Red wolves once roamed the eastern United States, from New York to Florida, the Carolinas to Texas. Unfortunately, due to hunting and human encroachment, by the 1970s, red wolves were reduced to just 14 individuals. At that time, the remaining wolves were brought into captivity and were declared extinct in the wild. Then, in 1987, after the countless years of hard work, red wolves were once again in the wild. An experimental release of red wolves at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge began the restoration effort.
Red wolves are being threatened with extinction again. Recently, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission adopted a troubling resolution asking the Federal Wildlife Service (FWS) to terminate the program, remove the wild wolves, and declare them extinct in the wild. Unfortunately, a campaign of misinformation and fear, not based on facts or science, has infected the people in political positions in the state.
The red wolf reintroduction is one of the most successful initiatives in our great nation’s history and we cannot simply allow this to happen. This is not only an isolated issue. If the FWS shut downs the program, it would establish a dangerous precedent for other states to refuse recovery efforts for endangered species if they don’t feel like complying.
Here’s how you can help:
1. Write a letter to your state representative letting them know that you care about red wolves, that you believe that the Red Wolf program should continue. If you’re not sure what to say, check out this example letter.
- Find your representatives using your zipcode+4.
- Don’t know the +4 on your zipcode? Find it here.
- Once you have entered the zip +4 click “Show Me” and your representatives will be on the next page. Click their names to get to their websites.
- Look for a contact link and enter your information, write your letter, and send – it’s that easy!
2. Share the Red Wolf Story. Let others know about Red Wolves in general and the threat they are facing specifically. Have a chat over coffee with a friend, tell your PTA group, bring up at the water cooler at work. Share the Story and let them know what actions they can take too.
3. Post a #Howl4Wolves Video. Show everyone your “wild” side by posting a video on social media about why you love red wolves and conservation. Challenge/tag others to do the same. Howl at the end of the video. Share it on social media, tag your nominees and use #How4Wolves. You can check out #Howl4Wolves video on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.