Red wolf update: Five pups collared, one death reported

Published 10:37 am Wednesday, March 8, 2023

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Red Wolf Recovery Program issued an update on the area’s red wolf population.

All five remaining red wolf pups – three females and two males – born in the Milltail area of Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in the spring of 2022 now have orange radio collars. “These collars identify them as red wolves to help with their protection and allow us to monitor them, particularly since some of them will likely naturally disperse over the next year or so,” noted the update. “Each of the radio collars also has reflective material to help make them more visible, especially at night along roadways. And each of the collars bears a unique letter ID.”

The red wolf pups were released back within their family group’s home range. All appear to be healthy and range in weight from 40 to 55 pounds.

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The update also reported a mortality from late January. “Adult male 2101M was an almost 9-year-old male in poor health with mange and a heart condition. Not long before his death, we also observed him with a substantial leg injury,” stated the report. “A pending necropsy will tell us more about his cause of death.”

As of the update, the known (collared) population of red wolves in the wild in the eastern North Carolina red wolf population (ENC RWP) is 14 and the total estimated population in the wild in the ENC RWP is 17-19.

Additional details, such as each pup’s studbook number and letter ID on the collar, can be found at

“Thank you as always for your support of the Red Wolf Recovery Program!” stated the update.