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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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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Today another insightful article from the JOURNAL OF WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT on the dilemma of the remaining 50 Red Wolf(Eastern Wolf) population in the USA, located in the 5 county region of North Carolina(Beaufort, Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington counties)................Completely exterminated by us humans from its East of the Mississippi River historical domain running from Texas east to Florida, NY, Maine and all eastern states in between by the mid 1950's, the last wild Red Wolves found in Louisiana and Texas were removed from the wild and placed into a captive breeding program in the 1970's as they were facing extinction due to decimation of habitat, potential of disease epidemic and hybridization with Western Coyotes......................Re-introduced in the North Carolina barrier island counties in 1987, researchers felt that with protection from coyote hybridization and human hunters, the region could support 150 of the animals.............Indeed, as of 2001, 131 Red Wolves called their reintroduced Carolina habitat home..........................This was short lived as year round coyote hunting has whittled the Wolf population to about 50....................With the Obama Administration having first decided to end the reintroduction program and then the Federal Courts countering that order with instructions for a re-evaluation of the rewilding, we await to see what the Trump Fish and Wildlife folks decide to do for the Wolves....................As many of you know, Red Wolves are a distinct species, an American Wolf that split from an Ancient Coyote species millenia ago(as did our modern western coyotes).................For this reason, when we humans killed off all large wildlife east of the Mississippi by the dawn of the 20th century, the few remaining Red Wolves found it necessary and ecologically possible to hybridize with westward colonizing coyotes(not enough red wolves to keep it all in the family).....................I know that many researchers feel that at this point why not just let Eastern Coyotes and the 50 Eastern Wolves mix and match and let the resulting "homogenized" canid be the "new wild dawg" of the east..............I say that Eastern Coyotes do not fully execute ecological deer/beaver/Moose/Elk eating functions of the Red Wolf(coyotes still smaller on average than the wolves) and that we should "keep all the cogs and wheels" of genetic diversity that the Red Wolves bring to the planet

click on  PDF to read full article

Survival and population size estimates of the red wolf


  • First published: 


Evaluating anthropogenic mortality is important to develop conservation strategies for red wolf (Canis lupus) recovery. We used 26 years of population data in a generalized linear mixed model to examine trends in cause-specific mortality and a known-fate model in Program MARK to estimate survival rates for the reintroduced red wolf population in North Carolina, USA. 

We found the proportion of mortality attributable to anthropogenic causes, specifically mortality caused by gunshot during fall and winter hunting seasons (Oct–Dec), increased significantly since 2000 and became the leading cause of red wolf death. Mortality rates were greatest for red wolves <4 activities="" age="" and="" be="" by="" caused="" e.g.="" human="" hunters.="" hunting="" inexperience="" killing="" likely="" more="" of="" opportunistic="" p="" susceptible="" suspect="" to="" we="" with="" wolves="" years="" younger="">

The Red Wolf is smaller than the Gray Wolf(the former an American
canid and latter historically coming over from Europe after the last few ice ages

Since 1987, the red wolf population steadily grew and peaked at an estimated 151 individuals during 2005 but declined to 45–60 by 2016. To reduce the negative effects of anthropogenic mortality and ensure long-term persistence of red wolves, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) will need to re-implement previous long-standing and proven management practices (e.g., Red Wolf Adaptive Management Plan) on public and private lands and cease issuing take permits. 

 The larger Gray Wolf of the Western USA/Canada/Alaska

The USFWS will also need to establish an effective management response to mitigate gunshot mortality through stronger regulation of coyote (Canis latrans) hunting and provide adequate ecologically and biologically supported regulatory mechanisms to protect red wolves. Finally, the USFWS should enhance recovery by providing information and education about red wolves to hunters and the general public.

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