Wolves in Virginia

Both grey and red wolves once lived in Virginia. Today, both species of wolf have been extirpated within the state.

There are red wolves living in North Carolina. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has tried to maintain a population at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Local opposition led to an effort to remove the red wolf from the list of threatened and endangered species, based on the claim that intrebreeding with coyotes was so widespread that the red wolf was no longer a separate species. In 2019, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine concluded the opposite:1

evidence available at present supports species status (Canis rufus) for the extant red wolf



1. "There was actually a study to determine if red wolves are wolves. The answer could have doomed them," Washington Post, April 2, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2019/04/02/there-was-actually-study-determine-if-red-wolves-are-wolves-answer-could-have-doomed-them/?utm_term=.8a6f5b17b15b; Evaluating the Taxonomic Status of the Mexican Gray Wolf and the Red Wolf, The National Academies Press, 2019, p.61, https://www.nap.edu/catalog/25351 (last checked April 3, 2019)

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