Red wolf status grim, review says

  A five-year red wolf status review, released April 24, 2018 showed that only about 40 red wolves are left in the wild with only three known breeding pairs remaining.

The review, released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, recommends no change in the red wolf’s status as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The USFWS is expected to release a new proposed rule by late summer with alternatives for public comment covering future management of the “non-essential, experimental population” of red wolves in eastern North Carolina.

“Currently, the NEP (non-essential, experimental population) is declining more rapidly than the worst-case scenarios … it is obvious that there are significant threats to the NEP in eastern North Carolina and conditions for recovery of the species are not favorable and a self-sustainable population may not be possible,” the review reads.

In September 2016, the USFWS announced that red wolves would be removed from the majority of the five-county area of eastern North Carolina where they’d been reintroduced. The move followed nearly two years of evaluating the feasibility of reintroduction efforts, and a lawsuit in which environmental groups claimed the USFWS was not doing enough to protect the wolves. Reintroduction was once attempted in the Smokies, but failed.

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