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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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Thursday, December 1, 2016

"On Wednesday of this week, Joseph Hinton, David Rabon, John Vucetich and other scientists urged the USFW Service to identify additional red wolf reintroduction sites rather than remove wolves from the wild and drastically curtail the size of the recovery area in North Carolina,

For Immediate Release, November 30, 2016
Contact: Jamie Pang, (858) 699-4153,
Dr. Joseph Hinton, (732) 962-5316,
Dr. John Vucetich, 906) 370-3282,


Dozens of Scientists Urge Feds to Promote, Not Curtail, Red Wolf Recovery

WASHINGTON— 30 prominent scientists with expertise in ecology, genetics and other areas relevant to wolf conservation submitted a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today expressing concerns over the agency’s plans to dramatically curtail its recovery program for red wolves, the nation’s most imperiled wolf population.

Joseph Hinton, David Rabon, John Vucetich and other scientists urged the Service to identify additional red wolf reintroduction sites rather than remove wolves from the wild and drastically curtail the size of the recovery area in North Carolina, as the agency recently proposed.

“The Service has once again allowed politics instead of science to drive decisions on red wolf recovery — and the science is clear that scaling back this recovery program only puts these animals on a swifter path toward extinction,” said Jamie Pang, endangered species campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The Service needs to listen to these experts and take the actions necessary to recover red wolves in the wild before it’s too late.”

In September the Service proposed to confine red wolf recovery to federal public lands, shrinking the animals’ recovery area from five counties in North Carolina to just one bombing range and one wildlife refuge in a single county. In the past couple of years, the agency has allowed the wild population of red wolves to drop to as few as 45, down from its peak of 130. Shootings and nonlethal removals threaten the wolves by disturbing pack dynamics and promoting hybridization with coyotes. 
“Wild red wolves now face a perilously high risk of extinction. The Service’s recent actions seem consistent with abandoning red wolves rather than recovering them,” said Dr. John Vucetich, a professor and scientist at Michigan Technological University. “The Service has not adequately justified shifting resources away from the wild population. The most prudent action, by far, would be to protect the existing red wolf population in North Carolina and identifying new reintroduction sites elsewhere in the Southeast.”

“Red wolf recovery has been a testing ground for notable conservation strategies and innovation," said Dr. Joseph Hinton, a postdoctoral researcher at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia. “The science shows that the red wolf can be saved, and that the Service should re-implement those previous management practices to ensure the long-term viability of the wild population in eastern North Carolina


Chris Schadler said...

The issue of the species concept is being questioned and the red wolf quandry is an exemplar. Hybridization provokes irrational fear and nonsensical policy in my opinion. It is absolutely natural for species to hybridize and often leads to far more resilient creatures. The eastern coyote in the northeast is a good example for this.
As we contrive to save the red wolf from extinction, it (the red wolf) seeks the coyote not to its detriment but as a viable partner. The offspring benefit from the coyote's adaptability and the wolf's size and as deer offer an apparently endless protein source, what difference to us should it make?
Honestly, all the money and effort to control nature, often to the benefit of one species and the detriment of another (usually the coyote) is so futile.

Rick Meril said...

Chris............Am empathetic and understanding of the canis soup admix that is so much at play with Eastern Wolves, their admix with Western Coyotes to generate Eastern Coyotes............Gray Wolves and Eastern Wolves admix up in the Great Lakes, et al..............My thought is that we humans have so decimated the red wolf population that I think it incumbent on us to build up that population to the point to where if there is red wolf/eastern coyote/western coyote hybridization, there is still a core genetic reservoir of red wolves so that the best of all genes
goes into future hybridizing occurrences............Thanks for you comments