Earlier this summer, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) announced their plan to allow night hunting of coyotes throughout North Carolina including the five-county red wolf recovery area, an area inhabited by the only wild population of this endangered wolf species. Night hunting within the red wolf recovery area poses a serious threat to wolves who, despite their larger size and other differentiating characteristics, can look similar to coyotes. This move had hackles raised among many of our supporters and thankfully The Red Wolf Coalition, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Animal Welfare Institute are taking action.
Yesterday, the Southern Environmental Law Center filed a court challenge against the NCWRC to stop the temporary state rule. Accidental shootings resulting in death or injury are a primary concern outlined in the challenge filed on behalf of the Red Wolf Coalition, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Animal Welfare Institute.
The red wolf is one of the world’s most endangered wild canids. Once common throughout the southeastern United States, red wolf populations were decimated by the 1960s due to intensive predator control programs and loss of habitat and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service declared red wolves extinct in the wild in 1980. By 1987, enough red wolves were bred in captivity to begin a restoration program on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern North Carolina. Today, an estimated 100 red wolves roam the wilds of that state and 6 red wolves call the Wolf Conservation Center home.
Read more about the Court Challenge