Red Wolf Recovery Program
Southeast Region

Red Wolf Program Review

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Review of Red Wolf Recovery Program

In June, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced its intent to gather additional science and research to guide recovery of the red wolf, protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for more than four decades. At that time, the Service reaffirmed its management practices would be confined to the 1995 special rule (10j) currently in place. Since that announcement, the Service has taken steps to involve state partners and key stakeholders in this review that will support the agency’s recovery effort in future actions for red wolves.

The Service is adjusting its timeframe to complete the review addressing what may be needed for recovery and whether it can be implemented across the landscape by summer 2016. One step the Service is taking today is to reconvene a multi-faceted red wolf recovery team to address current and future needs to restore red wolves in the wild. The Service is responsible under the ESA to provide the best science-based conservation management aimed at recovering the red wolf. This review is part of the Service’s continuing commitment to get the science right and foster trust with stakeholders as issues regarding the recovery of the red wolf are addressed and implemented.

On June 30th, 2015 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it will suspend reintroductions of red wolf into the wild while it gathers additional science and research into the feasibility of recovery for the species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service intends to complete its review by the end of 2015. Existing red wolves located in five eastern North Carolina counties will be managed in accordance with rules put in place in 1995 to govern this population, designated “non-essential, experimental” under the ESA.

Wildlife Management Institute's Evaluation of Red Wolf Program

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) contracted with the Wildlife Management Institute (WMI) to conduct an independent review and evaluation of the red wolf (Canis rufus) recovery program. At the direction of the FWS, the review focused on numerous questions with respect to three elements of the recovery program: supporting science, program management, and human dimensions. WMI reviewed more than 200 documents received from the FWS, interviewed 20 FWS employees and 4 North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) staff at various management levels, commissioned literature reviews of red wolf genetics and ecology, conducted 2 public meetings in the red wolf restoration area, and conducted public opinion surveys.

Please direct all press inquiries to Tom MacKenzie, 404-679-7291.

Fish and Wildlife Service Documents Referenced in the Evaluation

Download all FWS referenced documents - (.zip 406mb)

Jump to documents pertaining to:

Supporting Science

Program Management

Human Dimensions

Last Updated: 6/29/16