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Red Wolf (Canis rufus) Recovery: A Review with Suggestions for Future Research.

Hinton JW, Chamberlain MJ, Rabon DR - Animals (Basel) (2013)

Bottom Line: By the 1970s, government-supported eradication campaigns reduced red wolves to a remnant population of less than 100 individuals on the southern border of Texas and Louisiana.We explore these three challenges and, within each challenge, we illustrate how research can be used to resolve problems associated with red wolf-coyote interactions, effects of inbreeding, and demographic responses to human-caused mortality.We hope this illustrates the utility of research to advance restoration of red wolves.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA. jhinton@uga.edu.

ABSTRACT
By the 1970s, government-supported eradication campaigns reduced red wolves to a remnant population of less than 100 individuals on the southern border of Texas and Louisiana. Restoration efforts in the region were deemed unpromising because of predator-control programs and hybridization with coyotes. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) removed the last remaining red wolves from the wild and placed them in a captive-breeding program. In 1980, the USFWS declared red wolves extinct in the wild. During 1987, the USFWS, through the Red Wolf Recovery Program, reintroduced red wolves into northeastern North Carolina. Although restoration efforts have established a population of approximately 70-80 red wolves in the wild, issues of hybridization with coyotes, inbreeding, and human-caused mortality continue to hamper red wolf recovery. We explore these three challenges and, within each challenge, we illustrate how research can be used to resolve problems associated with red wolf-coyote interactions, effects of inbreeding, and demographic responses to human-caused mortality. We hope this illustrates the utility of research to advance restoration of red wolves.

No MeSH data available.


Management zone boundaries within the Red Wolf Recovery Area of northeastern North Carolina.
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animals-03-00722-f002: Management zone boundaries within the Red Wolf Recovery Area of northeastern North Carolina.

Mentions: Although nearly 25 years have elapsed since red wolves were reintroduced into the wild, more than half of the red wolf population still exists in captivity. The captive-breeding program safeguards approximately 200 red wolves in more than 40 captive facilities around the United States while the reintroduced red wolf population has expanded throughout the Albemarle Peninsula to about 70–80 animals in approximately 15 packs [13]. Since 1987, the Recovery Area has expanded to accommodate the growing population from approximately 480 km² to approximately 6800 km² of federal, state, and private lands (Figure 2). Although red wolf restoration has experienced success in many ways, efforts to maintain the NENC population and to find future reintroduction sites continually face challenges. For instance, the red wolf species continues to be plagued by taxonomic controversy regarding its origin and arguments against the systematic validity of the red wolf have been used to oppose red wolf restoration [14,15]. Red wolves still remain a remnant population and experience a series of ecological threats such as hybridization with coyotes and inbreeding [16,17,18]. Without management of coyotes in the Recovery Area, it is likely that the red wolf population would be genetically assimilated into the eastern coyote population [16]. Additionally, the small number of red wolves makes the population in NENC susceptible to genetic drift and inbreeding depression [19]. To prevent inbreeding and maintain genetic diversity in the wild population, captive-born and island-born individuals are periodically released into the Recovery Area. Additionally, quixotic fervor within the hunting community to suppress predators continues to hamper red wolf population growth in NENC. Increased mortality by gunshot during the hunting season has reduced the number of red wolf packs, lowered red wolf survival, and has facilitated coyote expansion into the Recovery Area [18].


Red Wolf (Canis rufus) Recovery: A Review with Suggestions for Future Research.

Hinton JW, Chamberlain MJ, Rabon DR - Animals (Basel) (2013)

Management zone boundaries within the Red Wolf Recovery Area of northeastern North Carolina.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4494459&req=5

animals-03-00722-f002: Management zone boundaries within the Red Wolf Recovery Area of northeastern North Carolina.
Mentions: Although nearly 25 years have elapsed since red wolves were reintroduced into the wild, more than half of the red wolf population still exists in captivity. The captive-breeding program safeguards approximately 200 red wolves in more than 40 captive facilities around the United States while the reintroduced red wolf population has expanded throughout the Albemarle Peninsula to about 70–80 animals in approximately 15 packs [13]. Since 1987, the Recovery Area has expanded to accommodate the growing population from approximately 480 km² to approximately 6800 km² of federal, state, and private lands (Figure 2). Although red wolf restoration has experienced success in many ways, efforts to maintain the NENC population and to find future reintroduction sites continually face challenges. For instance, the red wolf species continues to be plagued by taxonomic controversy regarding its origin and arguments against the systematic validity of the red wolf have been used to oppose red wolf restoration [14,15]. Red wolves still remain a remnant population and experience a series of ecological threats such as hybridization with coyotes and inbreeding [16,17,18]. Without management of coyotes in the Recovery Area, it is likely that the red wolf population would be genetically assimilated into the eastern coyote population [16]. Additionally, the small number of red wolves makes the population in NENC susceptible to genetic drift and inbreeding depression [19]. To prevent inbreeding and maintain genetic diversity in the wild population, captive-born and island-born individuals are periodically released into the Recovery Area. Additionally, quixotic fervor within the hunting community to suppress predators continues to hamper red wolf population growth in NENC. Increased mortality by gunshot during the hunting season has reduced the number of red wolf packs, lowered red wolf survival, and has facilitated coyote expansion into the Recovery Area [18].

Bottom Line: By the 1970s, government-supported eradication campaigns reduced red wolves to a remnant population of less than 100 individuals on the southern border of Texas and Louisiana.We explore these three challenges and, within each challenge, we illustrate how research can be used to resolve problems associated with red wolf-coyote interactions, effects of inbreeding, and demographic responses to human-caused mortality.We hope this illustrates the utility of research to advance restoration of red wolves.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA. jhinton@uga.edu.

ABSTRACT
By the 1970s, government-supported eradication campaigns reduced red wolves to a remnant population of less than 100 individuals on the southern border of Texas and Louisiana. Restoration efforts in the region were deemed unpromising because of predator-control programs and hybridization with coyotes. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) removed the last remaining red wolves from the wild and placed them in a captive-breeding program. In 1980, the USFWS declared red wolves extinct in the wild. During 1987, the USFWS, through the Red Wolf Recovery Program, reintroduced red wolves into northeastern North Carolina. Although restoration efforts have established a population of approximately 70-80 red wolves in the wild, issues of hybridization with coyotes, inbreeding, and human-caused mortality continue to hamper red wolf recovery. We explore these three challenges and, within each challenge, we illustrate how research can be used to resolve problems associated with red wolf-coyote interactions, effects of inbreeding, and demographic responses to human-caused mortality. We hope this illustrates the utility of research to advance restoration of red wolves.

No MeSH data available.