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Red Wolf: A Species in Danger

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Alexander Millar

on 30 May 2011

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Transcript of Red Wolf: A Species in Danger

Red Wolf: A Species in Danger 1. "07-03-23RedWolfAlbanyGAChehaw.jpg." 07-03-23RedWolfAlbanyGAChehaw.jpg (JPEG Image, 1200x1002 pixels) - Scaled (46%). Web. 24 May 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:07-03-23RedWolfAlbanyGAChehaw.jpg#filelinks>. Biome and Habitat Description Food Chain and Niche Other Features of the Animal What is Happening to the Animals’ Population? Interaction with Human Population Other Causes of Endangerment Corrective/ Preventative Actions Other Cool Facts 2. "rwolf." Red Wolf. Web. 24 May 2011. <http://www.tenan.vuurwerk.nl/reports/marionv/webdoc5.htm>. 1. 2. 3. "redwolf." Red Wolf. Web. 24 May 2011. <http://www.druidry.org/obod/endangered/redwolf.html>. 3. Although contradicting its name, the red wolf is mostly grey in colour. A reddish-orange tinted fur found mostly on the wolves' legs and back is what gives the species its name. Red wolves behave very shy and secretively. Although they feel most comfortable when alone, they tend to hunt and live in packs. These packs often consist of several adults and their accumulative young. They are primarily nocturnal animals (that is to say that they are active at night). Many people hypothesise that the reasoning behind this is that the red wolves need to escape the heat of the day. The species is most active at dawn and dusk (this is when they hunt), but if opportunity presents itself during the night or day, the red wolves will hunt at any time. Red wolves communicate with each other similarly to all other types of canines; scent-marking, vocalizations (growling, barking, howling, etc.), facial gestures (snarls, etc.) and body postures. First of all, it is important to not that by 1980, there were only 17 red wolves in existence - all of which were in captivity. Extinct in the wild, the remaining wolves in captivity have been bred to keep the species alive. Because of this, the population of red wolves has increased by 2000% to date! By Alexander Millar As of 2007, there were over 300 red wolves in existence. 200 of which were in breeding facilities (in captivity), the other hundred roaming wild in the forests of North Carolina. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - a government-run organization - has certainly been a front-runner for the protection of the red wolves. In the 1970s, the organization adopted the remaining red wolves still in existence (which were very few), and cared for them well they mated under supervision. The red wolves produced over the years have been sent to different national parks to breed naturally in their native habitat. A lot of these red wolves have been sent to the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina. In fact, a majority of today's red wolf population lives there. The entire wild population of red wolves exists in Northeastern North Carolina. But some of the species has been sent to Tennessee and other American states (in captivity). In recent years, after much protesting, the U.S. Navy finally decided to abandon a project to build training grounds adjacent to wildlife refuge areas in North Carolina. The project would not have only harmed countless red wolves, but also swans, geese, and other animals. These actions have started to correct the damage caused years ago. If the average person wants to help the red wolves, they can donate to organizations assisting red wolves. An example would be 'Defenders of Wildlife' who helped to protest a damaging project to build over national parks. http://tinyurl.com/DonateRedWolf Humans are the main cause of the endangerment of the red wolf. For the past century, people have been killing off the red wolves for multiple reasons. First, farmers were led to believe that wild red wolves were to blame for a large loss in livestock populations. Their solution was to kill the wolves off. Second, unmotivated killings of red wolves still exist today (three cases alone in 2010). And lastly, coyote hunters constantly confuse red wolves for coyotes and periodically kill the red wolves instead. Besides hunting, people are still responsible for the endangerment of the red wolf in other ways. For instance, accidental killings with motor vehicles have occurred throughtout the years. But the other big factor threatening the red wolves is habitat destruction. Red wolves are special because over the years, they have learned to adapt to different types of habitats (i.e. prairies, forests, swamps and sometimes mountainous regions). Despite this, much of their livable areas have been destroyed by urban development, sending the species into unfamiliar territory in which they cannot thrive. There are two other main factors that have negatively affected the red wolves; natural disasters and hybridization. Unpredictable weather patterns, along with changing climates, have had a great effect on the species, and will continue to have an effect for years to come. In 2003, Hurricaine Isabel hit eastern North Carolina; the very spots in which the Red Wolf Recovery Program is located. The hurricaine directly hit the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and destroyed 'Sandy Ridge' (the second largest captive red wolf breeding facility in the United States). The storm also killed two red wolves in captivity. Because these weather patterns are so unpredictable - although expected of the region - the red wolves will always have to face hurricaines and tropical storms. Another factor affecting the red wolf population is climate change. Since the red wolves live in an area at very low elevation, their habitat is very susceptible to destruction due to sea levels and temperatures rising. Although red wolves once roamed the entire eastern coast of the United States, they now are secluded to Northeastern North Carolina due to massive population loss. 5. "220px-Status_iucn3.1_CR.svg.png." Red Wolf - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Web. 26 May 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redwolf.htm>. The IUCN has listed the red wolf as critically endangered; the highest risk category for wild species. At one point, the red wolf was listed as 'Extinct in the Wild,' but due to people's efforts, the red wolf population has increased in captivity, as well as in the wild. 4. 4. "Rangemap__Red_Wolf_550x400.jpg." Red Wolf Facts and Video - Canis rufus - Defenders of Wildlife - Defenders of Wildlife. Web. 27 May 2011. <http://www.defenders.org/wildlife_and_habitat/wildlife/red_wolf.php>. A map of North Carolina specifying the exact counties in which the red wolves live. 5. 6. "redwolf." Red Wolf in North Carolina. Web. 27 May 2011. <http://www.fws.gov/nc-es/mammal/redwolf.html>. 6. By the time any scientists (or anyone at all, for that matter) decided to look into the lives of the red wolves - to see where they lived and what they did every day - most of the species had already gone extinct. The last known population of red wolves before their extinction in the wild (1980) was in Texas/Louisiana, U.S.A. This area in which they lived in was considered a coastal prairie/marsh. It is widely agreed upon, today, that this is not the red wolves' most preferred habitat region and type. But what people can't agree upon is what the red wolves' preferred habitat region/type actually is! Read below for more... The red wolf species is thought to have roamed much more land area years ago than it does today. Where populations of red wolves today only occur in North Carolina, it is thought that the red wolves used to live as far west as Texas, as fas south as Florida and as far North as New York (and possibly Ontario). Since the red wolves lived throughout a vast section of the United States, they therefore also lived in many different types of habitats. These types included prairies, brush, forested areas, coastal plains, swamps, and bayous (bayous are not unlike marshes). Currently, the red wolves only live in the plains and marshes of North Carolina. It seems to be that wherever there is food, water and shelter for the wolves, they will live anywhere if they have to! “[The red wolf] makes its den along stream banks, in enlarged burrows of other mammals, under stumps, or in culverts or hollow logs,” (eNature.com). The name of the biome in which the red wolf thrives best is the temperate deciduous forest. Looking at the name itself, it is easy to conclude that this biome is home to deciduous trees (oak, beech, etc.) and moderate rainfall. Because of these characteristics, it is also reasonable to assume that the animals that thrive in this type of biome (rabbits, rodents, birds, deer, etc.) live there as well. Hybridization is the cross-breeding of two animals. In the red wolf's case, the other animal is often the coyote. Hybridization is a hazard to the the red wolf because when the red wolf and coyote mix together, the species created is not a true red wolf (nor a true coyote). If hybridization continues to occur, and if it increases to a higher percentage of the wolf population, the isolated red wolf species may become extinct, and just the one species (coyote) would remain. In fact, some people believe that this already has occurred. If not, it may come soon. The red wolf is lucky to be the top predator in its communities. It doesn't have to fear being eaten, but rather just what it's going to eat. It is also important to note that it is an omnivore. Red wolves primarily feed on small animals, such as rabbits, raccoons, field mice and birds. Red wolves will often also feast on the white-tailed deer, a species found plentifully throughout the United States. Other crucial parts of the red wolves' diets are insects and berries. Even though the red wolf has lived as the top predator for very long, it still has its concerns. Historically, the red wolf has competed for prey with other species such as bobcats, coyotes and black bears because they share common prey. Also, young red wolves have been known to be preyed on by alligators, bobcats and even large predatory birds! 8. "Wolf eating." Aritaur Dobermanns - Breeders of Dobermanns for Work, Show and Pet. Web. 28 May 2011. <http://www.aritaur.co.uk/feeding.htm>. 7. "P1125093_resized." eBirdseed.com Wild Bird Feeding Blog: Possible Coyote/Wolf Hybrid Photograph?. Web. 28 May 2011. <http://www.ebirdseed.com/blog/2008/10/possible_coyotewolf_hybrid.html>. 7. 8. A possible wolf/coyote hybrid. This hybrindization is one of the causes of the red wolf's endangerment. Wolf feeding on a deer. The red wolf food chain. The red wolves have encountered many times the need to re-locate. Their ability to adapt to habitat change is what saved them from going extinct long ago. Breeding season is from January through March with produced litters ranging from the size of 3 to 12 pups. The lifespan of wild red wolves is, at least, 4 years. In captivity, this can be extended to a maximum of 14 years. Red wolves, over the years, have eaten so many rodents, they have played a crucial role in keeping the rodents' population in balance within the ecosystem. Only the dominant male/wife partner in a pack will ever reproduce. All of the wolves in the pack will care for the pups. Red wolves are monogamous; they will stick with a single partner for their whole lives. The red wolf is much more resistant to heartworm infestations than many other canines. *New and improved Prezi technique; no hidden information!* Red wolves can sprint at up to 50km/h. They are smaller than the other wolf of the continent (the gray wolf), but larger than the coyote. Red wolves released into the wild our fitted with a 'radio collar' that helps the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to track each wolf as they progress through life. 9. 9. "redwolf.jpg." ADW: redwolf.jpg. Web. 29 May 2011. <http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/resources/usfws/redwolf.jpg/view.html>. 10. "redwolf3.jpg." ADW: redwolf3.jpg. Web. 29 May 2011. <http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/resources/usfws/redwolf3.jpg/view.html>. "Red wolves can sprint at up to 50km/h." 10. 11. 11. "redwolf2.jpg." ADW: redwolf2.jpg. Web. 29 May 2011. <http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/resources/usfws/redwolf2.jpg/view.html>. This is the leading activist organization that has supported the protection of the red wolf. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Servie is reponsible for almost 100% of the efforts to keep the red wolf from becoming extinct. Being a government-run program, they have been able to aid countless other types of species. Without them, the red wolf, along with many other species, would be extinct. The red wolf's length averages at around 1-1.3 metres from the tip of their nose to the tip of their tail (with the males often 10% larger than females). They weigh, on average, 44 to 88 lbs (20 to 40 kg). The red wolf population is still increasing. Because more and more red wolves are coming into existence, the rate at which the species is populating is increasing, as well. The only 'catch' is that most of these animals are in captivity. The ones that are in the wild face much more dangers that can lead to their extinction (read boxes below). And the species can't stay in breeding facilities forever. If all of the existing red wolves were wild, the species could go extinct. 12. "red wolf.jpg." Home - Endangered Animals. Web. 29 May 2011. <http://endangeredanimalsoftheworld.webs.com/>. 12. 13. "Red-Wolf-Dad-Pup-Greg-Koch-USFWS.jpg." Red Wolf Facts. Web. 29 May 2011. <http://www.eparks.org/wildlife_protection/wildlife_facts/redwolf.asp>. 14. "USFWS_RGB.jpg." AWC2009Symposium. Web. 29 May 2011. <http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/nreos/forest/feop/AWC/meet-sponsors-exhibitors.html>. 15. "header_logo_1.gif." About Us: Defenders of Wildlife. Web. 29 May 2011. <http://www.defenders.org/about_us/index.php?utm_source=B_Version_NoFlash&utm_medium=Top_Nav&utm_content=AU&utm_campaign=HP_AB_Round2>. 14. 15. 13. Adult red wolves caring for their young. These pups will soon grow to be the next generation to ensure the population growth of the species. 17. "jenproc_mcgaw.jpg." Studying Red Wolves in the Wild | North Carolina Museum of Life and Science. Web. 29 May 2011. <http://www.ncmls.org/learn-about/wildlife-biologists/wolves>. 16. "wolf-hunting.jpg." Russia Wolf Hunt. Web. 29 May 2011. <http://www.russianhunting.com/wolf-hunting-in-russia>. Of course, people have also assisted in keeping the red wolf from going extinct. For more information on this type of human-wolf interaction, see 'Corrective/Preventative Actions.' Human Hunts Human Helps 16. 17. Images Information On-line "ADW: Canis rufus: Information." Animal Diversity Web. University of Michigan, 2008. Web. 24 May 2011. <http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Canis_rufus.html>.

"Red Wolf (Canis rufus)." Canids. IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group, 2008. Web. 29 May 2011. <http://www.canids.org/species/Canis_rufus.htm>.

"Red Wolf Facts and Video - Canis rufus - Defenders of Wildlife - Defenders of Wildlife." Defenders of Wildlife. Defenders of Wildlife, 2011. Web. 23 May 2011. <http://www.defenders.org/wildlife_and_habitat/wildlife/red_wolf.php>.

"Red Wolf Recovery Program." U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 24 Mar 2011. Web. 23 May 2011. <http://www.fws.gov/redwolf/>.

"Red Wolf." eNature.com. Shearwater Marketing Group, 2007. Web. 23 May 2011. <http://www.enature.com/fieldguides/detail.asp?allSpecies=y&searchText=red%20wolf&curGroupID=5&lgfromWhere=&curPageNum=1>.

"Wolf Song of Alaska: Red Wolf Facts For Kids." Wolf Song of Alaska. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2011. <http://www.wolfsongalaska.org/red_wolf_for_kids.html>. Paper Alderton, David. Foxes, Wolves & Wild Dogs of the World. London, England: Sterling Publishing Co., 1998. 115-18. Print.

Gavin, George. Endangered Wildlife on the Brink of Extinction. Richmond Hill, ON: Firefly Books Ltd., 2006. 78. Print.

McKay, George. Mammals. San Fransisco, CA: Weldon Owen Inc., 1999. 123. Print.
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