Red wolves are the rarest canine in the world – and now they’re nearly extinct. Experts estimate there are fewer than 20 left in the wild, 14 of which are confirmed and collared by conservationists.
While animal lovers and scientists have been trying to recover red wolf populations for several decades, these efforts are still falling tragically short.
Of the ten red wolves that were released into the wild this year from captivity, six have died, and three have been placed back into captivity. This loss is devastating, but is not reason to give up on red wolf programs.
In fact, federal agencies should be doubling down on conservation efforts to better protect the red wolves that remain and continue to improve reintroduction programs.
Because red wolves closely resemble coyotes, hunters frequently shoot and kill them. In fact, three of the 10 wolves reintroduced this year were shot. And despite hundreds of illegal shootings of these nearly-extinct animals over the past 25 years, authorities have not prosecuted a single individual for red wolf poaching.
Clearly, the USFWS must step up its efforts to protect this majestic, cherished wolf. Better public education, less stringent enforcement, and more expansive research from the agency would all help protect the red wolf from extinction.
Please sign this petition to urge authorities to commit more resources to save this nearly extinct species!
This article by Mathew Davis was first published by OneGreenPlanet on 20 March 2023.
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