A new study finds that using the “placeholder” concept to reduce genetic introgression of red wolves is working!
A main threat to the last remaining wild red wolf population comes from coyotes, which mate with the wolves to produce fertile hybrids. A new study has concluded, however, that there is a solution! Biologists have successfully prevented coyotes from interbreeding with red wolves by sterilizing coyotes and allowing them to act as “placeholders” to occupy territory until they displaced by a wolf.
Learn more: Efforts to prevent ‘coywolf’ hybrids is working, study finds via Science.
The question now is whether the 15-year placeholder plan will continue... The finding of this program's success comes as state and federal officials mull whether to terminate the red wolf recovery program in North Carolina and thus render the red