Red Wolf/ Conservation

This is an image of a Red Wolf at Roger Williams Park Zoo. (WLNE)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Scientifically Speaking takes us to Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence. With the recent success of the birth of a red wolf pup, the focus on conservation efforts of Rhode Islands native species is front and center.

It’s a girl! The conservationists at Roger Williams Park Zoo are over the moon about their new addition. The recent birth of their red wolf pup is a triumph 30 years in the making. Estimates put current individual members of the species between 10 to 25 wolves left in the wild in eastern North Carolina, making the Red Wolf the most endangered canid in the world.

This number includes eight released into the wild last year. The red wolf has been listed as critically endangered with an 85% drop in population within the last decade alone. So, what happened?

Illegal killing and hybridization with coyotes threaten the remaining small red wolf population. They continue to be hunted by livestock farmers and landowners because they’re often mistaken for coyotes and shot.

The conservation team at the zoo hopes to add to the population with future litters from Providence.

Categories: News, Scientifically Speaking