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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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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Red Wolf is one of the world’s most endangered species(40 remain in the wild, down from 120 in 2007) and can now only be found in the wild on the Barrier Islands of North Carolina.......... It is believed that at the time of European colonization(AD1500) into North America, Red Wolves roamed the southeastern United States westward to the Edwards Plateau in Texas, north to the lower Midwest (i.e., southeastern Missouri, southern Illinois) and east into southern Pennsylvania and extreme southeastern New York/NJ".............Over the final 4 years of his Presidency, Obama and his Administration yielded to Landowners in North Carolina by putting a halt to the Red Wolf restoration program that had been in effect since 1987...............We await to see if the Trump Administration will kickstart the restoration program or permanently kill it...........I side with the talented biologists and geneticists(Rutledge et. al) of Trent University(Canada) that have concluded that Red Wolves diverged as a distinct species from an ancient Coyote lineage somewhere between 40,000 and 117,000 years ago"............., The challenge of Red Wolf restoration is that the fledgling Wolf population will often enough mate with the larger existing Coyote population as there is not enough of their own kind(Wolves) on the North Carolina restoration site"............The Red Wolf restoration involves building back the population by gradually increasing their numbers via rewilding from captive breeding facilities and simultaneously sterilizing a percentage of the Coyote population that inhabits the barrier Islands............"The best available science demonstrates that Red Wolves are still recoverable"............. "A 2014 report written by the Wildlife Management Institute concluded that recovery requires reintroduction of two additional wild populations and an investment of additional resources to build local support for red-wolf recovery"............ "Yet the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service(under Obama and now Trump) have thus far proposed confining red-wolf recovery to the existing small federal North Carolina 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"

Substantial evidence still supports the conclusion that red and eastern wolves represent genetically distinct taxa among North American canids. Below, we detail this perspective and argue for further analyses that would directly test competing hypotheses for the evolutionary origins of these groups


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