Field Notes

underdog species

Gotta Love the Underdog

underdog species
Red Wolves Make the Cover!

Finally, an underdog species gets front & center stage. Immortalized as a sculpture and on the cover of a magazine. Wow, it just doesn’t get much better!

underdog species
Dale & Chancellor Kelly Damphousse giving the red wolf sign at the A-State unveiling

What the heck is a red wolf?

Red wolves you say. What the heck is a red wolf? Ah, that is one of the problems. Not many people know who we are or where we live.

underdog species
Red wolf pair. Photo Rebecca Bose, Wolf Conservation Center

Well, the good news? There are a whole bunch of folks working very hard to make sure we don’t go extinct. But wait, let’s just back up.

Only 20 of Us Left in the Wild

We red wolves are an American canid native to the Southeastern states. We have all but disappeared from the wild with only about 20 left in Eastern North Carolina. Thankfully there are about 250 in captivity throughout the US. Hopefully, some will eventually be released to join our wild red wolf friends.

And as more folks learn about us, they realize we are critical to a balanced ecosystem. As an apex predator, we keep everything in check and also help keep the coyotes, our distant cousins, from overrunning the place.

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Chris Lasher holding a red wolf pup at the NC Zoo.

Dale sculpts Underdog Species

Dale Weiler, a wildlife stone sculptor who we really like, loves to sculpt the underdog species (see another of his sculptures on a really cool underdog species here). After falling in love with some red wolf pups at the NC Zoo, he decided to bring awareness to the red wolf species with his sculpture “Just Settling In”. Pretty cool he picked us!

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Dale working on his red wolf sculpture

But then what do you do with a 200-pound sculpture? Well, you can read all about how it ended up at Arkansas State University helping make us famous in a great article “Restoring Red Wolves to the Wild” by Audrey Hanes. And a photo of the sculpture even made the cover of the Jonesboro Occasions and got a mention from the editor, Audrey Poff! We have arrived!

If You Want to Help Us…

Learn more about us at the Red Wolf Coalition, a great site for red wolf information.

Donate to a captive breeding organization. Two of our favorites include The NC Zoo and The Endangered Wolf Center. Just mark your donation for “red wolf conservation”

Visit Arkansas State University and see the red wolf sculpture “Just Settling In” by Dale or one of the two other cool red wolf sculptures on campus. Where else can you see 3 sculptures featuring us, red wolves! Then post pictures of you with the sculpture on social media to bring more awareness to our plight.

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Having fun at the HOWL sculpture. Dale Weiler, Loti Woods, Chris Lasher, Regina Mossotti, Jeff Hankins

And tell everyone you know why red wolves are important to save from extinction. Everyone!

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