What’s Changing

Moving forward, the Endangered Wolf Center is choosing to capitalize Red Wolf when referring to the species. Whether it’s written as American Red Wolf or Red Wolf, this update is intentional and we want to share why this decision is close to our hearts.

Why We’re Capitalizing Red Wolf From Now On

In 2022, an elder of the Cherokee Nation’s Wolf Clan visited the Endangered Wolf Center to film a segment for, “Waya, Saving Our Red Grandfather,” a documentary that highlights the cultural significance that the Red Wolf holds to the Cherokee people. You can learn more about the production and our time with Elder John Ross on our blog

Upon learning about the deep connection the Cherokee people have with Red Wolves, our team felt inspired to continue our mission of saving this species more than ever. After all, Red Wolves in America used to be found across the southeastern United States, ranging from southern Missouri to Texas, covering the Gulf Coast states and extending up to the New England states. 

For the Wolf Clan, the loss of this iconic animal on the landscape is more than an environmental problem. It is a spiritual and emotional problem, as well.

Acknowledging the cultural significance of American Red Wolves to Native American Tribes, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service chose to capitalize “Red Wolf” in the last updated recovery plan. This practice symbolizes the equal personhood status of these wolves to the Cherokee Nation, a practice we are honored to adopt.

Small Changes Make a Big Difference

We hope this small change reflects our deep respect for the important status Red Wolves hold in Native American Tribal cultures and that our work to conserve this critically endangered species can make a big difference in contributing to a thriving ecosystem for both wolves and people.

To learn more, please watch Waya, Saving Our Red Grandfather and you can also learn more about the Endangered Wolf Center’s DEAI Initiatives on our website.