August 13, 2011
By Helen Chappel
Good news for a wolf is good news for a turkey. At least it is in Eastern North Carolina, where red wolves are making a comeback and helping other animal species along the way. Since the wolves were reintroduced in 1987, biologists have watched them rattle all the links in the food chain.
"We've certainly seen turkey come back. We've seen quail populations increase," said David Rabon, coordinator of the Red Wolf Recovery Program.
Wolves' role in helping these ground-nesting birds is well known, Rabon said. Raccoons eat the birds' eggs, and red wolves prey on raccoons. More wolves mean fewer raccoons, and fewer raccoons mean more quail and turkey. Connecting the dots, more wolves mean more birds...
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(Love this video of a pack of Red Wolves howling. If you're a dog owner, turn up the sound and watch your pup react.)