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USFWS Grants Landowner Permit to Kill Critically Endangered Red Wolf

Landowners who own property in the vicinity of the Red Wolf Recovery Program, a 27-year federal project aimed at restoring to the far-eastern edge of North Carolina one of nature’s most fragile species, claim red wolves are invading their private property and impacting their longstanding cultural tradition of deer hunting.   Although the deer population has dropped somewhat, NC Wildlife Resources Commission representatives believe the decline is more likely the result of increased doe hunting than impacts by red wolves.

To date, there are no known red wolf attacks on humans and few documented livestock kills. Still, resentment started building early on. Though red wolves are protected under the Endangered Species Act, locals were promised that they would be classified as “nonessential and experimental,” giving landowners more leeway in dealing with them.

Farm owner Jett Ferebee has recently been granted by the USFWS the first (and only) known permit to kill one of the red wolves that the Service had been unable to trap and remove from his Tyrell County property.

Relief for landowners depends on what they expect,” said USFWS Red Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Dave Rabon.”  Canids of some kind, whether wolves or coyotes, will always be in the area.  With Mr. Ferebee,” he said, “we’ve been very successful removing animals from his property when he’s called us. But it’s temporary. They’re going to come back. Something is going to come back.”   Rabon added that opposition isn’t pervasive. “A lot of them will work with us,” he said. “But they’re not going to advertise it. They’re not going to put a bumper sticker on their car.”

Fourteen red wolves died in 2013 that the Red Wolf Coalition knows about, including nine dead by suspected or confirmed gunshot wounds. Another wolf was found killed, apparently shot, on Jan. 7.   “Because of the similarity of appearance between red wolves and coyotes, it is nearly impossible for individual hunters to avoid shooting red wolves,” said the lawsuit that the Red Wolf Coalition and other wildlife groups filed against the state.

If successful, the suit could stop coyote hunting altogether in the five eastern counties. If it does, one can expect continued conflict between pro-recovery efforts and landowners.

The red wolf (Canis rufus) is one of the world’s most endangered canids.  Once common throughout the eastern and southcentral United States, red wolf populations were nearly exterminated by the early part of the 20th century as a result of intensive predator control programs and habitat loss.  We oppose USFWS’ action to allow this landowner to lethally remove a red wolf. Thus, we ask that you express your opposition with a respectful email to the parties below:

By email: (Regional Director, Southeast Region) (Assistant Regional Director, Southeast Region) (Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

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73 Responses to USFWS Grants Landowner Permit to Kill Critically Endangered Red Wolf

  1. Debra Iacopucci says:

    Such a contradiction! Instead of requiring land owners to take the appropriate precautions, you sign a death warrant for a critically endangered species. For what? Again, another govt agency doing whats best for man, and not the environment. Big Surprise.

  2. corey namura says:

    Hello, I am contacting you today in response to your decision to allow landowners to kill Red Wolves. While I understand that this is a very contentious issue, please ensure that the biology/research is consistent with your decision. Wolves are an essential part of the delicate balance of nature; indiscriminate killing of wolves is unnecessary and does a great deal of harm to wolves families. The result is wolves with behavioural problems.
    Please reconsider you recent decision. Thank you.

  3. You know…..I believe it’s Google….not too good at remembering. Anyways….it sickens my heart to hear of these beautiful creatures being killed..just for the ignorance of the HUMANS……..I will stop here cause you would not want my true heartfelt words to be written…..!!!

  4. Why are you killing off these wolves?? Our children will never grow to see what a wolf looks like, except in a book. It is so wrong. God put these animals on this earth, not for killing. Why I just don’t understand. It is there nature to kill other animals but it’s not our nature to kill or is it?? Just leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone.

  5. Cheryl Dahlman says:

    Beinging we only have a few red wolves left, please why can’t they be re-located, rather than killed. It’s sad when only a few with no help will become none.

  6. plasschaert says:

    pour que chaque espèce vive en toutes tranquillité
    la tolérance doit être de mise

  7. Carla Hepp says:

    I am strongly opposed to the killing of the extinct red Wolf. There has to be other alternatives to remove the red wolf from these properties. I believe that there has not been enough research or other options identified to resolve this issue. Please save this animal from the senseless killings.

    Respectfully Carla A. Hepp
    225 S. Grange Ave
    Sioux Falls S.D. 57104

  8. STOP KILLING,people never cease to amaze me at how cruel,greedy and ignorant they can be when it come’s to looking after what has been given to us,and then complain when things go wrong

  9. Lisa Cullinane says:

    These endangered animals should be protected not hunted!

  10. Carol Falkenburg says:

    To whom it may concer,
    Please, please do not allow the killing of such a rare, endangered species such as the Red Wolf. These animals deserve a fair chance of survival and we as human beings should give them a chance.

    Carol Falkenburg

  11. Sandra Weber says:

    I find it very disappointing that landowners would even want to kill the red wolf, when it’s one of the world’s most endangered species. As you’ve mentioned, wolves are not the only deer predators. The people who kill deer are most likely the people who are causing fewer deer by killing does. It’s always so convenient to blame wolves for everything.

  12. claudia brown says:

    We need wolves. We need all of them. Please stop killing them. The lord put them here for a reason. This is their land, not ours!

  13. sara lordon says:

    Stop the killing,preserve their habitat,animals are NOT acommodity,they are living and feeling creatures.Show that you are a evoved,moral society,please RETHINK

  14. rehana vn says:

    It is sad that humans have lost all respect for living beings. The Wolves are ESSENTIAL & PRECIOUS to the ecosystem. Murdering them IS DEFINITELY NOT AN OPTION! STOP THIS MADNESS OF GROSS AGGRESSION & LET WOLVES LIVE IN HARMONY AS THEY HAVE DONE FOR CENTURIES!

  15. Tami Eubanks says:

    Please save these beautiful animals!!!!!

  16. memory richey says:

    Please protect the wolves. It’s insane to kill such a beautiful well needed for nature balance. If in doubt get in touch with authorities at Yellowstone national park

  17. Scott Slocum says:

    Whoever said that it’s nearly impossible for “individual hunters” to distinguish between coyotes and red wolves was either referring to incompetent “individual hunters,” or was incorrect and off the point. The point of the lawsuit is that the State Wildlife Commission erred in relaxing the coyote-hunting regulations. That’s dangerous business, relaxing hunting & trapping regulations and thus putting dangerous wildlife-control operations into the hands of incompetent hunters and trappers.

  18. isabel hynes says:

    dear lord i ask myself everyday why this murdering of these lovely animals is allowed to go on these people are heartless surely one day they will answer for the sins of this horrible killing you people take a moment and think what you are doing you might think you have the world by the tail now but ur day will come these horrid acts never go unpunished please stop now before its too late people are not going to sit back and take this killing and why the hell should they always keep KARMA in mind

  19. Jeanne Evanchuk says:

    This is wrong!!!

  20. Jeanne Evanchuk says:


  21. Betty Deleon says:

    Please preserve the red wolves, they are nearly extinct. Relocate if necessary but don’t allow them to be killed.

  22. Imogen Merlo says:

    The change allowing landowners to lethally remove red wolves from their property completely undermines current legislation to protect this critically endangered species.
    These wolves have shown no danger to humans and due to their rarity, pose no threat to local deer populations, which are far more likely to have been impacted by extensive hunting than predation.
    We need to promote education, understanding and peaceful coexistence with this iconic species rather than take the final steps towards their extinction.

  23. Pam Bommarito says:

    Please do not allow this person to kill one of the few remaining red wolves. It is imperative for the natural balance of our environment that the killing of our wild animals stop. More humane ways must be used to protect them so the population can grow.

    Pamela Bommarito

  24. Janie McDermott says:

    Since when do the rights of sportsmen supersede the rights of another species to survive? It took thousands of years and generations of evolution to create the unique wildlife breeds hunters have nearly wiped out in less than a century. We are stewards of the earth and its creatures, not omnipotent despots. The killing has to stop!

  25. R Alexander says:

    WTF are you thinking – or do you think ?

    We (The People) expect you to PROTECT endangered species.

    If you can’t do that, we will replace you with someone who can.

  26. Marge Kenote says:

    Stop the insanity of killing our wildlife. The lord put everything on earth for a reason.

  27. Please provide protection for our red wolves. Stop spotlighting in North Carolina Smokey mountain region

  28. Please stop spotlighting in North Carolina and smokey mountain region

  29. audra gednalske says:

    Why kill a beautiful animal.. you people suck.Hope you all go to hell and get what you deserve..

  30. sandra padilla says:

    wolves are essential to a balanced ecosystem. wolves get killed and the environment suffers.

  31. Joanna Carr says:

    These animals should be protected. Find an alternative solution to killing.

  32. Veda Balla says:

    There is no reason to kill these wolves.

  33. Terry McGregor says:

    You fools are destroying this planet and you think its a joke,kill the wolves then the whole eco system will be in danger of dieing,whats left for our children?

  34. Jacqueline Malinowska says:

    These endangered wolves rid the forests of sickly and diseased animals. They avoid man in the most cases. They are part of our Natural Heritage and a joy to watch. Please consider the harm of any unneeded hunting of endangered animals.

  35. Maureen bowen says:

    With only 100 left I implore you to do all you can to save this animal. We need our large predators as science shows the ecology suffers if taken out.

  36. Pauline Desilets says:


  37. These Wolves must be protected, not killed!!!

  38. These Wolves needs to be protected, not killed!!

  39. Misty Lambert says:

    Please don’t let all the work done to bring these beautiful creatures back be in vain ! Let them live they are a very important part of our cycle and should not be killed ,but worshiped!

  40. I would like to start i think the USFWS is wrong for handing out these permit at all,One permit is to many.I’m sure there are other nonlethal options that could encourage the coexistence of this critically endangered species in the wild.But until that can be done I think no more permits should be handed out to home owners until the USFWS can find other ways to help the wolves and landowners to coexist.Thank you.


  41. Karalinda Aguilar says:

    Please STOP killing the red wolf or any other wolves! They are essential !

  42. Karen Sands says:


  43. Jessica Eaton says:

    We have to save these beautiful creatures!

  44. Patricia Vineski says:

    Really?! Seriously?! Has the USFWS become so entrenched in outdated, ineffective, and lethal solutions that it is willing to further harm a species that is barely hanging on? There are proven non-lethal methods available and the USFWS needs to do its job and protect endangered species and the areas in which they live. What about educating people about red wolves and working for co-existing with them? That is a part of the job of the USFWS, as well. Do your job!

  45. Jenny McPherson says:

    Unbelievably selfish this act is. We as people should know better & stop having the affect we do on nature. Leave these animals alone, there are only 100 left of the incredibly endangered Red Wolf. How dare anyone think this is okay in anyway, shape, or form.

  46. Jana says:

    No permit should ever be given to kill endangered animals. This is horrifying.
    When animals are “protected” by the Endangered Species Act, there should be no exceptions.

  47. Terrie Dunn says:


  48. Laurie Jeffries says:

    Please protect our wolves .

  49. Susan M. Brooks says:

    This absolutely kills me. Why must the human race consider everything below us and worthy of annihilation???

  50. Danielle Shaw says:

    I strongly oppose the USFWS’ action to allow this landowner to lethally remove red wolves from his property. The landowner’s complaint that the wolves are “interfering” with their deer hunting tradition is beyond pathetic. If the landowner truly cared about tradition, he might want to consider not only preserving the red wolf, but also the deer for the time. That is if he hopes to hand down his “tradition” to future generations of hunters.

  51. Stephanie Kirsch says:

    Please stop this nonsense! Why would you allow the killing of a critically endangered species? We need biodiversity, and the red wolf is a part of that diversity.

  52. Toni Murray says:

    I cannot believe the insanity happening with this evil culture of death war on native wildlife. HUMANS need to concede a bit to what actually belongs in the wild.

  53. Andrew Johanesen says:

    They may not be essential to the government, however they are essential to nature. Man can co-exist with other predators, not all of nature is ours to use as we see fit.

  54. Daniel Olmstead says:

    What is wrong with governments where common sense no longer prevails but death and environmental damage due at a profit?

  55. Diane Gubrud says:


  56. Laura Manz says:

    This is unbelievable. Permitting the death of an endangered creature so some yahoo’s can shoot deer!!! What is wrong with our agency???? Have you lost all sense of purpose??? This is beyond comprehension. Do NOT allow this to happen!!!

  57. Janet Sorenson says:

    What is the matter with you people??? This is outrageous that you permit this to go on. There are other non-lethal ways to get the wolves to move from the landowner’s land without killing them. Are you not understanding the importance of these wolves? Please tell me, what is your reasoning behind this decision? What are your facts? I oppose USFWS’ action to allow a landowner to lethally remove a red wolf! You owe the citizens of the United States and valid explanation.

  58. Oceah Hart says:

    With proof in Idaho of increasing Elk herds on ranchers land, it is simple to see that Wolves are vital to our ecosystem. Wolves change the landscape in a positive way. For too long humans have killed these sentient beings. They are here for a reason. Leave them alone.

  59. Red Wolves Need Protection !. These Wolves Should Not Be Killed !. These Red Wolves Are An Endangered Species and Need Legal Laws Of No Kill Policy Enforced Immediately. They Need Protected Wolf Sanctuaries !. Please Stop Killing The Wolf Species !. They Belong Here and it id Cruel , And an Injustice to Kill Them !. Thankyou. Della Moodie . Canada. Feb.18, 2014. EST.

  60. Rachel Seiler says:

    There must be an alternative to lethal action.

  61. frachon Brigitte says:

    certain aime les loups pour le côté soit disant (maléfique)moi je les aime pour leur beauté, leur fierté, leur hiérarchie beaucoup plus élaborée que la notre…faite que certain esprits se reveillent et s’aperçoivent qu’ils tuent nos brûmes, nos rêves et la liberté…

  62. Jeffrey Shaw says:

    We need to do what we can to save the Red Wolf. If it is not a matter of life and death, don’t shoot it. Have it removed safely so this beautiful animal can survive.

  63. The wolf is vital in the way of nature, by killing wolves, it changes the faun & fauna of the natural world & nature looks after itself very well & way before man ever came along. Stop this killing & giving land owners permission to kill.

  64. Rebha says:

    stop the stupid killing of most endangered wolfs this it totaly out of line Humans dont know how to build their dam fences and take care of their heards then it is their own faults not the wolf they have a right to feed just as we do and humans have taken their lands away and now humans want to kill them for their own mistakes STOP THE KILLING……………….

  65. SA Block says:

    to USFWS;
    How can you seriously consider this action!? If the wolves are protected FEDERALLY, they should not fall victim to this wanton need to kill for the sport. Wolves don’t know when it’s not safe to cross a certain border, and giving people the right to kill them is completely unacceptable. There are less than 100 left in the wild and yet you are stating that they are impacting the long standing tradition of hunting.’ Since when was it more important to please hunters than to preserve our wildlife? You people continue to horribly disappoint me and are NOT doing the job you are appointed to do.

  66. Gloria Griffin says:

    I ask you to please reconsider the killing of these magnificent creatures. they are a critical part of this great country and I’m sure you don’t want future generations to look back and know that because of you they are gone forever. These beautiful endangered animals need your help. Please have a heart and do the right thing. We are all watching.


    Gloria Griffin

  67. Beth McMaster says:

    USF&W – Are you really this perverted and selfish?

  68. Bergamini Eleonora says:


  69. Julie Baker says:

    if people r going to live next to Red Wolf Recovery property they should be required to put up fences along ALL property surrounding the home owners property.

  70. Claudia capolupo says:

    “0nly when the last tree has died, & the last river poisoned, the last fish has been caught,
    Only then will we realize we cannot eat money”.
    Killing to the point of extinction cheats your children & grandchildren to come.
    And what a shame that would be.

  71. Gina says:

    There are better ways of dealing with animals not wanted on property than to kill them. Wolves are necessary to keep the predator/prey balance. They are beautiful and intelligent creatures. It’s very selfish to kill them for personal gain.

  72. Debra broessel says:

    Please stop killing Gods creatures

  73. Stop killing our wild life you stupid people who shoot them should be hung lets see how they like it. Farmers can be so dramatic!! Plus they ger government help all the time so what gives.Stop the maddness!!!

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