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USFWS Unlawfully Withholds Info While Leaving Last Red Wolves to “Die on the Vine”

Only 14 red wolves are known to remain in the wild, and the the federal agency charged with protecting them is withholding information about their work.

Today, Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) filed suit today against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for unlawfully delaying and withholding public documents regarding management of red wolves. In the complaint, SELC alleges the USFWS unlawfully delayed and improperly withheld public documents in response to SELC’s requests under the Freedom of Information Act.

The lawsuit comes as nearly a year has passed since a federal judge ruled that USFWS violated legal requirements to protect and recover the world’s last wild red wolves – a court decision that forced the agency to announce its suspension in its rulemaking process regarding red wolves. The Judge also made permanent the court’s September 29, 2016 order stopping the USFWS from capturing and killing red wolves and authorizing private landowners to do the same.

No longer plagued by questions of taxonomy, no excuses remain for USFWS. The agency needs to re-evaluate its recent decisions and management changes and bring its efforts back in line with the conservation mandate of federal law.

There’s no time to waste. The worlds last wild red wolves are facing extinction and it’s happening on our watch.