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Saving the Red Wolves

From the Sandra Markle's Science Discoveries series

by Sandra Markle

Pub Date: March 5th, 2024
ISBN: 9781728467962
Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Deemed extinct in the wild, red wolves have made a modest recovery.

Markle notes that the red wolf was once a major predator in the U.S, but fearful European settlers shot and trapped them until few were left. By 1973, when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began a recovery program, the remaining wolves had begun to interbreed with coyotes. Only a few pure red wolves were available for the captive breeding program that was begun in the late 1970s, in the hopes of restoring the population. In zoos, the population grew enough to support reintroductions, with varying degrees of success. Reintroduced wolves came into conflict with humans and bred with coyotes that had moved into what had been wolf territory. Eventually the Red Wolf Recovery Program turned to pup fostering, or putting pups born in captivity into red wolf dens so they could be raised by wild mothers. As she has done so often, Markle efficiently weaves information about animals and their importance to their ecosystems into her clear descriptions of humans rescuers and the effects of their actions. Her chronicle of the ups and downs of this program is set on a green-patterned background alongside informative photographs, as well as maps. The clever design makes reading easy; there are no text box interruptions. Readers will reach a better understanding of the challenges such recovery programs face.

A convincing introduction to human efforts to save animal species.

(author’s note, facts about red wolves, glossary, source notes, find out more, index) (Nonfiction. 9-13)