New science is helping the native red wolf population in Eastern Carolina make a comeback. At the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, a breeding facility in the red wolf recovery program is helping insure the genetic security of animals in the wild. By 1980, only 14 pure red wolves were left in the wild. The 100 or so existing animals left were all coyote hybrids. Now, scientists use gene mapping to play matchmaker to breeding pairs at 40 different facilities across the Southeast. Currently, twenty packs now roam the Albemarle Peninsula, with about two hundred pure red wolves at breeding facilities. Scientists now take captive bred pups into the wild, where they're adopted by existing packs.
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