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The Secret World of Red Wolves: The Fight to Save North America's Other Wolf Hardcover – June 10, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-1469601991 ISBN-10: 1469601990 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Most people are unaware of the fact that there are two wolf species in North America; or, if they have heard of the red wolf, mistakenly think of it as the mongrel hybrid of a gray wolf and a coyote. In this, the first complete telling of the comeback of the red wolf, nature writer Beeland examines all aspects of this misunderstood canine. In engaging language, Beeland gives the history of the habitat degradation and human persecution that drove this leggy southeastern wolf to the brink, and of how hybridizing with coyotes newly arrived from the West almost became the final straw. She relates the capture of the last pure red wolves, the learning curve with captive breeding, the abortive attempt to reintroduce the wolves to the wilds of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the final home of the wild population in North Carolina. The combination of first-person immediacy interwoven with red wolf history will delight animal lovers. --Nancy Bent

Review

"A very welcome addition. . . . Highly recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates and general readers."--Choice


"The Secret World of Red Wolves is a very important addition to any wolf aficionado's library and is easily the definitive and most complete book written on the subject. . . . Readers will find this treatise to be an easy-to-read page turner that is timely and a welcomed book on 'North America's other wolf.'"--The Canadian Field-Naturalist


"Beeland tells the convoluted tale of the North American red wolf in clear and refreshingly readable prose. The book is a necessary read for anyone interested in wolf conservation, or in the captive breeding and reestablishment of endangered species."--AllAboutWildlife.com


"Reveals the current status of the [Red Wolf] while clarifying much of its history."--Coastwatch


"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


"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 wri

"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."--Library Journal


"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."--Booklist


"Fascinating, a must-read for both scientific and popular audiences."--Wolf Print
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 1 edition (June 10, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1469601990
  • ISBN-13: 978-1469601991
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.9 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

It was my love for wild nature that led me back to science. As a child, I trolled for redfish in the Gulf of Mexico with my parents. In winter, we slogged across mudflats in the freezing dawn for stone crabs, and in fall we donned masks and snorkels and floated over shallow grass flats to scoop up scallops.

In graduate school I decided to explore my interest in the natural world through the lens of writing. My graduate studies blended education in natural resources management and ecology with training in journalism.

My first book, The Secret World of Red Wolves: The Fight to Save North America's Other Wolf was published in June 2013 by the University of North Carolina Press. I'm a professional member of The Author's Guild, the National Association for Science Writers, the International League of Conservation Writers, and the Science Communicators of North Carolina.

Visit my professional writing web site, www.delene.us.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
And an excellent job done the subject!
A. Lane Batot
You learn how and why they became extinct in the wild-and how thanks to the hard work of the Red Wolf Recovery program they live in the wild once again!
Janet A. Hoben
Her research is thorough and presented in a way a layman can understand and find interesting.
Anita Gelbart

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cornelia N. Hutt on June 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
There are wonderful books that appeal only to limited audiences. Here is a wonderful book that has something appealing for everyone - scientists, wolf managers, animals lovers, students, teachers, young people and the young at heart. Even people who aren't so sure they favor having wolves on the landscape will find this book captivating because it reveals the history and the "way of the red wolf" without preaching. The author has spent years researching this elusive animal, but this is no encyclopedic rendition. The fascinating facts are there, as they should be, but Beeland tells stories - wonderful, first-person engaging stories of her interactions with the field biologists and with the wolves themselves. This is a book you will want to buy and read and keep and read again.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By P. DANTONIO on June 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading this book, and I absolutely loved it. Not only does the red wolf get a literally update, but the book was told with a great awareness of the complex circumstances of surrounding this animal. Although the author does at times give her opinion on the different controversies, it is not overwhelming in the least. In fact, I would say that the book appears completely neutral aside for sentences where she explicitly says her opinion. As someone who has followed the red wolf controversies since high school, it is not easy to tell people about red wolves without taking a side.

The book also addressed the people behind red wolf conservation. It is heartening to hear about the dedication and hard work of Americans trying to right the ecological wrongs of the past. The author also interviewed locals around the red wolf reintroduction area. These included the opinions of those who are against the presence of red wolves in their state. She did so maintaining her integrity and the integrity of her interviewees.

The only thing I found missing from the book, which would knock it down a half a star, is the lack of color photos in the two sections with pictures. Having said that, compared to most nature/conservation books, this book is pretty cheap. I kept the 5 stars because cost is probably the reason behind the lack of color photos. As someone who often can't afford to buy every nature book on my book list, I appreciate the price of the work. Therefore, the two points cancel each other out in my opinion.

In conclusion, I look forward to reading Ms. Beeland's future works. This book is a great debut for this first time author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Debbie Hinchcliffe on June 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is a fine book on the red wolf and all wolves. The author has done a detailed, marvelous amount of research. AND, she has made it readable for the expert and the lay person.

trailsendwolf
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephen S. Mulkey on June 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a book about a top predator that has been studied for many years and often misunderstood. Beeland tells the story of the Red Wolf through the voices and the work of those most familiar with this remarkable creature, and in the process she brings us face to face with the most critical questions about how we relate to the wild. As we move into a 21st Century that will be increasingly defined by alterations of climate and habitat, it is essential that we face the ethical issues inherent in how nonhuman nature responds to the changes that we have wrought. The Red Wolf is a study in adaptation and conservation that has much to teach us about what we value about wildness. How we define a species merely begins this conversation. Beeland's work is both scientifically compelling and accessible to all. It is a must read for all who care about where conservation is headed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By WA Barbarian on June 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From cover to cover this is an excellent piece of literature, encapsulating the essential efforts of the Red Wolf Recovery Effort from the early days of the program to the present day. Beeland's style is a pleasure to read, and she navigates flawlessly through the complicated story of Canis rufus, the red wolf. What we learn from this story is that even though human pressure has caused red wolves to become endangered, human effort has also saved them from extinction, and continued help is needed to keep this magnificent animal in the wild. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Collins on January 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As the gray wolf war rages on in the west, another problem has been unfolding along the east coast without all the headlines. During the month of November 2013, 6 red wolves were illegally killed within a month in NC. Thus, it’s the perfect time to go and grab a copy of The Secret World of Red Wolves: The Fight to Save North America’s Other Wolf by T. Delene Beeland. Appreciation stimulates conservation, and this book will certainly make you appreciate these fascinating canines.

Beeland divides the book up into three main parts: 1) The Red Wolf Today; 2) The Red Wolf Yesterday; and 3) The Red Wolf Tomorrow. Within these sections, Beeland uses the wealth of information that she has accumulated through experience and research to tell this grand story of Canis rufus. Lots of important science is weaved throughout the story.

Part I covers several seasons. Through hiking in the field and interviewing the biologists, Beeland is able to relay the current status of these wolves. Readers will be surprised to learn that red wolves were, in fact, the very first wolves introduced in the United States, that they actually benefit the ecosystem by eating nonnative nutria, and that they are actually more scared of you than you are of them. Part II deals with taxonomic history of the red wolf, their early decline because of settlers’ fear of “big bad” wolves, and the history of how they came to be reintroduced in NC. Part III discusses what types of things still need to happen for this recovery effort to be successful.

This is a book every North Carolinian interested in science should read because this great effort is taking place in our backyard. It is a book anyone interested in the need for apex predators should read. Beeland’s vast knowledge and enthusiasm make this a book that is hard to put down.
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