Our native red wolf deserves better! Here in the state of North Carolina, we are honored and lucky to have the Southeast’s last wild red wolf population. With only 30-40 remaining, though, the red wolf is on the verge of disappearing forever. [See “The Effort to Save Red Wolves in the Wild Is Failing, a Five-year Review Says,” April 25, The Washington Post].
The red wolf is not especially big, coming in at approximately 60 pounds. As an apex predator, it nonetheless is a necessary component of a healthy ecosystem and helps maintain balance by keeping the white-tailed deer and raccoon population in check, which benefits songbirds, turkey and quail.
Despite these benefits, the director of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, Gordon Myers, has called for the extinction of the red wolf in the wild and would like to collect the remaining wild wolves and put them in zoos. Tragically, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is planning to do just that. This month, FWS said it intends to virtually abandon the recovery effort. It also plans to allow private landowners to kill any wolf that steps onto their property [See “It’s Open Hunting Season on Endangered Carolina Red Wolves if the Feds Get Their Way,” June 27, The Herald Sun]. This despicable proposal will absolutely result in the extinction of the red wolf in North Carolina and the greater Southeast.
We all must work together to protect our environment for future generations. This is a call to arms for all who care about wildlife and our natural heritage. The red wolf deserves a chance to succeed, and so does all of nature. It is an ethical wrong for us to sit back and do nothing. We must let FWS know how we feel about this issue.
Submit your public comment [by July 30] supporting the red wolf at regulations.gov. [Search under:] Type: Endangered and Threatened Species: Nonessential Experimental Population of Red Wolves in Northeastern North Carolina.
— Louise Kistler