Wild Red Wolves Captured on Film in North Carolina
With only 28 know red wolves remaining in the wild, these two beauties could be the last you see.
The red wolf is an American icon that makes our country’s wild lands whole and healthy. It’s one of the few large carnivore species endemic to the United States. Their importance to a balanced and resilient ecosystem is undeniable. And red wolf recovery should be a matter of pride and priority for our nation. Hunting, trapping, and poisoning caused the initial extinction of red wolves in the wild. Today the world’s most endangered wolf is facing extinction for a second time, but at the hands of our government.
For a while, thanks to sustained federal leadership, the red wolf recovery effort was making steady progress. The wild population peaked at an estimated 130 wolves in 2006 and remained above 100 for several years.
But in 2014, USFWS halted all key management activity and the wild red wolf population plummeted to its lowest level in decades.
On September 12, 2016, USFWS published its long-awaited Red Wolf Program Review. The agency proposes a new rule that significantly changes the size, scope and management of the current red wolf recovery program. The rule includes USFWS’s plan to pull the last wild red wolves from most of their range in North Carolina to put them in captivity. Ironically, the federal agency claimed its decision was “based on the best and latest scientific information” from the red wolf Population Viability Analysis (PVA).
But the very scientists who drafted the PVA charge that USFWS based its plan on “many alarming misinterpretations” of their scientific analysis and warn that USFWS’s plan “will no doubt result in the extinction of red wolves in the wild.” In a letter they ask the agency to “edit or append” its decision.
USFWS’s misinterpretation of science represents the most recent blow the agency has delivered to the world’s most endangered wolf species.
Due to the Service’s neglect and inaction over the past few years, red wolves are facing extinction with only 28 known remaining in the wild.
Adding insult to injury, a in a November 20, 2017 Senate report (Page 17), some senators direct USFWS to “… end the Red Wolf recovery program and declare the Red Wolf extinct.”
USFWS, the very agency charged by federal law with protecting endangered species, needs to recommit to red wolf recovery in the wild. Urge your Senators to give red wolves a fighting chance!
Take Action HERE.