Nine red wolves to be released into the wild in northeastern North Carolina
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced renewed efforts to restore and recover the most endangered wolf in the world. During a virtual meeting Tuesday with partners, stakeholders and eastern North Carolina community members, the Service laid out plans for an upcoming court-ordered release of nine red wolves into the wild. According to a news release, the Service is currently preparing to release the wolves, which include a family group and two breeding pairs, into an area that encompasses Alligator River and Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuges. Red wolves once roamed an area from New York to Texas, but habitat loss and overhunting drove their populations to near extinction. In 1973, they were officially listed as an endangered species. Today, fewer than 20 red wolves are estimated to exist in the wild in Beaufort, Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell, and Washington counties.