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Wildlife Management Institute Releases New Report on Red Wolf Recovery Program

Washington(November 20, 2014)–The Wildlife Management Institute has released its report on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Red Wolf Recovery Program. The report found that while the program has shown that wolves could be successfully released and survive in the wild, FWS needs to update its red wolf recovery plan, thoroughly evaluate its strategy for preventing coyote hybridization and increase its public outreach, along with other improvements.

The following is a statement from Defenders of Wildlife President Jamie Rappaport Clark:

“This Wildlife Management Institute report shows that red wolves still have a long road ahead of them, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hasn’t finished the job. The report makes several points that echo Defenders of Wildlife’s stance on what red wolves need to recover, including more room, better public support and an improved recovery plan based in sound science.

“We know that this program can work if wolves are allowed to exist on the landscape. But one of the greatest threats to red wolves is gunshot mortality: coyote hunting in red wolf habitat has led to wolves being killed by mistaken identity and the population has dropped from 130 individuals to only 100 in part as a result. Defenders and local partners just reached an agreement with the state of North Carolina to protect red wolves from death by gunshot and improve local collaboration so the species can continue to recover.

“The Fish and Wildlife Service should take the recommendations provided by WMI and recommit to conserving and recovering the red wolf in the region. It is clear that it can be done and it is our responsibility to be good stewards to our nation’s wildlife.”

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Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1.1 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 http://www.defenders.org/ and follow us on Twitter @defendersnews.

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