Sticky "Red Wolf" restoration scandal

I think one of the biggest mistakes they made "Redwolfguy" was not taking into account the current landscape when trying to establish the wolf. Once an animal is extirpated (if it was ever native at all) The habitat/landscape and human population can become radically altered over the years. Nature abhors a vacuum. when one species moves on, a niche is created and another species will quickly move in to establish itself, becomes "native" and deserves to be there . A lot of times, the new animal (coyote) can be harder to get rid of than the other species is to establish. Also in todays modern world, does the species even belong anymore. We are seeing problems with the re-established Elk just beginning to surface. 200 years ago the elk didn't have interstates, silage fields, and cattle fences to contend with and we are just now seeing the tip of the iceberg. As the population grows so will the problems. Imagine if we tried to establish Bison because "they were once here" or tried to restock grizzleys in the great lakes area. If these farmers think Elk can tear up a fence, imagine what a buffalo herd could do
 

JoeR

Four Pointer
I've got no skin in this game at all, but here's my 2 cents on this.
1) The dog that was released there is not a Red Wolf, so there never was a restoration.
2) Even if it was a Red Wolf, it is currently unable to protect its genetic purity against coyotes, and will very soon be diluted into oblivion.

Reason #2 makes this project a total waste of time, energy and funding.

Joe
 

Mike Noles aka conman

Administrator
Staff member
I've had time to read your post with a little more attention, RedWolfGuy, and there's a couple of things I noted. You obviously are not a landowner and questionably a hunter. As an "undergrad", what's your declared major and what year are you?
 
Thanks for the replies

bigten - this is precisely why I came here. I'm aware of the negative view held by the members here. Generally, when we watch a product review, or give a restaurant or service review - especially with a negative impression, such as here....generally the ones giving a negative review must have some sense of scale as to what would merit a positive review - not merely criticism for the sake of complaint, but suggesting what would improve upon a product or service...in this case the RWRP. And being that yall have been contributing to this thread alone going on 6 years, yall must have some collective or personal constructive criticism...not merely "get them off my property", but a more in depth analysis on what the red wolf program, or any ESA sponsored animals might benefit from in the future in NENC. - That's what I'm interested in.

Mike - thanks. Yes, I have previously kept up with the operation out of Columbia, read Beeland's book which I find to be pretty neutral, heck, I've even been to a couple of the hearings. mtDNA aside...the animal we find here, hybrid or not, is not one generally found elsewhere.

I'm a permanent resident of Realville, but for the sake of position, were there to be an announcement that there was a concrete red wolf pair, zero hybridization, what would get you on board - in a practical sense - with a program moving forward from that point?
 
I've got no skin in this game at all, but here's my 2 cents on this.
1) The dog that was released there is not a Red Wolf, so there never was a restoration.
2) Even if it was a Red Wolf, it is currently unable to protect its genetic purity against coyotes, and will very soon be diluted into oblivion.

Reason #2 makes this project a total waste of time, energy and funding.

Joe
I do agree
 
I've had time to read your post with a little more attention, RedWolfGuy, and there's a couple of things I noted. You obviously are not a landowner and questionably a hunter. As an "undergrad", what's your declared major and what year are you?
I am a landowner, in Chatham County. I do not hunt, I mountain bike. These are identity driving factors that shouldn't really matter on the issues - but I'm not even here to debate - I'm purely here to get yalls insight, having been looking at this for at minimum the age of this thread, up close.

I'm a Design major. I am not a particular year, I'm making career changes.
 
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I think one of the biggest mistakes they made "Redwolfguy" was not taking into account the current landscape when trying to establish the wolf. Once an animal is extirpated (if it was ever native at all) The habitat/landscape and human population can become radically altered over the years. Nature abhors a vacuum. when one species moves on, a niche is created and another species will quickly move in to establish itself, becomes "native" and deserves to be there . A lot of times, the new animal (coyote) can be harder to get rid of than the other species is to establish. Also in todays modern world, does the species even belong anymore. We are seeing problems with the re-established Elk just beginning to surface. 200 years ago the elk didn't have interstates, silage fields, and cattle fences to contend with and we are just now seeing the tip of the iceberg. As the population grows so will the problems. Imagine if we tried to establish Bison because "they were once here" or tried to restock grizzleys in the great lakes area. If these farmers think Elk can tear up a fence, imagine what a buffalo herd could do
Yes, that's a good point. There's a parallel there to human activity. Generally people who earn and save their money are more well equipped to sustain themselves than someone who for example hit the lottery...There are cases...grey wolves for example in Yellowstone and NEUS have begun making a successful comeback.

That's obviously the goal here, but the range of coyotes kinda blew that one out
 
Hello folks. As I see from the top of this page, yall are no strangers to inquiries.

So full disclosure here - I attend NC State and am working on a research project next semester, looking at issues with wolves, including the red wolves here. I followed the issue at arms length a couple of years back(there were an estimated 110 of them at that time, now 35), and, knowing the facts - personally believe the program should be scrapped or rebooted immediately. It is a failure as is.

As it stands, the program has a historied policy of euthanizing what it finds to be 'hybrids' with coyotes. This is compounded in difficulty as hybrids and what are believed to be 'true' red wolves are indistinguishable. Coyotes are here, they cannot be artificially held back, trying to hold them back is a disaster situation, much like the Northern Spotted Owl and the Barred Owl situation out west years back. And, much like the climate, species are dynamic and continually microevolving - these hybrids are red wolves in their own right - and being they are also limited to eastern NC, should be included in a recovery effort. What in your estimation could have, should be done differently, improved upon were the program to either reboot or move elsewhere?

I live in Chatham County. We have coyotes out here that roam our properties. We also have healthy deer populations. Neither I, nor my neighbors that I'm aware of have groaned in hand wringing that we want to trap/kill/SSS any area coyotes. I've seen it claimed at least one of you purchased your property fully knowing it was home to red wolves - with the disdain for the wolves, is there any animal you would be fine with, under the ESA residing or roaming on your land?

When a person reads about red wolves, the phrase "the only wild population in the world" or some variation always appears afterward. With such a hyped...marketed resource like this, literally in your backyard, why not encourage a healthy wolf population and exploit as an ecotourist destination and importing that economy to the area?

Yall don't want the wolves around, but others in the area do or are indifferent. Are there nonlethal measures yall have taken in deterring the wolves from being on your specific properties? - If so what methods and what seems to have the greatest potential?

Again, I'm not with any organization other than being an individual undergrad student working on genuine interest and an preparation for research for spring semester.

Thanks!
I've underlined 3 quotes from your original post. (1) These hybrids are probably close to being as much red wolves as what is being called a red wolf with that I can agree. They however are not deserving of being classified as red wolves and being protected under the ESA, but of course in truth the so-called red wolves are not deserving of that protection either. So, here is my proposal to you why not just open the 5 counties to allow the taking of these animals same as coyotes during night or day? They deserve no special protection, but we can never get them totally out of the gene pool now.

(2) I find the second one of your quotes to be elitist snobbery and something I would expect from a UNC undergrad or perhaps just someone who has been in contact with Ron Sutherland at State. It is after all the landowners property, and when he purchased it has nothing to do with property rights, but more importantly you can not make the property owner responsible for the failures of USFWS to follow the law they told the landowners they would live by.

(3) Perhaps you didn't notice but the great revenue generated by red wolf ecotourism has already been tried and failed with a multimillion dollar investment that promised big dollars and couldn't generate enough to keep it open. In other words in eastern NC dialect, "It didn't produce squat."
 

Mike Noles aka conman

Administrator
Staff member
I am a landowner, in Chatham County. I do not hunt, I mountain bike. These are identity driving factors that shouldn't really matter on the issues - but I'm not even here to debate - I'm purely here to get yalls insight, having been looking at this for at minimum the age of this thread, up close.

I'm a Design major. I am not a particular year, I'm making career changes.
Kinda what I thought. 'Nuff said. Let me get my hip boots on.
 
"the animal we find here, hybrid or not, is not one generally found elsewhere. "

Except for Point Defiance Zoo , and various other zoos holding animals descended from a flawed selective breeding program. How many pups were euthanized to achieve the so called "standard" ?

If I live trapped coyotes and selectively bred the black ones for ten or fifteen generations and then released a few dozen pairs into the wild how long do you think it would take for my selected black strain to become diluted back to its's original rate of occurrence? That's basically what has happened here.
 
"the animal we find here, hybrid or not, is not one generally found elsewhere. "

Except for Point Defiance Zoo , and various other zoos holding animals descended from a flawed selective breeding program. How many pups were euthanized to achieve the so called "standard" ?

.
Which is why I personally don't support the existing program
 
I've underlined 3 quotes from your original post. (1) These hybrids are probably close to being as much red wolves as what is being called a red wolf with that I can agree. They however are not deserving of being classified as red wolves and being protected under the ESA, but of course in truth the so-called red wolves are not deserving of that protection either. So, here is my proposal to you why not just open the 5 counties to allow the taking of these animals same as coyotes during night or day? They deserve no special protection, but we can never get them totally out of the gene pool now.

(2) I find the second one of your quotes to be elitist snobbery and something I would expect from a UNC undergrad or perhaps just someone who has been in contact with Ron Sutherland at State. It is after all the landowners property, and when he purchased it has nothing to do with property rights, but more importantly you can not make the property owner responsible for the failures of USFWS to follow the law they told the landowners they would live by.

(3) Perhaps you didn't notice but the great revenue generated by red wolf ecotourism has already been tried and failed with a multimillion dollar investment that promised big dollars and couldn't generate enough to keep it open. In other words in eastern NC dialect, "It didn't produce squat."
Thank you for replying, "Take 'em"

1) Ok

2) I'm sorry you find it elitist snobbery. If its a fact, its a fact... It seemed as a buyer beware - a foolish man who built his house on the sand scenario. Its like knowingly buying a home between two frat houses and then complaining about the parties. I've bought 2 properties - while looking I was aware of the situations involving each prospective buy. This particular situation seemed unique to me in that the buyer must have been full aware the land had ESA protected animals on it...and I am curious if this was initially okay or if something changed.

I do not know Ron Sutherland. I am aware he penned an article I read and have seen his name in this forum.

3) Actually I don't know. What was tried?
 
Try this scenario on property rights---You expect when you buy your property that USFWS will abide by the laws they put in place to begin the "flawed non-essential and experimental red wolf releases". (1) Namely that fake wolves which wander onto your property will be removed by USFWS, (2) That fake wolves will not be released on private property, (3) The numbers of fake wolves released will be limited to a few and only on Federal properties. (4) That USFWS won't lie and say you have no wolves on your property and then you hire a trapper who immediately traps fake wolves and fake wolf hybrids in abundance on your property. (5) That landowners have the right to get a take permit when USFWS can't control and keep fake wolves and fake wolf hybrids off your property.

And the beat goes on and on. Don't put the failures on landowners when USFWS willfully and knowingly lied to them. Go back to the beginning of this thread and "read it" and you'll have enough information to write a real paper on why and how the ESA has been badly abused from it's inception.

Oh, and one more thing just remember in your research that the few remaining supposed wolves were removed from the wild in Texas and Louisiana because coyotes were hybridizing them in the early 70's. Of the 400+ captured animals only 12-14 were selected to be the "real red wolves by how they looked". The rest were eliminated and then the very first litters produced by the 12 founders contained hybrids or in other words they didn't look like what these biologist thought a "real red wolf" should look like. It would all be laughable if it wasn't such a serious breach of law and order. NC was selected as the recipient of these fake wolves because coyotes didn't exist here then. Now coyotes are everywhere so how does that make NC different than Texas and Louisiana? Can you say FAILED EXPERIMENT?
 
Thank you for replying, "Take 'em"

1) Ok

2) I'm sorry you find it elitist snobbery. If its a fact, its a fact... It seemed as a buyer beware - a foolish man who built his house on the sand scenario. Its like knowingly buying a home between two frat houses and then complaining about the parties. I've bought 2 properties - while looking I was aware of the situations involving each prospective buy. This particular situation seemed unique to me in that the buyer must have been full aware the land had ESA protected animals on it...and I am curious if this was initially okay or if something changed.

?
Actually RWG, most of the landowners who have screamed the loudest, Bought, or inherited their property BEFORE the feds concocted the Redwoof program. And they have every right to be upset, that this ill-conceived program was thrust upon them. The woof was never native to NC in the first place, so property owners such as Jett, have had to contend with a "non-native" invasive species being thrust upon them with federal protection, which has eroded their property rights. Think about that a minute RWG. If YOU bought property that had never had a population of "species X". Why should you be compelled to go along with any "stocking" efforts with the threat of prosecution if you interfered?
 
Thanks again for replying.

Yes, I do agree in that respect it is a failure.

Understand, my motivation here is a compile a case to aim to prevent a failure like this from happening again. I do not place the entirety of the failure of this program on yall, but obviously I'm here because yall are part of the equation and am interested in yalls unpolarized perspective. If I may, this has added other questions -

- Is the inconclusive validity of a red wolf as a species yalls main concern here - ie you want to maintain scientific integrity, or is it largely the vehicle used to invalidate the program? So for example if a species of shrew, bat or even cougar were released rather than wolves, would you find reason protest?

- Searching through this thread, I've only seen deterrents (noise, lights...etc...) mentioned - indirectly - a few times. Have yall used these?

- You mentioned they should be confined to federal lands...we don't have a lot of federal land here in NC...and I think we can both agree we'd prefer to keep it that way. I know when yall refer to your own private land, we're not just talking an acre here - with this in mind, is there a reasonable sense of understanding - (there is a sense of duty...responsibility...descency….whatever word in that general vicinity that come with being in this position?) *Edited

- You said ecotourism has been tried - to what extent? Safaris and stuff?

thanks
 
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Eric Revo

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
When you begin a fake program designed simply to scam the taxpayer out of their money by using a genetically manufactured animal and calling it a "red wolf" to try and use the power of political correctness and sympathy to continue to milk the taxpayer for years and years, why would you imagine that there would be support from anyone who is aware of this face and has largely been negatively affected by it?
There's no justification for continuing this program, or starting something similar using the same fake wolves.
 
Actually RWG, most of the landowners who have screamed the loudest, Bought, or inherited their property BEFORE the feds concocted the Redwoof program. And they have every right to be upset, that this ill-conceived program was thrust upon them. The woof was never native to NC in the first place, so property owners such as Jett, have had to contend with a "non-native" invasive species being thrust upon them with federal protection, which has eroded their property rights. Think about that a minute RWG. If YOU bought property that had never had a population of "species X". Why should you be compelled to go along with any "stocking" efforts with the threat of prosecution if you interfered?
Its not that they never were here, there are public records going from John Winthrop in the NE, to John White around eastern NC/VA down to...I cant recall the name talking of black wolves in Florida*...they were here. Bounties were put on them which drove them to extinction.

Whether its a solid species or a more recent (like within 700 yrs) hybrid, that's not a factor in its ability today. You were on point in your last post, there has been a vacuum and with their ability to breed with coyotes, marked this for failure.
 
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Mike Noles aka conman

Administrator
Staff member
Its not that they never were here, there are public records going from John Winthrop in the NE, to John White around eastern NC/VA down to...I cant recall the name talking of black wolves in Florida*...they were here. Bounties were put on them which drove them to extinction.

Whether its a solid species or a more recent (like within 700 yrs) hybrid, that's not a factor in its ability today. You were on point in your last post, there has been a vacuum and with their ability to breed with coyotes, marked this for failure.
You're wrong about the "red wolf" being in ENC. The court records show a bounty for the eastern grey wolf. There's never been record or archeological proof of any other canine predator except the eastern grey. It is now a part of the terrain in the upper NE and has interbred with the eastern coyotes to create the coy wolf.
 
You're wrong about the "red wolf" being in ENC. The court records show a bounty for the eastern grey wolf. There's never been record or archeological proof of any other canine predator except the eastern grey. It is now a part of the terrain in the upper NE and has interbred with the eastern coyotes to create the coy wolf.
ok, I'm going to need a quick vernacular lesson - Is "woof" as yall say here representative only of red wolves or of all wolves?

Mike, from what I've read, I wouldn't argue against the red wolf actually being an eastern wolf type sub species...with this conversation in mind and indisputable evidence wolves were here, were the program to have been eastern wolves, would we be having this conversation?

Its also important to note pretty much everything is hybridized to some degree or another.
 
Not up to me to do your research for you on ecotourism and fake red wolves. You're writing the paper! Hint go to Columbia, NC.

Please drop the "yall" stuff. It really doesn't play well, and makes you sound like the typical liberal who feels a need to talk down to the ignorant and uneducated.

I'm hoping the original intent of the ESA was to try and preserve endangered species. Unfortunately one of the cornerstones of the program was the red wolf recovery. Subsequently it has been used as a model for much of the other ESA projects. Therefore admitting to a fake and human engineering red wolf as a substitute would become a house of cards with a domino effect.

Whether red wolves were even a separate species has not been proven genetically. None of the maps showing the range of the red wolf which were done at the beginning of this failed project showed NC as being in the home range. Yes, they claimed there were black wolves in Fla. which were a color phase of red wolves. Would you like some pictures of black coyotes? Maybe they are just as much black red wolves as those reported by the early settlers.
 
The wild ones are up there with yall, not in Columbia...where I come from we say 'yall'...if you prefer 'you guys' I'll write that with you.

Yellowstone for example saw an increase in tourism due to wolves and grizzlies. In Africa, the wildlife tourism is big bucks, and if you buy a permit - very pricey, big for the local economy - you can (cough) take 'em. What they have in Columbia is akin to a zoo experience.

Have you guys up there tried anything?
 

Eric Revo

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
They prefer to call it culling. ;) Euthanized makes it sound like they murdered the cute little pups.
Kinda similar to culling oysters, both methods involve using a hammer to get rid of that which can't be used.
I still haven't heard anything mentioned about the stud book that Mike has so graciously tendered for examination of the recent history of all the "red wolves" in this study. Amazing that the DNA from a pup that looks one way can vary so much from a pup in the same litter that's appearance isn't what the "researchers" are looking for.
 

Mike Noles aka conman

Administrator
Staff member
ok, I'm going to need a quick vernacular lesson - Is "woof" as yall say here representative only of red wolves or of all wolves?

Mike, from what I've read, I wouldn't argue against the red wolf actually being an eastern wolf type sub species...with this conversation in mind and indisputable evidence wolves were here, were the program to have been eastern wolves, would we be having this conversation?

Its also important to note pretty much everything is hybridized to some degree or another.
Calling these things "woof" is the equivalent of "red wolf". Neither exist and both are a joke.

And, yes, like the southwestern wolf, the Eastern grey is extinct except in the hybrid coywolf.

I agree that most things are hybridized to a degree, but most are not clammerin to be protected by the ESA and most aren't a cash cow for NPOs.
 
Its not that they never were here, there are public records going from John Winthrop in the NE, to John White around eastern NC/VA down to...I cant recall the name talking of black wolves in Florida*...they were here. Bounties were put on them which drove them to extinction.

Whether its a solid species or a more recent (like within 700 yrs) hybrid, that's not a factor in its ability today. You were on point in your last post, there has been a vacuum and with their ability to breed with coyotes, marked this for failure.
Wrong again RWG, Look at the original range map by the Dept of Interior. Neither NC nor SC is "on the map" We know skins were traded all up and down the east coast, just like obsidian arrowheads (also not native). I'm sure there was some type of wolf here at some point, probably some type of eastern gray variety. All we know for sure is that the "woof", forced upon the folks of NC is nothing like the original "pre-Columbian gray wolf hybrid. We also know from the fossil record that camels also existed here, maybe the USFWS should try to re-introduce them as well
 
Wrong again RWG, Look at the original range map by the Dept of Interior. Neither NC nor SC is "on the map" We know skins were traded all up and down the east coast, just like obsidian arrowheads (also not native). I'm sure there was some type of wolf here at some point, probably some type of eastern gray variety. All we know for sure is that the "woof", forced upon the folks of NC is nothing like the original "pre-Columbian gray wolf hybrid. We also know from the fossil record that camels also existed here, maybe the USFWS should try to re-introduce them as well
This is the map of the Dept of Interior...

If you're trying to direct me to the map yall have frequently used that for whatever reason suggests a wolf couldn't have made it over the Appalachains….for one that's ridiculous...and two....suspiciously, everyone here only accepts the one, single map that happens to validate their stance...do you see the bias flaw there? Dozens of maps suggest wolves...whatever wolves you want to insert there - eastern wolf, red wolf, hybrid wolf it was here before...yet, somehow the one that supports your claim is the real one...?

Hey, I'm with you that perhaps rather than Canis Rufus, what we're really dealing with here Canis lupus rufus…perhaps coyote interbreeding has always been a part of this wolf's existance, but there are enough canis latrans here now to erase or negate red wolf traits.

Camels...let's not get silly here, there are wolf bounties on record in NC from colonial times on...show me the settlers found camels when they landed and I'll eat my underwear.

That said, again I'll ask - is the validity of what constitutes a red wolf - scientific integrity - the real issue, or is it merely a tool to use to oppose the program - would yall oppose a bat, shrew, cougar ESA protected species reintroduced to the area?

thanks!
 

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