A strong majority of North Carolinians support the effort to recover the native red wolf, according to a new poll conducted by Tulchin Research. These results arrive as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) prepares to announce its decision on the future of the Red Wolf Recovery Program, the only effort to restore red wolves into the wild in the United States. Over the past few years the agency has all but abandoned the program via actions like (a) eliminating the red wolf coordinator position at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and (b) sharply increasing red wolf removal from the wild at the request of a few private landowners in the red wolf recovery area. In 2014, FWS issued its first-ever lethal take permit for red wolves, and allowed a landowner to kill a female wolf believed to be nursing pups. Today, fewer than 60 red wolves remain in the wild.
These actions stand in sharp contrast to the results of the new poll, which revealed that seventy-three (73%) percent of North Carolinians said they support red wolf recovery. The survey also found that over eighty percent (80%) of registered voters throughout North Carolina believe the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should make every effort to help the endangered red wolf population recover and to prevent its extinction.