An Historical View: A Look Back at the Red Wolf in Louisiana and Texas

The Wolf Conservation Center hosted Amy Shutt of The Canid Project on September 23, 2021 at 6 pm ET for a discussion about the history of red wolves in North America.

When and why did the Red Wolf disappear from Louisiana and Texas, the last strongholds of this endemic North American species? By tracking down archival reports of the Red Wolf in Louisiana and Texas, including previously overlooked newspaper accounts and unpublished correspondence, and by compiling an atlas of all known specimens by location and date, a timeline is constructed of the disappearance of this small wolf. This newly uncovered history gives us fresh views of the Red Wolf and its struggles of the late 19th and early 20th century brought on by the influx of Europeans settling the land and exploiting its natural resources with little to no regulation. Louisiana and east Texas once held some of the most unique habitats in North America. The longleaf piney woods, swamps, coastal prairies, and marsh were once primeval paradises home to many native species eventually driven to extinction. But through all the clear-cutting of land, draining of the swamps, and persecution by man, some 40 years after it was declared extinct in the wild, important remnants of the Red Wolf persist today in the wild canids of its last strongholds, Louisiana and Texas, and the exciting studies are only just beginning.


Amy Shutt is the founder of The Canid Project, a 501c3 non-profit focusing on wild canid education, outreach, and rescue. She is a professional documentary photographer and multimedia producer interested in the sensory-rich storytelling of wildlife science, natural history, and conservation. Her projects combine historical research, sound design, photography and videography to create dynamic multimedia that educates and inspires action.

Amy’s work has been published in books and magazines as well as recognized, most notably by the Nature's Best Windland Smith Rice International competition and displayed in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. // //

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