There may be as few as 50 red wolves left in the wild – and now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is making reckless decisions that could destroy any remaining hope these struggling wolves have for survival.
FWS recently announced plans to put its efforts to recover red wolves on hold, and we fear they may abandon the Red Wolf Recovery Program in the wild. What’s worse, FWS is legally responsible under the Endangered Species Act for saving red wolves from extinction.
If the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service doesn’t step up and get serious about recovering red wolves soon, these critically endangered wolves will slide toward extinction in the wild – not because of natural causes but because of bureaucratic foot-dragging and power politics.
Defenders has gone to court three times to get the agency to do its job. Just as things were entering a critical stage for red wolves, FWS delivered this blow and is now stepping back while wolves continue to be killed and is refusing to move forward until they "study" the program more.
Tell Secretary Jewell to direct FWS to fully implement red wolf recovery!
Dear Secretary Jewell,
As a supporter of Defenders of Wildlife and someone who cares deeply about wolves, I'm writing today urging you to step up and continue red wolf recovery efforts in North Carolina.
Recently, FWS announced that it will suspend proactive efforts to recover the only remaining wild population of 50-75 red wolves which results in an immediate stop to its wolf reintroduction program.
This is merely a passive monitoring strategy that falls well short of what is needed to continue red wolf recovery. Rather than actively protecting the few wolves remaining in the wild, the Service is managing them through continued study and neglect.
I'm calling on you to actively continue working to recover red wolves, not just monitoring and studying them. The Service needs to put an end to lethal control, develop collaborative local partnerships and stronger legal protections and improve coexistence measures for red wolves.
Red wolf recovery efforts must not only be maintained but also expanded if the species is to survive in the wild.
Defenders of Wildlife is a leader in developing innovative and effective methods for minimizing conflict between people and wildlife and promoting incentives for keeping wolves on the landscape. That is exactly what red wolves urgently need today. The Service must continue to work with local private landowners and other stakeholders to implement non-lethal tools and programs that help them coexist with wolves.
It is vital that FWS continue to stand behind, implement and fully fund the Red Wolf Recovery Program; we can't allow these wolves to be exterminated once again from their native lands.
I'm urging you to stand strong and not abandon the recovery efforts that are vital to the existence of this species.