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Field Notes

Cooper red wolves

Governor Cooper Helps Red Wolves

Cooper red wolves
Four week old red wolf pups at Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center

Hope for the Red Wolves

In this season of hope and thankfulness, we applaud North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s efforts to help the critically endangered red wolf. In a recent letter to the US Fish & Wildlife Services (USFWS), he has again asked USFWS to rebuild and protect our wild population of red wolves.

Red wolf breeding pair
Red wolf breeding pair at the Wolf Conservation Center. Photo: Rebecca Bose

On November 22, 2019, Governor Cooper wrote Secretary Bernhardt at the U.S. Department of the Interior with a plea for action to ensure a successful recovery of the species. In 2006 there were 130 red wolves in the wild. Today there are only 14 known red wolves which Governor Cooper calls unacceptable.

His letter says his administration is committed to working with USFWS to rebuild the population and supports recommendations made by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR).

red wolf puppy
Red wolf puppy

Recommendations to Save Red Wolves

  • Introduce breeding pairs into the wild.
  • Resume release of captive pups into wild dens.
  • Maintain the current five-county recovery area (in Eastern North Carolina) and work with state agencies to identify more lands that could function as habitat for red wolves.
  • Restart and adequately fund the coyote sterilization program. 
  • Protect wild red wolves from gunshot mortalities.
  • Support targeted education efforts that assist in understanding and appreciating the American red wolf.
red wolf
Flint, a red wolf at the NC Zoo. Photo: Alexis Rowe

How Can You Help?

The situation is dire, but we are not helpless. There are actionable measures we can take in the race to save the red wolf. 

First Be An Advocate

Be the voice of the red wolves by sharing posts like this one with your friends and family. Reach out to your local elected officials and the USFWS. Let them know that you expect their continued support of the recovery and rehabilitation program. 

Second Donate

Many people look for ways to donate money as we near the end of the year. Consider donating to one of the organizations we support where your money can be put directly into programs to benefit the red wolves. You may even consider donating money on behalf of someone as a unique holiday gift. 

And Third Volunteer

Many of the organizations we support need the assistance of volunteers in their facilities/events throughout the year. Or volunteer to start a fundraiser or build awareness through social media posts. The possibilities are endless.

cooper red wolf
A red wolf at the Wolf Conservation Center. Photo: Rebecca Bose

Governor Cooper’s Letter

Read Governor Cooper’s letter in its entirety and the recommendations of DNCR  here.

Fall in Love with Red Wolves

Our red wolves need our help now before it is too late! Learn more about these majestic animals which are critical to keeping the balance in our ecosystem. Learn more and fall in love here.

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