The red wolf draft plan is published
The US Fish and Wildlife Service has released a draft plan to guide the recovery of the critically endangered red wolf, with a virtual public meeting to offer an update on the 18-year red wolf recovery plan. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, October 5.
The new plan would replace the original recovery plan approved in 1982, with revisions in 1984 and 1991. Red wolves once inhabited a large region stretching from southern New York to central Texas, including all of southeast, but by the 1970s the species was nearly extinct. due to human persecution and habitat loss. It was placed on the endangered species list in 1973, the same year the USFWS began developing a captive breeding program to allow for future reintroductions into the wild.
Currently, the world’s only wild red wolves exist in a five-county region of eastern North Carolina, but their presence and management there has proven controversial, with environmental groups launching a succession of legal battles against the management decisions of USFWS and NC Wildlife Resources Commission. which they believed were undermining the species’ ability to survive. In June 2022, there were only about 19-21 Red Wolves left.
The USFWS says the draft recovery plan will help reverse that trend, by providing measurable and objective criteria against which progress toward the recovery of the species can be tracked. The plan includes actions to improve resilience, redundancy and population representation of red wolves and sets targets for adequate numbers, habitat and genetic diversity, as well as multiple resilient populations across the range history of the red wolf. The plan also prioritizes collaborative conservation to engage stakeholders in management efforts and therefore mitigate threats to the red wolf population, the USFWS said.
“This plan underscores the Service’s commitment to work with others to conserve the red wolf – one of the world’s most endangered canids – and to find solutions that meet the needs of the species and surrounding communities.” , said Martha Williams, director of the Service. “A successful recovery will require collaborative efforts with all those involved and interested in red wolf recovery. These efforts will include direct and transparent engagement with our partners, landowners and other stakeholders to facilitate a coexistence between humans and red wolves.
The ultimate goal, the USFWS said, is to recover the species to the point where Endangered Species Act protections are no longer needed.
Recovery plans are non-regulatory documents that provide advice on how best to recover a species. This plan was authored by the Red Wolf Recovery Team, a collaborative partnership of federal and state agencies, tribal representatives, county government, universities, zoos/conservation centers, non-profit organizations non-profits, non-governmental organizations and landowners.
To register for the virtual public meeting and submit questions for the Q&A portion of the agenda, or to view the draft recovery plan, visit fws.gov/project/red-wolf-recovery-program.