North Carolina State Legislative Committee Calls for Killing Red Wolf Recovery Program
Fewer than 50 red wolves remain in the wild
RALEIGH, N.C. (Thursday, June 23, 2016)– The House Natural Resources Committee of the General Assembly of North Carolina approved a bill today that would request that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) end its Red Wolf Recovery Program in North Carolina, despite the wolf’s endangered status and dangerously low numbers. An estimated 50 or fewer North Carolina’s native red wolf remain in the wild. Threatened by accidental shooting by coyote hunters and dwindling support from FWS, the federal agency tasked with protecting the red wolf, this species will almost certainly go extinct in the wild if the FWS’ recovery program is cancelled completely. The red wolf is the rarest canid in the world and the most endangered mammal in the United States.
The following is a statement from Defenders of Wildlife Southeast Program Director Ben Prater:
“The red wolf is native to North Carolina and as much a part of our nation’s natural heritage as the bald eagle and the bison. Yet the state’s House Natural Resources Committee has just approved a bill which demands an end to recovery efforts. This rare species once served as a model for successful wolf recovery in other parts of the country. Now these state lawmakers are calling for the extinction of the red wolf.
“The clock is ticking. The potential loss of this North Carolina native species would be a national embarrassment and a true tragedy. The state needs to make the right call here and stop this bill in its tracks. We must not let this species go extinct on our watch.”
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