|© Brad McPhee|
The red wolf of the Southeastern United States is currently considered by most taxonomists as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (under the auspices of the Endangered Species Act) to be a species of wolf, Canis rufus, distinct from the gray wolf, Canis lupus . As a unique type of wolf, it is one of the most endangered mammals on the planet.
Similar in size to the Mexican wolf (see Part 6: The Mexican Gray Wolf), the red wolf is somewhat smaller than most gray wolves, adults averaging between 50 and 80 lbs (about the size of German shepherd dogs).