272 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 24 halftones, 2 figs., 2 maps, bibl., index
The Fight to Save North America's Other Wolf
Red wolves are shy, elusive, and misunderstood predators. Until the 1800s, they were common in the longleaf pine savannas and deciduous forests of the southeastern United States. However, habitat degradation, persecution, and interbreeding with the coyote nearly annihilated them. Today, reintroduced red wolves are found only in peninsular northeastern North Carolina within less than 1 percent of their former range. In The Secret World of Red Wolves, nature writer T. DeLene Beeland shadows the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's pioneering recovery program over the course of a year to craft an intimate portrait of the red wolf, its history, and its restoration. Her engaging exploration of this top-level predator traces the intense effort of conservation personnel to save a species that has slipped to the verge of extinction.
Beeland weaves together the voices of scientists, conservationists, and local landowners while posing larger questions about human coexistence with red wolves, our understanding of what defines this animal as a distinct species, and how climate change may swamp its current habitat.
"Fascinating, a must-read for both scientific and popular audiences."
"The first complete telling of the comeback of the red wolf. . . . The combination of first-person immediacy interwoven with red wolf history will delight animal lovers."
"In her narrative of slow but crucial progress, Beeland does an excellent job of covering the worries, hopes, setbacks, and triumphs of the determined [Red Wolf] researchers and their ultimate story of success. Recommended."
“By the time the last page turns, the reader will have been taught and entertained in equal measure, and it will be a rare person who doesn’t feel more empathy for all those involved with the perilous life of this rare creature. . . . [Beeland’s] fine writing shines through this book, lending clarity to complex questions such as how the wolf evolved. . . and charm to stories of the region and the people who have worked so hard to drag the wolf from the jaws of extinction.”The Charlotte Observer
"We come to know the red wolf through the eyes of an objective writer, one who has the ability to deliver the details in both a factual and enthralling way. . . and we finish her book feeling something of an expert ourselves."
--Ecolit Books blog
“Reveals the current status of the [Red Wolf] while clarifying much of its history.”
© 2012 The University of North Carolina Press
116 South Boundary Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-3808
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