The original aim of the program was to get 220 red wolves back into the wild, and it’s safe to say that the program hasn’t achieved that yet. Interbreeding with coyotes is also threatening to derail the program.
Progress has been made, though. We’d argue that since we are responsible for wiping them out in the wild in the first place, it’s also our responsibility as a species to reintroduce them. Sure, there have been some speedbumps, but canceling recovery efforts altogether and declaring this creature extinct is not the way to go.
Either way, the ultimate fate of the red wolf rests in the hands of the Senate subcommittee that deals with the Interior Department and the Environment. Both the subcommittee and the Interior Department are under Republican control.
“Senate Republicans are trying to hammer a final nail in the coffin of the struggling red wolf recovery program,” Perrin de Jong, staff attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement.
“It is morally reprehensible for Senator Murkowski and her committee to push for the extinction of North Carolina’s most treasured wild predator.”
It has to be said that Republican Party isn’t exactly known to be particularly fond of conservation – or scientific evidence in general.
Many of its members have advocated for abortions to be banned from 20 weeks, for the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to have no scientific input, for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to cancel climate and pollution research, and for elephant trophies to be brought back from several African countries – all despite there being no factual data to support these decisions.
This fairly sneaky attempt to end conservation efforts for the red wolf is just another addition to the litany of brash, regressive pieces of legislation the GOP have brought in. Any lawmaker that actively ignores or harms science should be held to account, of course, but it seems that the Republican Party are really pulling out all the stops.