Federal government will work to increase captive population of endangered red wolves

Federal government will work to increase captive population of endangered red wolves

In an announcement on Monday, the federal government said that it is going to put in more efforts to increase the endangered red wolves’ captive population. The step has brought years of speculation to an end that the government could dump a three decade effort of reintroducing the animals into the wild. However, the reintroduction project is going to be highly limited, and some wolves could be taken away from the wild.

According to Cindy Dohner, southeast regional director for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, making the number of captive wolves double to 400 in zoos countrywide was the sole way to save red wolves. To make it happen, the service will try to push the number of mating pairs from to at least 52 from 29.

The agency at the same time has announced that it would remove abandoned wild red wolves’ packs from private lands in numerous North Carolina counties, where they were reintroduced and keep them in one county inside the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Some of the wild wolves would probably be moved into zoos to boost mating pairs.

As per a statement by the Fish and Wildlife Service, the announcement regarding the proposed changes has been made after a two-year, two-step evaluation of the entire red wolf recovery program as per which the captive animals’ genetic purity would be lost within ten years if its recommendations aren’t implemented.

Dohner said that as part of the existing management system the captive population would be lost very soon because with lesser than 30 mating animals the population can’t sustain itself.

But, the conservationist groups didn’t agree with the same. The Wildlands Network’s Ron Sutherland said that the Fish and Wildlife has been working towards abandoning its plan to make wild wolves return to their native environment in the southeastern United States.


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