A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to revise its recovery plan for red wolves.
The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Fish and Wildlife Service last year after the agency failed to update its recovery plan from 1990.
A key element of the revised plan needs to be identifying new reintroduction sites for red wolves, according to Collette Adkins, senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity.
"Even the outdated plan from 1990 contemplated additional reintroductions, but the Fish and Wildlife Service just never went forward and did that scientific analysis," Adkins said.
There are at least nine red wolves in the wild in the northeastern part of North Carolina, and 250 in captivity, according to the Wolf Conservation Center.
The revised recovery plan must be completed by February 28th, 2023.
Adkins said her organization argued that failing to update the plan violated the Endangered Species Act.
"I am frustrated that we had to sue the Fish and Wildlife Service to get them to take action, but I'm really hopeful that this win will finally get the red wolves the help that they need," said Adkins, adding the recovery plan should call for breeding captive and wild pups together, and releasing captive adult wolves into the wild.