Temporary Rules Approved for Coyote Hunting In Red Wolf Area

By / Fishing / Monday, 02 February 2015 05:00

RALEIGH, N.C. (Jan. 29, 2015) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission today approved temporary rules that will allow conditional daytime coyote hunting in the five-county red wolf reintroduction area by individuals issued an authorizing permit.
Wildlife Commissioners also approved the designation of the red wolf (Canis rufus) as a state-listed threatened species under temporary rules. The process for permanent rules for a state-listing as a threatened species and conditional hunting of coyotes is ongoing.
The action results from a lawsuit brought by the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of the Red Wolf Coalition, Defenders of Wildlife and the Animal Welfare Institute against the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. The suit alleged the Wildlife Commission violated the federal Endangered Species Act by allowing coyote hunting in Dare, Beaufort, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington counties where an experimental reintroduction of red wolves by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is occurring.
As amended, the temporary rules approved by Wildlife Commissioners will allow daytime coyote hunting from ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset on private property in Beaufort, Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington counties with a coyote hunting permit that will be available online in the future. Coyote hunting on public land will require a special permit issued by agency staff. All hunters will be required to report all coyotes killed in the five-county area.
In North Carolina’s other 95 counties, hunting regulations allow coyote hunting on private land at any time, day or night, with no bag limit, and on public land at night with a permit. Coyotes are found in all 100 counties of the state and pose a predatory threat to pets, livestock and native wildlife. Hunting and trapping are effective tools for landowners to manage coyote populations on a localized basis.
Public comments are being received through March 16 on permanent rules for conditional coyote hunting in the five-county area, as well as designation of the red wolf as a state-listed threatened species. Two public hearings have been scheduled at 7 p.m. on these dates and locations:
• Feb. 3 at the Columbia High School auditorium, 902 East Main Street, Columbia.
• Feb. 17 at Wildlife Commission headquarters auditorium, 1751 Varsity Drive, Raleigh. Comments on permanent rules also can be made online or by letter to N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, 1701 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1701. For more information, go to ncwildlife.org/ ProposedRegulations.
Wildlife Commission Passes Resolutions Regarding Red Wolves - The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission on Thursday adopted two resolutions regarding reintroduction of red wolves in North Carolina — the first requesting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service end its experimental, non-essential red wolf reintroduction project in northeastern North Carolina, and the second requesting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service capture and remove all individual animals and subsequent offspring that were unauthorized releases on private lands by the federal agency.
The Wildlife Commission cited hybridization with coyotes, encroachment onto private lands and a failure to meet project goals as reasons to end the program in North Carolina. The red wolf reintroduction area occurs in Washington, Beaufort, Tyrrell, Hyde and Dare counties.
The Wildlife Commission cited 64 unauthorized releases of red wolves on private lands in what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had intended to be done on federal public land as one of the reasons to recapture the red wolves and offspring that were unauthorized releases.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a 171-page, peer-reviewed evaluation in November 2014 to address deficiencies and determine the program’s future in eastern North Carolina, with a broader announcement on an overall decision expected in early 2015.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared red wolves an endangered species in 1967 and consequently declared red wolves extinct in the wild in 1980. Some 200 red wolves are held in captive breeding facilities across the United States.

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