Under a new plan submitted to a federal judge, government wildlife officials released two critically endangered red wolves into the wild in North Carolina in February and could place several more captive-bred wolves into the habitat this year.
Red wolves once occupied much of the Eastern U.S. but were driven to near extinction by trapping, hunting and habitat loss before they were reintroduced to North Carolina in 1987. The reintroduced population had grown to more than 100 but has fallen sharply in recent years. Their range is limited to five North Carolina counties.
While applauding the reintroduction of the two wolves, wolf conservation groups also said that the government needs to move faster.
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