JOANNA KLEIN, The New York Times, MAY 31, 2016
Conservation groups submitted an emergency petition last week requesting that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service increase protection for the only wild population of red wolves left in the world.
Red wolves, which are bigger than coyotes, but smaller than gray wolves, are the only wolf species found completely within the United States. Trapping, shooting, poisoning and destruction of habitat in the 1960s, however, eliminated all but 17 of them from their native range, which was primarily in the Southeast. In By 1980, red wolves were declared extinct in the wild, and the last animals were gathered and bred, then reintroduced in North Carolina in 1987. They were the first federally-listed species to be returned to their native habitat, and have served as models for other programs.