A family of critically endangered red wolves living at the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) attempts to defend their turf from a trespassing camera and tripod. By nature wolves are very territorial animals and will defend the area in which the family lives, hunts and raises its offspring from other wolves.
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. A remnant population of red wolves was found along the Gulf coast of Texas and Louisiana. After being declared an endangered species in 1973, efforts were initiated to locate and capture as many wild red wolves as possible. Of the 17 remaining wolves captured by biologists, 14 became the founders of a successful captive breeding program. Consequently, 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.
The current estimate puts the only wild population of red wolves at their lowest level (50 – 75) since the late 1990s.
North Carolina remains the only place on the planet where wild red wolf populations are viable and secure. But the state’s Wildlife Resources Commission has asked U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to terminate the red wolf recovery program there, a move which would inevitably result in the loss of the last wild population of red wolves and render the species extinct in the wild.
While USFWS, the very agency charged by federal law with protecting the endangered species, continues to review the program, it has halted all captive-to-wild releases and management activity critical to the success of this recovery program.
Please sign the petition to urge USFWS to restore the Red Wolf Recovery Program.