Defenders has been working on red wolf recovery since the mid-1980s through a combination of advocacy and public education. The species, once considered extinct in the wild, now numbers more than 100 in northeastern North Carolina.
However, with these small numbers, the population is in constant danger of extinction from several factors, including illegal killings, habitat loss, natural disasters and interbreeding with coyotes.
To recover red wolves, additional suitable habitat must be identified. The official recovery plan calls for the establishment of 220 red wolves in the wild and 330 individuals in captivity in at least three reintroduction projects within the historic range of the red wolf.
Defenders urges the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to address this commitment and examine potential restoration areas.