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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

As many of you know, North Carolina now allows hunters to use spotlights in their night hunting of Coyotes................We have discussed in this past weeks Blog entries how night lighting, baiting and other "man made instruments" to aid unskilled hunters violates the North American Model of Conservation and puts Coyotes truly "under the gun" year round in so many states..................Now the RED WOLF COALITION and other environmental Groups have sued the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission in an attempt to overturn "night lighting" so that the reintroduced Red Wolf population of about 100 animals has a further chance to expand and multiply..........................Red Wolves and Coyotes readily hybridize especially when there is a dearth of Red Wolves in a given region(male red wolves will often seek out female coyotes if female red wolves are not available to mate with).................To prevent wolves interbreeding with coyotes, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sterilizes coyotes that have territories within red wolf habitat............... Shooting sterilized coyotes harms the native red wolf population by undermining these effective coyote population control efforts..................We want both a viable Red Wolf and Coyote population at play across the Eastern Seaboard in the future and we hope that this lawsuit is settled in favor of both the Songdogs and Lobos

Groups Seek to 

Protect Red 

Wolves in

 Recovery Area

Conservation organizations today
challenged North Carolina Wildlife
 Resource Commission's authorization
 of coyote hunting—including by spotlight
 at night—in the five county
 area of eastern North Carolina
 inhabited by the world's only wild population
 of about 100 red wolves.
 The Southern Environmental
 Law Center filed the complaint in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern
District of North Carolina on
 behalf of the Red Wolf Coalition, Defenders
of Wildlife, and the Animal
 Welfare Institute.

"Mistaken identity is a lethal, but preventable
, threat to the world's only
 wild population of endangered
 red wolves," said Sierra Weaver, a senior
attorney at the Southern
 Environmental Law Center who
 represents the groups. "Gunshot is the
 leading cause of death for these
 rare animals, and allowing the
hunting of coyotes in core red wolf habitat
 substantially increases the risk
 to red wolves."
Red wolves and coyotes are similar in
 appearance so red wolves are
frequently mistaken for coyotes,
 even in daylight.

"Coyote hunting has a catastrophic effect on
the red wolf population,"
 said Kim Wheeler, executive
director of the Red Wolf Coalition.
"Continuing this practice will
threaten the survival of red wolves on
 the landscape."

Since 2008, 20 red wolves died from
 confirmed gunshot. Gunshot 
was the suspected cause of death for
 an additional 18 wolves. Five tracking
 collars cut from red wolves
were also found during this period,
 indicating to U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service personnel that wolve
s may have been shot and disposed of
unlawfully. Since 2012, five shooters
who killed red wolves reported
to authorities that they had mistaken
the wolves for coyotes.

By authorizing the shooting of coyotes
 within the Red Wolf Recovery
 Area, the commission is causing
 unlawful take (i.e., harass, harm, hunt,
 or kill) of the red wolf. In July,
 the law center notified the
commission that it was in violation of
the federal Endangered Species
 Act by allowing hunting of coyotes
within the Red Wolf Recovery Area
 and the groups would file a federal
 enforcement action unless the
 commission took steps to protect
 the wolves.

"Following the mandate of the
Endangered Species Act, the federal
 government has gone to great
lengths to reintroduce the red wolf
 into the wild and provide for its
recovery," said Tara Zuardo,
wildlife attorney with the Animal
Welfare Institute. "For a state
 agency to encourage hunting—
in the middle of the recovery area
—of an animal that cannot readily
 be distinguished from the red
 wolf, and to further sanction such
 hunting at night, defies logic and
certainly sabotages red wolf recovery."

As of July 26, 2013, the commission
authorized coyote hunting both
 during the day and at night with
 artificial spotlights within the Red
Wolf Recovery Area. Prior to this
 permanent regulation going into
 effect in July, a temporary rule
that legalized spot light hunting of
coyotes at night in North Carolina
 was in effect from August 2012
until November 2012 when it was
 suspended by Wake County Superior
 Court in a lawsuit brought by the
Southern Environmental Law
Center on behalf of the Red Wolf
 Coalition, Animal Welfare Institute,
and Defenders of Wildlife.

To prevent wolves interbreeding
 with coyotes—another threat to
the wolf population—the U.S. Fish
 and Wildlife Service sterilizes coyotes
 that have territories within
red wolf habitat. Shooting sterilized
 coyotes also harms the native red
wolf population by undermining
effective coyote population contro
l efforts.

"There are many good reasons to
prohibit coyote hunting in red
wolf habitat, and not a single one to
allow it that stands up to scrutiny,"
said Jason Rylander, attorney
 for Defenders of Wildlife. "Killing
 coyotes should never take precedence
 over protecting red wolves."
North Carolina is home to the world's
 only wild population of red
 wolves. Red wolves bred in captivity
 were reintroduced on a North Carolina
 peninsula within their native
range in the late 1980's after red
 wolves were declared extinct in the
 wild. Once common throughout
 the Southeast, intensive predator
control programs and loss of habitat
eliminated wild red wolf populations.

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