Most North Carolinians support the effort to recover the native red wolf, according to a new poll conducted by Tulchin Research. 73% percent of North Carolinians said they support red wolf recovery, and over 80% believe the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should make every effort to help the endangered red wolf population recover and prevent its extinction.

Local support for the red wolf recovery program is critical. Sixty percent of registered voters in North Carolina’s Albemarle Peninsula—which includes the red wolf recovery area—support red wolf recovery, and 77% said they support helping endangered species by recovering them in their native habitat.

“This poll shows that North Carolina residents across the political spectrum support red wolf recovery and want the agency to step up and save the species,” says Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife. The Red Wolf Recovery Program was once a bold and effective conservation effort, restoring red wolves back to the wild after very nearly going extinct. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service needs to do all it can to recover the red wolf before it disappears from the wild once again.”

Next month, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is expected to announce its decision on the future of the Red Wolf Recovery Program, the only effort to restore red wolves into the wild in the United States.

Over the past few years, the agency has all but abandoned the program, eliminating the red wolf coordinator position at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and sharply increasing red wolf removal from the wild at the request of a few private landowners in the red wolf recovery area. In 2014, FWS issued its first-ever lethal take permit for red wolves, and allowed a landowner to kill a mother wolf believed to be nursing. Today, fewer than 60 red wolves remain in the wild.