Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Restoration of the red wolf

Published source details

Phillips M.K., Henry V.G. & Kelly B.T. (2003) Restoration of the red wolf. Pages 272-288 in: D.L. Mech & L. Boitani (eds.) Wolves: behavior, ecology, and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Provide supplementary food during/after release of captive-bred mammals Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 1987–1994 in a grassland site in North Carolina, USA (Phillips et al. 2003) found that having provided supplementary food after release (after some animals were kept in holding pens), 12 of 63 captive-bred red wolves Canis lupus rufus survived for at least seven years, and some animals successfully reproduced. Seven years after wolves were first reintroduced, 12 of 63 translocated animals were still alive. By the same time, at least 66 pups had been born. Between October 1987 and December 1994, sixty-three captive-bred wolves were released. Twenty-nine wolves were held in pens (225 m2) on site before release (duration: 14 days-49 months), and 34 animals were released on arrival at the site. An unspecified number of wolves were fitted with radio-collars. From October 1987 to December 1994, wolves were radio-tracked from the ground and from an aeroplane. Monitoring frequency was not specified. Supplementary food (deer carcasses) was provided for 1-2 months after release from the ninth release onwards.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)

Use holding pens at release site prior to release of captive-bred mammals Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 1987–1994 in a grassland site in North Carolina, USA (Phillips et al. 2003) found that following release of captive-bred animals, some of which were kept in holding pens and then provided supplementary food, 12 of 63 red wolves Canis lupus rufus survived for at least seven years, and some successfully reproduced. Seven years after wolves were first reintroduced, 12 of 63 translocated animals were still alive. By the same time, at least 66 pups had been born. Between October 1987 and December 1994, sixty-three captive-bred wolves were released. Twenty-nine wolves were held in pens (225 m2) on site before release (duration: 14 days-49 months), and thirty-four animals were released on arrival at the site. An unspecified number of wolves were fitted with radio-collars. From October 1987 to December 1994, wolves were radio-tracked from the ground and from an aeroplane. Monitoring frequency was not specified. Supplementary food (deer carcasses) was provided at release sites for 1-2 months after release from the ninth release onwards.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)