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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Last Stand of the Red Wolf?

"Now the Longhorns are gone, and the drovers are gone,
The Comanches are gone, and the outlaws are gone,
Geronimo is gone, and Sam Bass is gone,
And the lion is gone, and the red wolf is gone..."

- Don Edwards, Coyotes

When the red wolf was first reintroduced back into the wilds of eastern North Carolina, it represented a triumph of the conservation movement.  For the first time, a large carnivore that had been declared extinct in the wild was reintroduced to part of its former range.  It seemed to give hope to the prospect of other future reintroduction efforts around the world and affirm the possibility that wildlife conservation isn't necessarily a losing game.

More the fool us.

In recent years, there has been increased backlash against the presence of the wolves, from one landowner in particular.  There have been illegal shootings.  There have been threats against reintroduction staff.  And now, there has been political pressure to terminate the entire program, to call it quits on the red wolf as it were.  A review of the reintroduction program has been initiated.  Fairly soon, we will know if there is a future for red wolves in North Carolina... or anywhere outside of a zoo.

Heard anything about it?  No one has.  That's because most people don't deem it newsworthy.  Fish and Wildlife has extended the commenting period until the 26th of this month.  Please send an e-mail to the address below to let them know that you support red wolves and those who protect them.

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