RALEIGH -- North Carolina Gov Roy Cooper sent a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency on Monday, requesting the five-county conservation area remain in place for the red wolves endangered species. There are only 35 red wolves remaining in the wild in all of Eastern North Carolina.
In 2008, the number of red wolves was 120 in the wild, at this time, there are just 200 in captive breeding programs.
"The wild red wolf is part of the cultural and economic fabric of our state and is the only wolf unique to the United States." Cooper said in the letter, later adding that he had directed agencies under his control to work with federal wildlife officials to help with conservation efforts. "There is a viable path forward for North Carolina's red wolves living in the wild." NC Governor Roy Cooper said in the letter.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in June proposed to reduce the current conservation area to federal land in two counties and lift restrictions on killing wolves that stray from that area
A proposal was made in June by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to cut the conservation area down to two counties.
A final change to the rules could be made by Novemeber.