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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Over the last three years, an average of 40 wild Red Wolf pups were born on the barrier islands of North Carolina where the only wild ranging population of Red Wolves(some say the Eastern Wolf akin to those inhabiting Algonquin Park in Canada) persists in the USA..............100 of these Wolves are in North Carolina today with the USFW Service seeking to continue to expand the population so that the Wolves can stave off interbreeding with Coyotes that has so often taken place as the Wolf population was persecuted into near oblivion.................Discussed here many times is the fact that when a Red(Eastern) Wolf population sinks below a certain threshold and male Wolves find it difficult to find females to mate with,,,,,,,,,,,,,,they will often breed with a female Coyote..............Bottom line is that large numbers of Red Wolves need to be introduced into the East if there is going to be a serious attempt by the Fish and Wildlife folks to do something more than just "babysit" an isolated population against Coyote interloping

34 Critically Endangered Red wolf pups born this season in the wild

The Red Wolf Recovery Program also reported 23 pups from 4 litters born in zoos and nature centres. A. Beyer, USFWS
Additional 23 pups born as part of breeding programme
June 2013. The final red wolf pup count for the 2013 whelping season has been announced as Thirty-four, spread across seven litters in the restored red wolf population in eastern North Carolina, down slightly from recent years' pup counts.

Captive born pup raised by wild wolf
The Red Wolf Recovery Program reported 39 pups from nine litters born in the wild in 2012, 40 pups from 10 litters in 2011, and 43 pups from nine litters in 2010. The Red Wolf Recovery Program also reported 23 pups from 4 litters born in zoos and nature centres participating in the Species Survival Plan captive breeding program. In addition, as part of the efforts to increase the genetic diversity of the wild population, a captive-born pup was fostered into a wild-born litter to be raised as a wild wolf. Reasons for the decline in the number of pups born in the wild this year are not apparent.

World population reduced to just 17 animals
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.

About 100 red wolves roam their native habitats in five north-eastern North Carolina counties. Photo credit USFWS.About 100 red wolves roam their native habitats in five north-eastern North Carolina counties. Photo credit USFWS.

The first litter of red wolves born in captivity occurred in 1977. By 1987, enough red wolves were bred in captivity to begin a restoration program on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in north-eastern North Carolina. Since then, the experimental population area has expanded to include three national wildlife refuges, a Department of Defense bombing range, state-owned lands, and private property, spanning a total of 1.7 million acres.

100 wolves in the wilds
About 100 red wolves roam their native habitats in five north-eastern North Carolina counties. Additionally, nearly 200 red wolves comprise the Species Survival Plan captive breeding program in sites across the United States, still an essential element of red wolf recovery. Interbreeding with the coyote (Canis latrans), a species not native to North Carolina, has been recognized as a threat affecting restoration of red wolves in this section of their historical home range. Currently, the Red Wolf Recovery Program is using adaptive management strategies to reduce the threat of coyotes while building the wild red wolf population in north-eastern North Carolina. In addition, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is committed to working with the Fish and Wildlife Service in the development of a comprehensive canid management plan that includes methods for controlling coyote populations and incorporates the conservation goals of the red wolf.

The red wolf is one of two species of wolves in North America, the other being the gray wolf, (Canis lupus). As their name suggests, red wolves are known for the characteristic reddish colour of their fur most apparent behind the ears and along the neck and legs, but are mostly brown and buff coloured with some black along their backs. Intermediate in size to gray wolves and coyotes, the average adult red wolf weighs 45-80 pounds, stands about 26 inches at the shoulder and is about 4 feet long from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail.

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.

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