An adorable new litter of red wolf pups has given the endangered species new hope for the future
The Red Wolf Recovery Program announced on Facebook that four female and two male red wolf pups were born in April.
The births were celebrated by animal rights groups, which regard them as the first wild red wolf pups since 2018.
The post by the Red Wolf Recovery Program read, “This red wolf pair was formed through the combination of several management actions and the two red wolves subsequently following their natural instincts in pairing, establishing their territory and mating.”
“Every generation yields a new born hope for the red wolf … a cause for joy and celebration!”
The newborns were discovered in the North Carolina-based Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.
According to NPR, the decreasing population of red wolves has been attributed to human hu.nt.ing, extinction, and habitat damage.
The future of the red wolf is uncertain. Breeding initiatives are seen as critical to the species’ survival.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service highlighted the importance of Species Survival Plan (SSP) facilities in maintaining red wolf birth rates on its website.
The Red Wolf Recovery Program reported that the number of mating couples rose to 38 throughout the breeding season of 2021-22.
“As of August 2021, there are approximately 241 red wolves in 45 SSP facilities across the country. In the 2020-2021 breeding season, 30 breeding pairs were established and 23 pups in 6 litters were born,” the agency reported, explaining:
“Four adults were released into the wild in the NC NEP and 4 pups were fostered to a wild red wolf, leaving 19 pups added to the SSP population. With additional space capacity, and to increase the population, the number of breeding pairs for the 2021-2022 breeding season increased to 38 pairs.”