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Red Wolf (Canis rufus) Recovery: A Review with Suggestions for Future Research

1
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
2
Red Wolf Recovery Program, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 1969, Manteo, NC 27954, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2013, 3(3), 722-744; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani3030722
Received: 24 July 2013 / Revised: 6 August 2013 / Accepted: 7 August 2013 / Published: 13 August 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation of Endangered Animals and Protection of Their Habitats)
By the 1970s, government-supported eradication campaigns reduced red wolves to a remnant population of less than 100 individuals on the southern border of Texas and Louisiana. Restoration efforts in the region were deemed unpromising because of predator-control programs and hybridization with coyotes. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) removed the last remaining red wolves from the wild and placed them in a captive-breeding program. In 1980, the USFWS declared red wolves extinct in the wild. During 1987, the USFWS, through the Red Wolf Recovery Program, reintroduced red wolves into northeastern North Carolina. Although restoration efforts have established a population of approximately 70–80 red wolves in the wild, issues of hybridization with coyotes, inbreeding, and human-caused mortality continue to hamper red wolf recovery. We explore these three challenges and, within each challenge, we illustrate how research can be used to resolve problems associated with red wolf-coyote interactions, effects of inbreeding, and demographic responses to human-caused mortality. We hope this illustrates the utility of research to advance restoration of red wolves. View Full-Text
Keywords: Canis rufus; Canis latrans; conservation; coyote; demographics; hybridization; inbreeding; red wolf Canis rufus; Canis latrans; conservation; coyote; demographics; hybridization; inbreeding; red wolf
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Hinton, J.W.; Chamberlain, M.J.; Rabon, D.R., Jr. Red Wolf (Canis rufus) Recovery: A Review with Suggestions for Future Research. Animals 2013, 3, 722-744.

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