Critically Endangered Red wolf killed in North Carolina23/09/2012 21:02:08 Reward offered for information
September 2012. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service is requesting assistance with an investigation involving the suspected illegal take of a radio-collared red wolf that was recently found dead. The red wolf is protected under The Endangered Species Act.
Extinct in the wild
The red wolf (Canis rufus) is one of the world's most endangered wild canids. Once common throughout the south-eastern United States, red wolf populations were decimated by the 1960's due to intensive predator control programs and loss of habitat. A remnant population of red wolves was found along the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana. After being declared an endangered species in 1967, efforts were initiated to locate and capture as many wild red wolves as possible. Of the 17 remaining wolves captured by biologists, 14 became the founders of a successful captive breeding program. Consequently, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service declared red wolves extinct in the wild in 1980.
Released back into the wild
100 wild wolves, 200 in captivity
Red wolves are social animals that live in packs consisting of a breeding pair and their offspring of different years, typically five to eight animals. Red wolves prey on a variety of wild mammals such as raccoon, rabbit, white-tailed deer, nutria, and other rodents. Most active at dusk and dawn, red wolves are elusive and generally avoid humans and human activity.
The maximum criminal penalties for the unlawful taking of a red wolf are one year imprisonment and $100,000 fine per individual. Anyone with information on the death of this red wolf or any others, past or future, is urged to contact Special Agent Sandra Allred at (919) 856-4786, Refuge Officer Frank Simms at (252) 216-7504 or North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Officer Robert Wayne at (252) 216-8225.