Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Let's Make It A Conservation Christmas; Red Wolf

This holiday season, we thought we would celebrate by spotlighting a few species in desperate need of saving and the fantastic organization working towards that goal.  As always, we ask that you help our conservation partners, but during the season of giving we wanted to focus on a few other organizations as well. It’s our “Conservation Christmas” series!

Do you know what a red wolf is? Well, its a little known species of canine found, currently, in North Carolina only. Its closely related to the grey wolf we all know. They are somewhat smaller, weighing only about 50 to 70 pounds. Coloration ranges from gray to brown to cinnamon, but often with a reddish tinge, hence the name.

Like its cousin, the red wolf was hunted extensively. Even the government got in the act, offering bounties for hides to protect domestic animals. And because of that, red wolves were all but extinct when a last ditch effort to save them was enacted by the Federal government. The last few remaining animals from eastern Texas and Louisiana were captured and a breeding program was initiated . From that, a population has been reintroduced to northeastern North Carolina. Now, there are about 100 animals in the wild and 200 in zoos. Organizations like the Red Wolf Coalition are helping to educate the public about this unique species as poaching continues to be an issue. In this last year, about 10 animals have been killed illegally.

by Safari Mike (@JamboEveryone)

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