Red wolves (Canis Rufus) are the most endangered species of red wolves. All red wolves currently in the wild are in the Albemarle Peninsula in North Carolina. Red wolf population in the Albemarle decreased from a peak of around 113-149 wolves in 2014 to 15-17 wolves in 2021. Most red wolf mortalities for this wild population occurred from anthropogenic causes such as accidental shooting, poaching, and vehicle strikes. The purpose of this study is to assess the suitability of the Delmarva Peninsula as a potential reintroduction site for another red wolf population. To do so I analyzed the land cover, deer harvesting records, and distance from roads of the Delmarva Peninsula and compared it to the Albemarle Peninsula as a baseline for suitability. Both Peninsulas proved to be very similar, with very close amounts of the focus land cover, cultivated crops; deer harvesting amounts between the peninsulas were also alike with the Albemarle Peninsula having higher amounts of deer harvesting by around 400 in 2021. Lastly, the average distance from roads was much higher for the Albemarle than the Delmarva Peninsula with a difference of 2,423 meters. Therefore, the results suggest that the Delmarva Peninsula would be a suitable location for red wolf reintroduction.
Copyright © 2020, University of Richmond.
Gomez, Hector. "Dead Wolf to Red Wolf: Virginia Reintroduction Habitat Suitability." Paper for Environmental Studies Senior Seminar/Geography Capstone, University of Richmond, April 2020.