Red wolves are indigenous to the southern and southeastern United States. However by 1962, they were nearly extinct.
1967: The red wolf was listed as an endangered species.
1969: A captive breeding center acquires its first red wolf in hopes of reestablishing the species.
1973: The Endangered Species Act becomes law, which outlines the rights of private property owners while protecting the wolves and other animals, fish, amphibians and birds.
1980: The red wolf is declared extinct in the wild.
1984: The Red Wolf Recovery Plan is revised and approved.
1987: Four pairs of captive-born wolves are released into the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. A first litter of pups is born a year later.
1989: A second set of captive-born wolves are released in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. That program is later discontinued because the pups were not surviving.
2002: The entire North Carolina red wolf population is wild born except for two pups born at the N.C. Soon and fostered into a wild den, where they are raised by wolf wild parents.
2013: Southern Environmental Law Center successfully files suit against the state wildlife commission to curb night hunting of coyotes, because gunshots are killing the wolves.
2015: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service authorizes “take permits,” expanding the rights of private landowners to kill wolves. SELC sues, based on provisions of the Endangered Species Act. Case is pending as of 2016.
2016: USFWS Director Dan Ashe scheduled to rule on the future of the red wolf recovery program.
Source: International Wolf Center, federal court documents