The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is considering changes to the existing protections for the world’s last population of wild red wolves. Fewer than 35 remain.
Published this morning, the federal agency’s proposed rule intends to revise the existing nonessential experimental population designation of red wolves in North Carolina under section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act to allow significant changes in the size, scope and management of the current red wolf recovery program.
The rule includes the Service’s plan to allow pulling 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.
The WCC is is currently reviewing the proposed rule and will be participating during the public comment period. Stay tuned…