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The Red Wolf (Canis rufus) is the rarest and most endangered of all wolves. It is thought that its original distribution included much of eastern North America, where Red Wolves were found from Pennsylvania in the east to Texas in the south. In the last century, however, persecution, habitat destruction, and hybridization with Coyotes has brought the Red Wolf to the brink of extinction. Only about 270 wolves remainTraditionally, three subspecies of Red Wolf are recognised. Two of these subspecies are extinct. Canis rufus floridanus has been extinct since 1930 and Canis rufus rufus was declared extinct by 1970. Canis rufus gregoryi, the surviving subspecies, was extirpated in 1980, although that status was changed to critical when 100 wolves were reintroduced in North Carolina. In 1987 approximately 100 were reintroduced into the wild as the 1st island propagation project in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge off the coast of North Carolina. The Red Wolf is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as endangered in North Carolina and Tennessee. By 1980, the Red Wolf had been completely eliminated The first several pairs of Red Wolves were introduced at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina in 1987; by 1992 a total of 36 wolves had been introduced there. In the spring of 1992, at least 19 wolves were present in the refuge, including six of the original 36; the rest were pups from at least seven litters that had . In the early 1970s, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service trapped a number of Red Wolves from the wild and initiated a breeding programΙIn 1991 Red Wolves were released in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. The number of Red Wolves in existence is constantly changing, but recent counts indicate that there are at least 250 animals, most of which are in captive breeding facilities in the United States. There are perhaps 25 to 5O Red Wolves in the wild at Alligator River and perhaps 10 to 20 in the Great Smokies. Several other wolves live in the wild in a few other locations.
Page is plagerized from U.S, Fish and Wildlife web sites
I am trying to rewrite it and clean it up. KarenAnn 11:48, 11 June 2006 (UTC)