Feds Consider Red Wolf Release In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

GON Staff | May 10, 1990

Red wolves may be released in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the state lines of Tennessee and North Carolina if research shows the park to be suitable habitat.

The red wolf once ranged across the Southeast but has been exterminated from most of its former range by aggressive predator control and habitat loss.

Since 1970, when only 40 red wolves remained in the wild, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been attempting to save the species through a captive breeding and re-introduction program. By the fall of 1989, the red wolf population numbered 105; 91 in captivity and 14 in the wild in two releases.

If current studies are favorable, several pairs of radio-collared wolves may be released on an experimental basis in the spring of 1991.

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