Red Wolf Glossary
As you research red wolves and red wolf conservation there are some terms, acronyms, and phrases that you may come across frequently. While some may be easy to understand, others may prove more difficult. As such, Red Wolf Review has compiled a short glossary of commonly encountered terms using definitions that relate directly to red wolves and red wolf conservation. Sources of definitions are denoted at the bottom of the page.
- Absentee Landowner:
- A person or entity (such as a business) that owns land despite not inhabiting that land or the area surrounding it.
- "Any of several forms of a gene, usually arising through mutation, that are responsible for hereditary variation." †
- ARNWR: Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge;
- A large wildlife refuge on the Albemarle Peninsula in northeastern North Carolina that is a major part of the red wolf recovery area.
- AZA: Association of Zoos and Aquariums;
- The organization that governs how zoos and aquariums should operate in order to promote animal welfare and conservation. The AZA oversees numerous species survival plans including the RWSSP.
- Albemarle Peninsula:
- A peninsula in northeastern North Carolina that comprises of five counties; Dare County, Beaufort County, Hyde County, Tyrrell County, and Washington County. The peninsula is the location of the red wolf recovery area.
- Baseline Monitoring:
- "Also referred to as surveillance monitoring; monitoring that is not tied to specific predictions of how a natural resource will respond to management or environmental stressors, but instead is designed to document change over time of a natural resource. Examples include monitoring wildlife population trends, disease incidence, climate change, and wilderness character." ^
- "The variety of life and its processes, including the variety of living organisms, the genetic differences among them, and the communities and ecosystems in which they occur." *
- The genus that the red wolf (Canis rufus) belongs to.
- The state of being held in a confined or finite area.
- Captive Breeding:
- The act of selectively pairing captive red wolves for breeding in order to stabilize and maintain the population's genetic viability.
- Climate Change:
- "A long-term change in the earth's climate, especially a change due to an increase in the average atmospheric temperature." †
- Critically Endangered:
- "A taxon is Critically Endangered when the best available evidence indicates that it meets any of the criteria A to E for Critically Endangered (see Section V), and it is therefore considered to be facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild." ‡
- DOI: United States Department of the Interior;
- The organization that oversees the USFWS. "The U.S. Department of the Interior is a Cabinet-level agency that manages America's vast natural and cultural resources." °
- "A discussion, as of a public question in an assembly, involving opposing viewpoints." †
- "To remove an animal or plant species from the list of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants." *
- The type of habitation a red wolf commonly creates while raising newborn offspring in the wild. Can take the form of a hole, depression, or otherwise concealed space.
- "To reduce a federally protected species’ status from endangered to threatened, or from threatened to recovered. Sometimes referred to as `reclassified.'"^
- "A legal right to use someone else’s land for a particular purpose. For example, the municipal water company may have an easement to run water pipes under [private] property. For the [United States Fish and Wildlife] Service, an easement usually reserves private land for conservation purposes." ^
- "A dynamic and interrelating complex of plant and animal communities and their associated nonliving (such as physical and chemical) environment." *
- Parasites that live outside of the host, such as ticks.
- Endangered Species:
- "An animal or plant species in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range." *
- Parasites that live inside of the host, such as hookworms.
- ESA: Endangered Species Act (1973);
- "The Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended is federal legislation that is intended to provide a means to conserve the ecosystems upon which endangered and threatened species depend and provide programs for the conservation of those species, thus preventing extinction of plants and animals."*
- Essential Experimental Population:
- "An experimental population whose loss would appreciably reduce the prospect of survival of the species in the wild. All other experimental populations are `non-essential.'" *
- Experimental Population:
- "A population (including its offspring) of a listed species designated by rule published in the Federal Register that is wholly separate geographically from other populations of the same species. An experimental population may be subject to less stringent prohibitions than are applied to the remainder of the species to which it belongs." *
- Extirpated Species:
- "A species that no longer survives in regions that were once part of its range, but that still exists elsewhere in the wild or in captivity." *
- Flagship Species:
- "An iconic species that provides a focus for raising awareness and action to fund broader conservation efforts. Examples include the whooping crane and the Florida manatee." ^
- See "USFWS."
- "Naming" designation used to identify a female (F) wolf. For example, famous ambassador red wolf Betty's designation is F1276.
- "The genetic makeup of an organism or group of organisms with reference to a single trait, set of traits, or an entire complex of traits." †
- Gestation Period:
- The amount of time required for offspring to develop in the womb. For red wolves this period lasts approximately two months.
- GPS: Global Positioning System;
- A satellite-based system used to find real-time location information.
- "The place or environment where a plant or animal naturally lives and grows (a group of particular environmental conditions)." *
- Historic Range:
- "The geographic area where a species was known to or believed to occur within historic time." *
- The creation of offspring through crossbreeding between two different types of creatures, such as red wolves and coyotes.
- Identification Chips (ID Chips):
- Electronically scannable chips placed in some newborn red wolves for future identification in the wild. Used to understand the movements, behaviors, and wellbeing of each individual. Also known as PIT Tags.
- Inbreeding or Inbreeding Depression:
- A loss of population viability and longevity due to breeding amongst closely-related individuals in a species.
- ITIS: Integrated Taxonomic Information System;
- A database of taxonomic information on different species.
- IUCN: International Union for the Conservation of Nature;
- "The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together."
- A person or entity (such as a business) owning rights to use and inhabit a piece of land with specified boundaries.
- A group of offspring. For red wolves, average litter size is around five pups.
- The occurrence or frequency of death.
- "Naming" designation used to identify a male (M) wolf. For example, famous ambassador red wolf Hank is designated as M1200.
- NCWRC: North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission;
- A North Carolinian government agency that oversees wildlife management within the state.
- Nonessential Experimental Population:
- See "Essential Experimental Population."
- A type of rodent that is part of a red wolf's natural diet. Also known as a coypu in other regions.
- Term used to describe a group of wolves. Red wolf pack sizes vary based on family size, access to food, and environmental limitations.
- PDZA: Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium;
- A zoo and aquarium located in Tacoma, Washington that is home to a group of captive red wolves. It is the original member of the RWSSP.
- "The appearance of an organism resulting from the interaction of the genotype and the environment." †
- PIT Tags:
- See "Identification Chips."
- PLNWR: Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge;
- A wildlife refuge in northeastern North Carolina that is part of the red wolf recovery area.
- The term used to describe juvenile red wolves. This International Wolf Center timeline, while primarily discussing gray wolves, offers a good overview of the aging process.
- Radio Collar:
- Collars placed on wild red wolves to aid in tracking and behavioral analysis.
- "The geographic area a species is known to or believed to occupy." *
- "The process by which the decline of an endangered or threatened species is stopped or reversed, or threats to its survival neutralized so that its long-term survival in the wild can be ensured, and it can be removed from the list of threatened and endangered species." *
- An area of land dedicated to the conservation of the natural wildlife and environment.
- See "Refuge."
- The species name for the red wolf (Canis rufus).
- RWC: Red Wolf Coalition;
- A nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting red wolf education and recovery. Based in Columbia, North Carolina.
- RWR: Red Wolf Review;
- This website; an informational education source about red wolves and red wolf conservation.
- RWRA: Red Wolf Recovery Area;
- A five-county area in northeastern North Carolina where red wolf recovery efforts in the wild take place.
- RWRP: Red Wolf Recovery Program;
- A program designed to restore the viability and longevity of the wild red wolf population. Overseen by the USFWS.
- RWSSP: Red Wolf Species Survival Plan;
- A program overseen by the AZA to captively breed red wolves and maintain a captive population for tentative release in the wild.
- In relation to red wolves: A designated area of land where animals are generally safer from harm as a result of human activity.
- Scientific Name:
- "A formal Latin or latinized name applied to a taxonomic group of animals or plants. A species' scientific name is a two-part combination consisting of the genus followed by the species." *
- "For purposes of the Endangered Species Act, this term includes any species or subspecies of fish or wildlife or plants, and any distinct population segment of any species of vertebrate fish or wildlife which interbreeds when mature." *
- A genetic record containing information on each individual red wolf.
- "To harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct; may include significant habitat modification or degradation if it kills or injures wildlife by significantly impairing essential behavioral patterns including breeding, feeding, or sheltering." *
- The classification of different types of living things.
- Electronic methods of transmitting location data about a red wolf in the wild.
- USFWS: United States Fish and Wildlife Service;
- The government agency under the USDOI that oversees the RWRP.
- VHF: Very High Frequency;
- A form of radio transmission in which radio waves pass any given point very rapidly per unit of time. Used in telemetry to track the locations of red wolves in the wild.
- The Algonquin Native American word for wolf.
- A facility where captive animals are taken care of and displayed for education and entertainment purposes.
Sources: The symbol next to each source ( *, ^, †, ‡, °, ⹋) corresponds to each glossary entry that comes from that source. If a glossary entry has no symbol, it was written by Red Wolf Review.
- United States Fish and Wildlife Service: Source 1 *, Source 2 (Glossary Icon in menu) ^
- Dictionary.com †
- International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List ‡
- International Union for the Conservation of Nature ⹋
- United States Department of the Interior (USDOI) °