The US Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday, November 10, 2021 that it was withdrawing its controversial 2018 plan to manage the last known population of endangered red wolves – a move wolf conservation groups are celebrating.
The Proposed rule of 2018 replacing existing regulations regarding red wolves, in effect, would have reduced the red wolf recovery area by almost 90% by 1.7 million acres in five counties and would also have allowed the immediate culling of all stray wolves. on non-federal lands.
The last wild red wolves are a single population in eastern North Carolina consisting of only eight known individuals (wearing radio collars).
Based on recent court decisions regarding the North Carolina Non-Essential Experimental Population (NC NEP) as well as considering public comments regarding the proposed rule in 2018, the Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that abandoning the proposal was the best solution.
The red wolf is listed as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act except in part of North Carolina where it has been reintroduced as a non-essential experimental population.
The NC NEP is the only known wild population of red wolves.
The withdrawal of the proposed 2018 rule means that red wolves in the NC NEP will continue to be managed under existing regulations set out in the 1995 rule, which recognizes the power of the USFWS to release additional wolves and lead adaptive management.
The NC NEP will continue to encompass the five counties of the Albemarle Peninsula (counties Beaufort, Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington).
The proposed rule that was published on June 28, 2018 to replace existing regulations governing the NC NEP designation of the red wolf under ESA Article 10 (j) will be withdrawn on November 15, 2021, when published in the Federal Register.
The proposed rule withdrawal, comments and additional documents are available at http://www.regulations.gov in file n ° FWS-R4-ES-2018-0035.
For more information on the red wolf recovery program, Click here.