The animal pictured above is a North American red wolf – one of only 45 left in the wild.
The situation is so dire that the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has announced plans to abandon any previous initiatives to protect them in the wild, and instead bring them into captivity for protection. The FWS hopes that by caring for and protecting the last of the species in captivity, they can be one day be released back into the wild.
The good news – according to a 2014 report from the Wildlife Management Institute – is that the species can theoretically be recovered. Accord to that report, two additional wolf populations would need to be established in the wild for the species to propagate on its own.
But for now, that’s a long way off.
The FWS plans to relocate the remaining 45 red wolves to private and public lands in Dare County, North Carolina. At one time, the red wolf populated a large swath of the eastern US: from Florida, north to the Ohio River Valley, and east to Central Texas.
Still, there are those who believe the wolves shouldn’t be forced into captivity. FWS recently received a petition submitted by The Center for Biological Diversity, urging it to rethink the current methods of protecting the red wolf. So far that petition has received almost 500,000 supporters.
Remember that your opinion matters, and if you have one you’d like to voice, don’t stay silent. Should you choose to contact US Fish and Wildlife Service for any reason, their information is listed below.
Office Phone: 252-473-1131
(Image courtesy of WorldAnimalNews.com)