They are making a small, but important
last stand for their own survival.
A Red Wolf Father with Pups
Photo credit: Greg Koch/USFWS
Of the nearly 300 still alive, over 200 live in captivity,
but the others are in the wild, so there is hope.
In Florida, the Endangered Red Wolf has
been re-introduced in a small isolated setting
on St. Vincent Island off the Panhandle.
The Florida Red Wolf stands 14-16 inches high,
weighs between 40-80 pounds and is
4.5 to 5.5 feet long.
Their diet consists of small mammals
like, rabbits and raccoon and rodents.
The average life span is between 13-16 years.
Red Wolves mate for life, as do most other of the
Genus Canis and have very strong family bonds.
Unlike the Grey Wolf, there are no reports
of a Red Wolf ever attacking a Human.
Photo credit: USFWS
The shy Red Wolf prefers to hunt alone or
with his family, a mate and one offspring.
Places to learn more:
No Airstrip in Red Wolf Territory
Edge of Existence
Field Trip Earth
Wolves of Alligator River
Oldest Mammal Found
Red Wolf Back from Extinction
World of the
New York State Museum
Red Wolf Coalition
Timeline of the
Red Wolf Recovery
University of California Museum of Paleontology
The Hall of Mammals
University of Michigan
Western North Carolina Nature Center