Endangered Red Wolves Are Being Released Back Into The Wild

It is no secret that our planet is facing changes to the climate including the loss of many different animal species.

Thankfully, there is some good news for the endangered red wolves of North Carolina.

Four endangered red wolves have just been released back into the wild, alongside 4 red wolf pups with the adults so that they can be raised by one of the females as a foster mother.

Photo: flickr/Valerie

The goal is to release these wolves in hopes that they will help to bolster the already critically endangered wolf species in the wild. The four wolves that were released came from the Endangered Wolf Center, Wolf Conservation Center, and Wolf Haven International.

Article continues below

Our Featured Programs

See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!

They were all released into a protected refuge in North Carolina, and as the Endangered Wolf Center shared on its website, this is the first time since 1998 that fully grown American red wolves have been released into the wild.


The release came after several conservation groups won a federal court case back in January which required that the US Fish and Wildlife Service create a plan to release red wolves in captivity back into the wild in order to reverse all the damage done to the critically endangered species.

As Sierra Weaver, a senior attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, shared in a press release, “Getting more red wolves in the world is Northern Carolina is what we’ve been fighting for, and this is finally a step in the right direction. The ultimate question is going to be whether this marks a return to the service’s historic conservation commitment, or whether it is going to take more court orders to keep this up.”

According to World Animal News, only seven red wolves are left in the wild after the past six years that the agency has refused to release any captive wolves.

Photo: flickr/Tambako The Jaguar

In 2015, the USFWS chose to suspend their practice of releasing red wolves back into their roughly 1.7 million-acre Red Wolf Recovery Area. However, during the five years that it was attempting to reintroduce the red wolves back into Eastern North Carolina, there was proven success as the population was nearly at 100 between the years 2002 and 2014.

Thanks to the previously mentioned lawsuit, the USFWS will be once again looking to reintroduce red wolves, and hopefully grow the population’s dwindling numbers.

Protect the Planet

Help preserve vital habitat at The Rainforest Site for free!