Cornelia N. Hut: No expert on red wolves

November 29, 2013 

The Nov. 26 Point of View “How the red wolf saved itself” by John Wooding was yet another example of how someone with self-described credentials (certified wildlife biologist) can try to sound like an expert by supporting his bias with sweeping generalizations.

Regarding red wolf taxonomy, Wooding writes that “genetic studies show they are basically a large coyote with a smidge of dog. This is all a red wolf has ever been.” That single study was immediately rebutted by several renowned geneticists and biologists. Science is not settled, and the origin and taxonomy of the red wolf remain subjects of honest debate, as they should.

Wooding is entitled to his opinion, but opinion is not science. Wooding should know that since he purports to be a member of the scientific community. His website promotes his abilities as a varmint trapper. Some wildlife, he says, is beautiful and some is “sort of hideous.” Is that also a fact supported by science?

Cornelia N. Hut

Purcellville, Va.

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