Raleigh, NC

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that they will transfer three critically-endangered red wolves to the Red Wolf Recovery Area in eastern North Carolina. Two adult male wolves will be transferred from St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge in Florida to North Carolina’s Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, and a third adult male wolf will transfer from Alligator River to nearby Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. In all three cases, the USFWS will pair the male wolves with female wolves in order to promote mating. The red wolf is the most endangered wolf species in the United States, having lost 99.7% of its historic range. Only 11 known red wolves remain in the wild, primarily in the Albemarle Peninsula.

Heather Clarkson, Southeast program outreach representative at Defenders of Wildlife, issued the following statement: 

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is taking an important step to help the red wolf survive in the wild, but it is not enough to sustain the population. Until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service begins allowing the release of captive pups into wild litters, the species will merely remain on life support.” 

Additional Background 

  • Following the transfer, the male wolves will be kept in pens with their prospective mates under observation for one month to build a connection between the pairs. 
  • In 2019, no wild red wolf litters were born—the first time since the Red Wolf Recovery Program began.

Defenders of Wildlife is celebrating 75 years of protecting all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With a nationwide network of nearly 2.2 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 defenders.org/newsroom and follow us on Twitter @Defenders.

Related

Image
Red Wolf

News

Image
Anchorage, AK

Biden Administration Restores Roadless Area Protections to Tongass National Forest

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reinstated the national Roadless Area Conservation Rule in the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska. The move restricts development on roughly 9.3 million acres in North America’s largest temperate rainforest.
Image
Humpback whale breaching Stellwagen Bank MA
Washington, D.C.

Vessel Strikes to Blame for Series of Whale Deaths?

On a cold winter beach in New Jersey, onlookers huddled around a 30-foot dead humpback whale lying on the sand. This was one of more than a dozen whales that have washed up on beaches along the U.S. East Coast since the beginning of December 2022. Five of these whales washed up in New Jersey, two in New York and others on the coasts of states from Maine to Florida. A total of 178 humpback whales have washed up along East Coast beaches since 2016, leading the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to declare an “unusual mortality event.” An investigation is underway.