Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - October 18, 2018 


Robert Mueller now expected to reveal findings of his probe right after the November midterm elections. Also on the Thursday rundown: the poorest people pay the highest taxes in states like Nevada; and the Terminator fights gerrymandering.

Daily Newscasts

Possible End of Red Wolf Program Has Wildlife Community "Howling" No

Photo: The wildlife community warns North Carolina's red wolf population is in jeopardy if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service opts to end the recovery program. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Photo: The wildlife community warns North Carolina's red wolf population is in jeopardy if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service opts to end the recovery program. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
September 16, 2014

MANTEO, N.C. - Almost 30 years ago, North Carolina's population of red wolves was near extinction, but a program by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) introduced an experimental population in eastern North Carolina, and now 100 wolves are thriving in their native habitat.

The Fish and Wildlife Service is now taking public comment on whether the program should continue. Attorney Jason Rylander with Defenders of Wildlife says ending the program could result in disaster.

"Under political pressure the Fish and Wildlife Service is undertaking a review of the red wolf program," says Rylander. "Ending the program means eliminating the very last population of red wolves in the wild."

Rylander says the biggest threat to the red wolf population is gunfire from hunters, who often mistake wolves for coyotes. Some landowners in the five-county area where the wolves live also say the animals are wandering off federal lands and killing livestock and other wildlife.

Sierra Weaver is also an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center. She says it would be foolish to end a program that has had such success restoring ecological balance to the region.

"This program has been one of the most successful native wildlife predator reintroductions in U.S. history," says Weaver. "They've grown from a population of eight animals to a peak of 130."

Rylander says he hopes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers the "big picture" impact of ending the program.

"We're calling on the Fish and Wildlife Service to do a real, considered review of the science behind red wolves of the full impact of the program," he says. "They need to keep it going because it's been a success."

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting public comment through September 26th. In addition to using the USFWS website, the public can also comment via e-mail at redwolfreview@fws.gov.

The Red Wolf Recovery Program released four breeding pairs in Dare County in 1987. Currently there are about 100 wolves living in the state.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - NC