KidZone home page
DLTK's Crafts for Kids

KidZone Animals
Types of Wolves: Red Wolf

© written by Tasha Guenther

Red Wolf Stare
Red Wolf Stare
Photographer; License CC BY 2.0

The Red wolf (Canis rufus) is easily identifiable by its relatively short, cinnamon-coloured fur coat. The red wolf is much, much smaller than the average gray wolf. Similar to the Mexican gray wolf, the largest red wolves measure in at only 80 pounds, and are only slightly larger than the average coyote (and are, thus, often mistaken for them).

In the early 1980s, the red wolf was declared extinct in the wild. Thanks to the hard work of nature conservatists and scientists, however, they managed to salvage the species using breeding (mating) techniques. In 1987, 4 pairs of wolves (8 wolves in total) were released into the wild from a wildlife refuge in North Carolina in the United States. This marked the first ever reintroduction of an extinct species into the wild! By 1988, the first red wolf cubs in 10 years were born in the wild. Now there are over 20 red wolf packs in the wild, with hundreds of wolves running free. What a success!

Of all wolf species, the red wolf is the most territorial. A pack of red wolves will violently guard their territory from other packs. They live in smaller family packs than most species of wolves--usually anywhere from two to 10 wolves per pack.

They are rarely seen but very often heard, especially in North Carolina, where their howl can be heard by hikers, campers, and tourists along the famous beaches on the Outer Banks.