Photo Credit: John Froschauer
We’ve been receiving lots of inquiries about where to see a red wolf. The wild, reintroduced population in northeastern North Carolina occupies over 1.7 million acres of the Red Wolf Recovery Area, over 60% of which is on private land. This distribution, together with the elusive nature of red wolves, can make them difficult to see in the wild. However, if you want to take your chances, there are three national wildlife refuges within the Red Wolf Recovery Area that are open to the public: Alligator River, Pocosin Lakes, and Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuges. Additionally, there is a small island population at St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Alligator River also offers regular howling safari programs throughout the summer on Wednesdays. For more information on the howling events, visit our website.
There are also numerous educational and recreational events offered by the Red Wolf Coalition at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Red Wolf Education and Healthcare Facility in Columbia, North Carolina. Programs like Talk Like a Red Wolf, Red Wolf 101, or Red Wolf Kids are great for families or small groups interested in an introduction to red wolves, their lives and their conservation. Please visit the Red Wolf Coalition’s Calendar of Events site to learn more about the various events and the dates/times they are scheduled, and to reserve seats for your family or group.
The best way to see a red wolf is to visiting one of the more than 40 zoos and nature centers participating in the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan. These facilities play a significant role in red wolf recovery by informing visitors about the value of wolves in ecosystems, inspiring the public to support the wolf's reestablishment in the wild, and allowing people to see red wolves close up. To find a Red Wolf Species Survival Plan facility near you, check out the map below: