Frances T. Armstrong: Coyotes galore

December 3, 2013 

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has sabotaged the Red Wolf Recovery Program in North Carolina from the start. One reason the Albemarle-Pamlico Peninsula was the mainland site selected to reintroduce the red wolf was because coyotes were not in the area. The coyote moving east to non-native land is a problem and has been hunted extensively.

Because red wolves and coyotes are similar in appearance, hunters could mistake the critically endangered red wolf for the common coyote, so it was important to select a site to reintroduce the red wolf where there were no coyotes. The NCWRC knew that coyotes would be a problem for the Red Wolf Recovery Program and apparently wanted to populate the Red Wolf Recovery Area with coyotes.

Fox pens exist in Eastern North Carolina, and the NCWRC did not stop the transport of coyotes to the fox pens, and coyotes escaped and populated the area. In fact in 2003 the state legislature legalized the transport of coyotes to the fox pens.

Now the peninsula is overpopulated with coyote,s and the NCWRC allows hunting of coyotes, year-round, 24 hours a day, in the Red Wolf Recovery Area, and the red wolves are being shot.

Frances T. Armstrong

Bath

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