Dogs are going extinct: 8 most endangered canid species

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red wolf photo

credit: USFWS/Southeast

Red Wolf

The Red Wolf is often overshadowed by its more popular cousin, the Gray Wolf. These residents of the southeast were nearly driven to extinction by the middle of the 1900s by two main threats: first, humans killed them to prevent attacks on livestock; second, coyotes began spreading from the west into the east where they hybridized with the wolves. There were only 14 pure red wolves left in 1973. Today, after decades of conservation efforts, there are around 120 red wolves living wild and another 200 in captivity but the same threats still exist today. An especially significant threat is the occurrence of coyote hunts -- red wolves can easily be mistaken for coyotes from a distance and are still illegally killed either on purpose or by being misidentified as a coyote. Advocates for the wolves seek to end coyote hunting competitions and night hunts in order to protect red wolves from this threat.