For Immediate Release, February 16, 2016
Contact: Brett Hartl
Anti-wildlife Groups Spur Halt to Recovery Efforts, Poaching Investigations
WASHINGTON— The nation’s only population of red wolves is in an alarming free-fall, declining by 27 percent from 2014 to 2015 to as few as 50 individuals, according to new population counts released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The total estimated population has declined by about 50 percent since 2012, from 100 to 120 individuals to just 50 to 75 in 2015. The declines have occurred since the Service bowed to political pressure from the state of North Carolina, eliminating the program’s recovery coordinator in 2014 and stopping the introduction of new red wolves into the wild in July 2015. The agency also ended a coyote-sterilization program to prevent hybrid animals from harming the gene pool, drastically reduced law-enforcement investigations of wolf deaths, and stopped publicizing cases where poaching was…
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