The Red Wolf May be Going Extinct – Again
By Daryl Fears/The Washington Post
Photo by Red Wolf/flickr
The Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina is the in the world where red wolves live in the wild, and on a breezy afternoon Ron Sutherland set out to find one.
He drove an SUV slowly on lumpy dirt roads for nearly four hours, scanning spindly trees, murky canals, green thickets and muck. Two other sharp-eyed conservationists helping to search from the back seat also saw nothing.
A second fruitless search the next morning left little doubt: The red wolf, which went extinct in the wild before the federal government managed to revive the species, is disappearing again, maybe forever.
A few weeks after the 30th anniversary of reintroduction, there is serious doubt that the only distinctively American wolf, which once ranged throughout the southeast United States, can survive outside zoos. If wild red wolves are lost, it would mark one of the biggest and most dramatic failures for a federal endangered species recovery plan.