This is great news for the wild red wolf population in North Carolina!
Red wolf management by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Red Wolf Recovery Program team will no longer be restricted to Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and the Dare County bombing range.
Instead, this decision recognizes the Service’s authority to release additional wolves and to conduct adaptive management across the five counties of the Albemarle Peninsula—Beaufort, Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell, and Washington.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) has withdrawn its proposed rule regarding the Nonessential Experimental Population of Red Wolves in Northeastern North Carolina—and your public comments helped make this happen! Based on recent court decisions and on its consideration of public comments submitted in response to the 2018 proposed rule, the USFWS has determined that withdrawing the proposed rule is the best course of action at this time.
— Read the USFWS news release —
Withdrawal of the 2018 proposed rule means red wolves in the North Carolina wild red wolf population will continue to be managed under existing regulations, as clarified by relevant court orders. Management under the 1995 rule recognizes the Service’s authority to release additional wolves and to conduct adaptive management activities. The North Carolina wild red wolf population will continue to encompass the five counties of the Albemarle Peninsula.
As well, the Service will work with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to implement coyote sterilization on both federal and non-federal lands (subject to written landowner agreements). Authorized take scenarios will be limited to the protection of oneself or others from potential harm, protection of livestock or pets in immediate danger, and unintentional take.
The Service will continue to work with stakeholders to identify ways to encourage and facilitate more effective coexistence between people and wolves, through programs such as Prey for the Pack, and to establish the support necessary for red wolf conservation.
The proposed rule will be withdrawn on November 15, 2021, upon notice in the Federal Register.
The Bottom Line
Red wolf management by the USFWS Red Wolf Recovery Program team will no longer be restricted to land in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and the Dare County Bombing Range.