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Enter the secret lives of red wolves via the Wolf Conservation Center red wolf webcams!

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The red wolf (Canis rufus) is the only wolf species found completely within the United States. Once common throughout the southeastern United States, red wolf populations were decimated by the 1960s due to intensive predator control programs and loss of habitat. In 1980, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) declared red wolves extinct in the wild after the last wild red wolves were gathered to survive in captivity, their wildness caged.

With the support of the Federal Red Wolf Species Survival Plan, a national initiative whose primary purpose is to support the reestablishment of red wolves in the wild through captive breeding, public education, and research, and under the aegis of the Endangered Species Act, red wolves were reintroduced in North Carolina in 1987. They were the first federally-listed species to be returned to their native habitat, and have served as models for other programs.

But today, USFWS, the very agency charged by federal law with protecting endangered species, is walking away from recovering the last wild red wolves to satisfy a few very vocal opponents. The current estimate puts the remaining wild population at their lowest level in decades. Fewer than 35 wild red wolves remain.

Learn what you can do here.

 

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This is what love looks like.

Beyond being adorable, this critically endangered wolf pup  represents the Wolf Conservation  Center’s active participation in an effort to save a species from extinction. The Mexican gray wolf or “lobo” is the most genetically distinct lineage of wolves in the Western Hemisphere, and one of the most endangered mammals in North America. By the mid-1980s, hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the extinction of lobos in the wild, with only seven rescued and placed in captivity. Because the entire existing Mexican wolf population descended from just seven founders rescued from extinction, genetic health is the primary consideration governing most recovery efforts. In 1998 the wolves were reintroduced into the wild as part of a federal reintroduction program under the Endangered Species Act.

The WCC is one of 55 facilities in the U.S. and Mexico participating in the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan – a bi-national initiative whose primary purpose is to support the reestablishment of Mexican wolves in the wild through captive breeding, public education, and research.

Currently 13 Mexican wolves call the WCC home. In the U.S., there is a single wild population comprising only 113 individuals – an increase from the 97 counted at the end of 2015.

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Remarkable fathers can be found all over the world and one of them resides right here at the Wolf Conservation Center! Mexican gray wolf M1059 (a.k.a. Diego) wears the badge of fatherhood like a pro. He has exhibited admirable patience, affection, and protectiveness, exemplifying the amazing role that a father plays in the wolf world.

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