Return of the Red Wolf; January 1996; Scientific American Magazine; by Nemecek; 2 Page(s)
The legislative corridors of Washington, D.C., have recently been resounding with howls about red wolves. At issue is the ongoing, federally sponsored program to reintroduce red wolves in parts of North Carolina and Tennessee. Some critics of the program question whether or not the red wolf is really a species--that is, biologically distinct from other groups of wolves and coyotes.
In early August 1995 the National Wilderness Institute (NWI), a wildlife management organization, submitted a petition to the Department of the Interior, recommending the removal of the red wolf from the Endangered Species List. Citing Robert K. Wayne of the University of California at Los Angeles and John L. Gittleman of the University of Tennessee [authors of "The Problematic Red Wolf," SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, July 1995], the NWI petition contends that "the ¿red wolf' is not a separate species but a hybrid " and therefore "cannot meet the Endangered Species Act's definition of species."