RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Federal officials say they won't add any more red wolves to the wild while they consider changes to a program that reintroduced the once-extinct carnivore.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday afternoon that it would continue to manage the only wild population of red wolves in several counties of eastern North Carolina. It will continue a review of the program through the end of the year.
Wild life officials estimated in June that between 75 and 100 of the wolves now roam the wild. About 200 are in captive breeding programs.
Once common in the Southeast, the red wolf had been considered extinct in the wild as of 1980 because of hunting, habitat loss and other factors. In 1987, officials released red wolves bred in captivity into the wild in North Carolina.