NCWRC Violates Memorandum of Understanding with USFWS in Effort to Extinguish Last Wild Population of Red Wolves

Raleigh, NC—On Thursday, January 29, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) approved two resolutions aimed at abolishing the red wolf recovery program in North Carolina, home to the only wild population of red wolves in the world.

These resolutions specifically request that the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) officially declare the red wolf extinct in the wild, terminate the entire red wolf recovery program in North Carolina counties where the red wolves are currently found, and immediately remove all red wolves released onto private lands, regardless of the wishes of landowners who actually welcomed red wolves onto their land. (These resolutions can be found to the right of this page.)

This latest assault comes after the NCWRC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with USFWS in November 2013 declaring the commission’s commitment to the “conservation and management of all canid species (including red wolves) … [to] improve conservation outcomes” for the wolves and all endangered species. You can view that MOU here:

“The NCWRC is disturbingly eager to ignore the commitments they made in the Memorandum of Understanding,” said Tara Zuardo, a wildlife attorney with the Animal Welfare Institute. “This recovery program has been working exceptionally well since the late 1980s, and has only been hindered by the NCWRC’s blatant encouragement of coyote killing during the day and night in the five counties where the red wolves live. This illustrates just how poor a partner the NCWRC has become with respect to efforts to recover the red wolf—one of North America’s rarest mammals.”

There is still time to write to the NCWRC to show support for long-term protection of red wolves, and let them know that this latest move by the commission is the wrong direction to take. Two new hearings in North Carolina have also been announced in Columbia on February 3 or Raleigh on February 17.

To support long-term protection for red wolves in North Carolina and learn more about the campaign, visit  


Media Contact:
Amey Owen,, AWI, (202) 446-2128

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