For centuries, red wolves were relentlessly persecuted, in a deliberate effort to eradicate predators from the Southeast. By 1973, only fourteen red wolves hung on in the swamps of Louisiana. After very nearly going extinct, the survivors were gathered up and bred in captivity, with the hope of eventually restoring them to the wild. After many years of coaxing and careful attention, that dream was realized. Red wolves were reintroduced into North Carolina’s Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, in 1987. The wolves flourished, reaching nearly 150 in number, and the program was heralded as a one-of-a-kind success. Today, however, the program is suffering from agency mismanagement, and no more than 40 red wolves remain. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has also proposed removing red wolves from four of five counties, and confining them to zoos. Despite coming so far, the fate of red wolves -- and thirty years of conservation success -- will be determined within the next 12 months. Only your voice will prevent the loss of North Carolina’s last great carnivore.
Defenders of Wildlife is a non-profit that focuses solely on wildlife and habitat conservation, and the safeguarding of biodiversity. Christian’s talk will explain how catastrophic bird losses are tied to the global loss of apex predators. As it relates to the Southeast, Christian will discuss North Carolina’s red wolf -- its history, current plight, and future -- and the way in which red wolves protect our ecosystems.
So join the pack on Thursday, December 1st, at 7:15 PM (refreshments at 6:45 PM) in the Tyvola Senior Center (2225 Tyvola Rd.). We’ll have a howling good time.