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Legislation to undermine red 'wolf''s species status

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:26 am
by Koa
Are NC’s red wolves a real species? The answer could doom them.
By Bruce Henderson, July 24, 2018

Changes to the Endangered Species Act proposed by the Trump administration could end federal protection of the three dozen remaining red wolves in North Carolina, wildlife advocates say.
Read the full article here: ... doom-them/

I generally avoid posting articles about the red 'wolf' in Wolf Conversation, but seeing how I have allowed recent articles to stay in this forum, I'll do the same with this one, so that the issue of red wolves' hybrid status receives exposure. Articles of this nature are less likely to be seen in Other Canids. I may give the ESA 'review' its own thread.

In 2016, a study revealed that red wolves were 25 percent wolf and 75 percent coyote.

Re: Legislation to undermine red 'wolf''s species status

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:18 pm
by SolitaryHowl
My final year literature review focused on coyote-wolf hybrids, but I touched on the Red Wolf as an example of canid hybridization. The canis genus is tangled and considerable work needs to be done to untangle it - species boundaries are blurred and genetic differences between each species is low.

Speciation cannot occur without reproductive isolation and with very little to no gene flow between populations, which is not what is going on with the Red Wolf. I am in favour of delisting the Red Wolf as its own species - it is more or less a hybrid animal now. Whether hybrid animals need or require protection is debatable.

Re: Legislation to undermine red 'wolf''s species status

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:46 pm
by Sambhur
I think people fuss over about the word "species" too much, trying to make it a hard, universal rule when it doesn't always work like that. I understand that having a clear distinction makes it easier to make legislation and whatever other things, but I also wish that people would accept the sort of... fluidity of nature. If they weren't too far gone already I'd suggest still protecting them (in the form of protecting their habitat, not captive breeding) and letting nature take its course, since native hybrids are not lesser than other native animals (and therefore, deserve protection, unless they somehow have a huge negative impact on something?), and protecting the habitat would protect other species as well, even if the red wolf still disappeared on its own. But that's for another timeline where we haven't already reached this point lol. If only we didn't have to be making decisions about this sort of thing, and could afford to just... give it some room to breathe, in a sense.