NY group joins petitioners to 'recolonize' wolves

New York group joins petitioners to 'recolonize' wolves

I guess the following is one of those "What-could-they-be-thinking?" ideas that otherwise intelligent, educated people sometimes come up with. In this case, under the similarity of appearance clause in the Endangered Species Act, a group of citizens from the states of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine has petitioned the Secretaries of Interior and Commerce to regulate the commerce or taking in these four states of coyotes, wolf/coyote hybrids, eastern wolves and wolf hybrids, in order to protect what they claim are wolves attempting to "recolonize" the northeastern U.S. from Canada.

Now I'd guess that these folks unfortunately typify the misguided notions that we can just plunk down any plan that will reintroduce extirpated wildlife and it will succeed, or that total protectionism will result in increasing numbers of the species involved, and they will then make a big comeback. What they fail to grasp is that habitat and land use changes are most often the real culprits in why some species decline or disappear and others flourish.

The petitioners have stated that the timber wolf was once native to all four states, but even the scientific community is uncertain of which wolf species or subspecies originally occupied the northeast U.S. DNA analysis has shown that the Eastern Coyote is not a true coyote at all, but rather an evolving hybrid, the result of gray wolves and coyotes crossbreeding in Eastern Canada and then spreading south into the U.S. True wolves tend to avoid man and developed areas, whereas the hybrid wild canid we call the Eastern Coyote has adapted and now is quite comfortable living among us, much like the true coyote.

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