Reviews | Don’t politicize the fate of the red wolf

Since the creation of the law in 1973, all levels of government have made an effort to point out if something was the fault of another level of government. Living in Colorado, I have seen many attempts to reintroduce species (grey wolf, wolverine, cougar) whose original habitat was in the state of Colorado thwarted by political motivations. With the red wolf in the coastal wilderness of eastern North Carolina, it’s no different.

For those like me who would love to see this wonderful animal roaming the wilderness again, I find it heartbreaking that our government officials are politicizing any attempt to restore balance to a national wildlife refuge. The Endangered Species Act was created to preserve endangered species, not to let them become victims of political strife.

Marks of AlexEvergreen, Colo.

The writer is a citizen defender of wildlife defenders.

A statement in the The Red Wolf article didn’t surprise me: Modern DNA analysis has revealed that the current rescued population is only 25% wolves and 75% coyotes.

In 1975, I was director of research at the School of Forestry at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. one of our teachers was cooperating with the Red Wolf Recovery Project. The aim was to trap pure red wolves before the species became extinct due to natural interbreeding ­breed with coyotes. They would trap “wolves” in an area around Beaumont, Texas, take measurements, calculate a “hybrid index” and select animals as close to “pure” as possible. After more than 40 years, I think they have to drop the project.

Limited funds must go to other threatened and endangered species with a higher probability of scientific and political success. Both are essential; the red-wolf project has neither. How about focusing on the painted garland? It is a magnificent migratory bird, a “special concern.” His winter habitat in Central America and the Caribbean Islands is vulnerable to development, its breeding habitat in the southern United States needs to be better understood, and there needs to be greater protection from illegal trapping.

Charles D. WebbArlington

The red wolf is indicative of the inherent deficiencies in the preservation of endangered wildlife species covered by the Endangered Species Act. Preserving the red wolf population has serious ramifications for the environment they inhabit by providing a natural means of eliminating herbivorous species that would otherwise overpopulate and cause irreparable damage to plant-based food systems, resulting in a decline in the diversity and abundance of vegetation and the herbivore population.

More needs to be done to educate people, like those cited in the article, about the effects that wild carnivores can have on the natural ecosystem and the ways in which human-carnivore coexistence can lead to a better maintained environment. Additionally, the Southeast Branch of the Fish and Wildlife Service must do more to protect these species from invasive coyotes and the threat of malicious aliens while continuing the experiment in a more controlled manner to ensure that the state receives appropriate notice and that the protections can be applied. .

Tyler Allen JohnsonBoone, North Carolina


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