The United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina ruled in the case initiated by South Center for Environmental Law what US Fisheries and Wildlife Service should develop a plan March 1, 2021 resume its long and successful practice of releasing captive red wolves into the North Carolina red wolf recovery zone. The case was initiated on behalf of Coalition of red wolves, Wildlife defenders, and Institute for the Protection of Animals.
As WAN reported last month, there are only seven red wolves left in the wild today. A court order temporarily bans the agency from implementing a recent policy change that could have prevented the release of captive wolves into the wild.
On 16 November 2020, then South Center for Environmental Law sued US Fisheries and Wildlife Service in United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina for violations Endangered Species Act. This was prompted by a new illegal agency policy that prohibits the use of proven management measures to rescue wild red wolves on behalf of the Red Wolf Coalition, Wildlife Defenders and the Animal Welfare Institute. He filed a motion for a preliminary injunction in the case November 19, 2020.
“With only seven known red wolves left in the wild, it’s time for the Fish and Wildlife Service to resume the conservation measures they have successfully applied for decades,” said Sierra Weaver, senior associate at the Southern Environmental Law Center, who represents conservation organizations. , said in statement. “The court ruled that the agency should end the extinction of red wolves and instead take meaningful action to restore the wild red wolf population in North Carolina.”
“We are grateful that the US Fisheries and Wildlife Service will finally fulfill their commitment to protecting this endangered wolf,” said Ben Prater, Director of Southeastern Defenders of Wildlife. “Releasing wolves into the wild is common sense and a scientifically sound approach to increasing this population and preventing the extinction of red wolves. While this species has a long way to go, it is an important step in the right direction. ”
“This is a vital decision that will breathe new life into the red wolf recovery program,” said Joanna Hamburger, director and senior attorney for AWI’s land-based wildlife program. “The court ruled that the passive efforts of the US Fish and Wildlife Service to manage the wild red wolf population were extremely inadequate to restore this species. By ordering the agency to re-release the wolves from captivity into the wild, the Court is calling for much-needed measures to prevent the species from continuing the downward spiral. ”
“The Red Wolves Coalition is grateful for the court’s understanding of the importance of releasing captive red wolves into the wild,” said Kim Wheeler, executive director of the Red Wolves Coalition. “These additional red wolves will add genetic diversity and breeding opportunities to the wild population in northeastern North Carolina.”
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The message is breaking! North Carolina court rules to free captive red wolves to save the last seven remaining in the wild from extinction first appeared in World Animal News.