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Red Wolf Coalition v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service

ELR Citation: 51 ELR 20012
Nos. 2:20-CV-75-BO, (E.D.N.C., 01/22/2021) (Boyle, J.)

A district court granted a motion to preliminarily enjoin FWS from implementing its policy barring the release of captive red wolves into a recovery area in North Carolina. Environmental groups argued FWS violated §7(a)(2) of the ESA by failing to ensure that its actions were not likely to jeopardize the wolf's continued existence, violated §7(a)(1) of the Act by failing to carry out a program for conservation of the red wolf, and violated the APA by irrationally and without explanation reversing its policy for releasing captive red wolves into the recovery area. The court found the groups were likely to succeed on the merits of all of their claims, and had demonstrated irreparable harm because the species' extinction was "a very real possibility." It granted the groups' motion for preliminary injunction, and ordered FWS to draft a plan to release captive red wolves into the recovery area in consultation with their scientists and experts in the field.