- Extinct in Wild (EW)
- Critically Endangered (CR)
- Endangered (EN)
- Vulnerable (VU)
- Near Threatened (NT)
- Least Concern (LC)
- Not Evaluated (NE)
North Carolina Zoo fills a central role in efforts to save the American red wolf from extinction. Once the southeastern United States’ apex predator, red wolf populations have declined so dramatically that the species now depends on captive breeding to maintain a healthy, genetically viable population. By housing the second largest pack of breeding red wolves in the world, the Zoo are helping to ensure the survival of this species. The Zoo also plays a coordinating role in the larger American Red Wolf Recovery Program that includes 43 other institutional partners. This role involves spearheading landowner outreach in eastern North Carolina where the last 20-30 wild red wolves live, and searching for a second recovery area where this iconic species can once again fill its rightful place in the wild. You can read more about the Zoo’s work on red wolves below, under related resources.
This species is an Association of Zoos and Aquariums SAFEspecies. SAFE seeks to protect threatened and endangered species around the world.
Care and Wellness
The North Carolina Zoo provides large, natural areas away from the public eye for the reclusive red wolves to breed. Red wolf mates are paired based on genetics to produce healthy offspring. This managed breeding program is vital to the survival of the species.
This species is cooperatively managed as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan program program. This program is responsible for developing a Breeding and Transfer Plan for each species in the program.