Red Wolf

The red wolf was native to the coastal prairies of southeast Texas, but after having dwindled rapidly in the 1900s from predator control and genetic swamping, the decision was made in 1975 to remove them all from the wild, and turn to captive breeding with the hope of eventual reintroduction.


Narrator: Russel ClapperTitle: Wolves on the RefugeDuration: 00:03:28Date: June 20, 1998Russel Clapper, a wildlife biologist at the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, tells about the early awareness that there were red wolves, not coyotes, on the Refuge, at a time when local county leaders were contracting with Fish and Wildlife Service trappers to kill the animals.Narrator: Jason AhistusTitle: Captive yet WildDuration: 00:04:14Date: July 23, 2021Jason Ahistus is a carnivore curator at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center near Glen Rose, Texas. He is responsible for care and breeding of the red wolf. The challenge he and his team face is how to keep the wolf safe, fed, healthy, and secure in captivity, but also wild, wary of humans, and ready to be released into open habitat.Narrator: John DorsettTitle: The Last Few WolvesDuration: 00:02:42Date: June 14, 2021John Dorsett is a wildlife biologist, formerly with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, now based in Athens, Texas. Here he tells about red wolves' historic decline due to overhunting, bounties, habitat loss, and hybridization with coyotes, and remembers his part in the late 1970s to trap out the last of the red wolves in coastal Texas and Louisiana, to help build a group for captive breeding and eventual release back into the wild. Narrator: Buddy HollisTitle: The Only CloseupDuration: 00:01:36Date: March 1, 2008Buddy Hollis, an East Texas naturalist, guide and hunter, recalls the last times that he saw a red wolf in the 1950s and 60s, once while duck hunting on the coastal prairie, and again, while trying out a young squirrel dog in the Big Thicket.Narrator: Glynn RileyTitle: Lots of PicturesDuration: 00:01:48Date: July 19, 2022Glynn Riley, an experienced animal trapper, worked on controlling populations of rats, gophers, prairie dogs, alligators, bears, sparrows, grackles, pigeons and coyotes. He is especially known for his role in capturing red wolves in southeast Texas so that they might be bred in captivity and then restored to the wild. Here he tells about a photographer's visit to Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge to see some of these red wolves that still roamed the area.Narrator: Glynn RileyTitle: Howls and YapsDuration: 00:01:53Date: July 19, 2022Glynn Riley worked for decades as a government trapper, controlling gophers, rats, prairie dogs, alligators, bears, sparrows, grackles, pigeons, and coyotes. He is especially known for his effort catching red wolves in southeast Texas during the early 1970s to help with their recovery. During that time, he collaborated with Howard McCarley in studying the call of the red wolf, which he describes here. Narrator: Jim ShawTitle: Gaping & SnarlingDuration: 00:04:09Date: April 19, 2022Jim Shaw, Ph.D., is an emeritus professor at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, where he taught in the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management. While still a doctoral candidate in the early 1970s, he studied the red wolf, coyote, and related crosses in southeast Texas. Here he gives a view of how red wolves and coyotes hybridized, showing how the expanding coyote population genetically swamped the rare red wolf.Narrator: Bridgett vonHoldtTitle: Bits and PiecesDuration: 00:03:30Date: February 29, 2024Bridgett vonHoldt, an associate professor at Princeton University and an expert on the genetics of coyotes, red wolves, dogs, and various admixed kin, has studied the canids found in southeast Texas and Louisiana. Here she explains how red wolf genes have persisted in that landscape, more than 40 years after red wolves were declared extinct in the wild by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceNarrator: Ron WootenTitle: What Do You See?Duration: 00:02:42Date: June 6, 2021Mr. Wooten is a biologist in Galveston, Texas who has taught at the local high schools, run a landscaping firm, worked for the National Marine Fisheries Service, and currently served in the Army Corps of Engineers. Since 2008, he has watched a pack of wild canids on the Island, long thought to be coyotes, which have turned out to carry significant red wolf genetic lineage.