Red wolf supporters and advocates have reacted strongly to the recent proposal by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) regarding the future of red wolves. We encourage red wolf supporters to gear up for a long and focused effort over the coming months. There will be, as required by law, a public comment period. Please be ready to help us address the Service’s proposal to confine the only red wolves on the planet to a fragment of public land on the eastern Albemarle Peninsula while rounding up the rest and placing them in captivity.
Learn more about the proposal at NC Policy Watch.
One red wolf expert detailed the plan’s impacts this way:
If the USFWS is successful in reducing and limiting red wolves to Dare county federal lands as planned, the red wolf would be, for all intents and purposes, functionally extinct in the wild once again. ARNWR and the Dare Bombing Range have historically only supported one or two breeding pairs of wolves. Trying to limit future wolves to these lands would mean that any potential offspring would literally have nowhere to go, no place to disperse to and establish their own packs, and therefore no possible future in the wild. They would be captured and placed in captivity for simply doing what a wolf does naturally. That is not a population, no matter how the USFWS tries to spin it. That is functional, ecological extinction. The decision making by current USFWS leadership regarding the red wolf has been absolutely disgraceful. They seem to forget that the USFWS is the sole agency mandated by the ESA to recover the red wolf, one of the most critically endangered species on the planet, not orchestrate it’s re-extinction as they’ve seemed hell bent on doing for the last few years. And they seem very confused by the fact that they are in fact mandated by the ESA to recover endangered species IN THE WILD within their historic range – not just to prevent extinction in pens.