Red wolves are disappearing, and the agency tasked with ensuring their survival has turned its back on them.
Bowing to political pressure, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has dropped virtually all aspects of its recovery program for red wolves. The agency fired the program's recovery coordinator in 2014 and stopped introducing new wolves into the wild in 2015. And it has cut back law-enforcement activities designed to protect the wolves, even as illegal killings have driven their population downward.
Red wolves once ranged from Texas to Virginia throughout the Southeast coastal plains before they were hunted nearly out of existence. Now they survive only in a small part of eastern North Carolina. New population counts released by the Service show the population has fallen to as few as 45 individuals.
It's shameful the Service is turning its back on the animals it is entrusted to protect.
Take action — tell the Fish and Wildlife to stop playing politics with extinction and protect endangered red wolves.
Dear Director Ashe,
I'm writing to urge you to implement a recovery plan for red wolves that will ensure their recovery in the wild.
As you well know, red wolves once ranged across the Southeast United States before they were hunted to the very brink of extinction. After a successful reintroduction program their population climbed to as high as 100 in the 2000s, but illegal killings have driven these rare canids' population into the ground. Your own agency's recent population counts show that red wolf populations have fallen to as few as 45 individuals – a number too low to ensure the species continued survival.
Please do not walk away from red wolf recovery because it is a politically sensitive issue. Your agency is tasked with the legal and moral obligation to prevent species' extinctions. It’s not too late to save America’s red wolves, so please: Don't let them down now.
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