Few animals are as controversial as the red wolf. Conservationists have attempted several times to reintroduce these beautiful, majestic, ecologically important animals back into parts of their native range, but misconceptions and fear— as well as coyote interbreeding and disease— have stalled progress in their recovery.
Eliminating the red wolf did nothing to protect humans or livestock. In any ecosystem where wolves naturally exist, nature finds a way to fill the gaps. Areas without wolves become filled with coyotes. If coyotes were eliminated, feral dogs— which are much more dangerous— would take their place. Driving an animal to extinction can’t solve the basic challenges of coexistence with nature.
Red wolves continue to desperately need protection. Some methods that could promote coexistence include turbofladry, a nonlethal electrical fence method used widely overseas, and livestock compensation programs to help farmers recover losses that occur as a result of wild wolves.