Critically Endangered Red Wolf and Pup
A Red Wolf and Pup
Photo credit: Greg Koch/USFWS


The Endangered Mammals of Florida



A Florida Red Wolf
Canis lupus rufus


To begin, what is a Mammal?

A Mammal is an Animal that is a hairy, warm blooded,

vertebrate (has a backbone) that breathes air, gives birth live,

and the female of the species nurses its young.

The Red Wolf, who once roamed freely in many parts

of the Country, had become so decimated by 1967,

that adding it to the Endangered Species List,

(ESL) was its last and only hope.


See a great history of them here:

USFWS: Endangered Red Wolves


The other two Florida Species had been hunted to extinction.

Ranchers and farmers fear of wolves killing their stock,

Habitat encroachment and just general ignorance

were the biggest factors in their road to extinction.


A few years later, in 1969, fearing the complete extinction

of the species, a small number of them were carefully

selected and taken into captivity for protective breeding.


By 1980, the Red Wolf was considered extinct in the wild.


Today in several Southern states including Florida,

 the Red Wolf is being protected and carefully watched.

They are making a small, but important

last stand for their own survival.

Red Wolf with Cubs
A Red Wolf Father with Pups
Photo credit: Greg Koch/USFWS


Of the nearly 300 still alive, over 200 live in captivity,

but the others are in the wild, so there is hope.


In Florida, the Endangered Red Wolf has

been re-introduced in a small isolated setting

on St. Vincent Island off the Panhandle.


The Florida Red Wolf stands 14-16 inches high,

weighs between 40-80 pounds and is

4.5 to 5.5 feet long.

Their diet consists of small mammals

like, rabbits and raccoon and rodents.

The average life span is between 13-16 years.


Red Wolves mate for life, as do most other of the

Genus Canis and have very strong family bonds.


Unlike the Grey Wolf, there are no reports

of a Red Wolf ever attacking a Human.

A Red Wolf
A Red Wolf
Photo credit: USFWS


The shy Red Wolf prefers to hunt alone or

with his family, a mate and one offspring.


Places to learn more:

Animal Info

Red Wolf

No Airstrip in Red Wolf Territory


Edge of Existence



Field Trip Earth

Red Wolves of Alligator River


Harvard Gazette

Oldest Mammal Found


National Geographic

Red Wolf Back from Extinction


Natural Worlds

World of the Wolf


Red Wolf


New York State Museum

Mammals Revealed



Wild Wolves


Red Wolf Coalition

Red Wolf

Timeline of the Red Wolf



Red Wolf Recovery


University of California Museum of Paleontology

The Hall of Mammals


University of Michigan

Red Wolf

Class Mammalia



Mammalian Studies


Western North Carolina Nature Center

Red Wolf



Walking with the Alligators

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Educating Visitors About Florida's Wildlife Since August 20, 2008

Last edited September 11, 2022

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