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New Poll Reveals Statewide Support for Red Wolf Recovery in North Carolina

Contact: Haley McKey 202-772-0247 hmckey@defenders.org


New Poll Reveals Statewide Support for Red Wolf Recovery in North Carolina

WASHINGTON (August 30, 2016) – 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, eliminating the red wolf coordinator position at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and 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 mother wolf believed to be nursing. 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 prevent its extinction. Other results include:

·         Sixty percent (60%) of registered voters in North Carolina’s Albemarle Peninsula (which includes the red wolf recovery area) support red wolf recovery, and seventy-seven percent (77%) said they support helping endangered species by recovering them in their native habitat.


·         Seventy-six percent (76%) of registered voters throughout North Carolina agreed that red wolves play an important role in shaping their natural habitat and that a healthy population of red wolves in North Carolina will bring a healthier balance to the state’s ecosystems.


Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, issued the following statement:

“This poll shows that North Carolina residents across the political spectrum support red wolf recovery and want the agency to step up and save the species. The Red Wolf Recovery Program was once a bold and effective conservation effort, restoring red wolves back to the wild after very nearly going extinct. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service needs to do all it can to recover the red wolf before it disappears from the wild once again.”


Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org. For the latest news from Defenders, follow us at @DefendersNews