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Red Wolf

Red Wolf (Canis Lupus Rufus)A Red Wolf at Tacoma, WA Pt. Defiance Zoo, USA.A Red Wolf showing it's long tongue.Red Wolf (Canis Lupus Rufus)Red Wolf (Canis Lupus Rufus)
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Red Wolf Facts

Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
Scientific Name:
The name of the animal in science
Canis Lupus Rufus
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
Size (L):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
95cm - 120cm (37in - 47in)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
18kg - 41kg (40lbs - 90lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
75km/h (46mph)
How long the animal lives for
10 - 12 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Critically Endangered
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Red, Grey, Black, Brown, White
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Favourite Food:
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
Coastal prairie and marshland
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from
Deer, Rodents, Raccoons
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Wolves, Coyotes, Humans
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to this animal
Reddish fur and thin white legs

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Red Wolf Location

Map of Red Wolf Locations
Map of North America

Red Wolf

The red wolf is a medium sized species of wolf, found in the coastal marshlands of southern parts of eastern North America. By the 1970s the pure red wolf was thought to be extinct in the wild, but a population has since been reintroduced in North Carolina that is said to now be up to 100 red wolf individuals.

The red wolf was roamed across the south-eastern United States from Texas to Florida to New York. The red wolf's historical habitat included areas of forest, swampland and coastal prairies where it would have been one of the top predators. Today however, the world's red wolf population is confined to a protected area in North Carolina.

The red wolf is generally smaller in size than the grey wolf, found in more northern parts of North America. Red wolves are named for their cinnamon coloured fur, which is brownish-red with dark patches on their backs. Red wolves also have broad noses and large looking ears for the size of their head.

In a similar way to other canines, and indeed other wolf species, the red wolf is a very sociable animal, living in a pack with a number of other red wolf individuals. Red wolf packs usually contain a dominant male and female and their offspring and contain between 2 and 10 members. The red wolf is also a highly territorial animal, with the red wolf pack guarding its range from intrusion by other red wolf packs in the area.

Although red wolves are known to hunt together as a group in order to catch a larger animal such as a deer, red wolves primarily eat smaller ground-dwelling animals such as rabbits and rodents. Red wolves also eat birds, raccoons and other small animals. When trying to hunt a larger animal, the red wolf pack works together to confuse and corner their prey.

In their historical range, red wolves were considered to be one of the most dominant predators within their environment, only coming under threat from larger canines such as grey wolves or the occasional coyote. Human hunters wiped out the red wolf population in large parts of their natural range, and the population was finally thought to become extinct primarily due to habitat loss.

Red wolves are usually able to reproduce by the time they are 2 years old and begin mating in the warmer spring months of February and March. The female red wolf gives birth to a litter of up to 10 cubs after a gestation period that lasts for around 60 days. Cubs are born blind and are nursed by the rest of the pack until they are able to hunt for themselves and either remain with their parents or leave to start a pack of their own.

Today, the red wolf is no longer extinct in the wild since their reintroduction to North Carolina in 1987, and the population there is now thought to be just over 100 red wolf individuals. Nevertheless, the red wolf is still considered to be a critically endangered animal and is regarded as the 10th most endangered animal species in the world.

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First Published: 9th August 2010, Last Updated: 8th November 2019

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2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
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4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 09 Aug 2010]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 09 Aug 2010]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 09 Aug 2010]