With less than 7,000 painted wolves left on the planet, managing their genetic diversity is a critical part of the conservation puzzle.
Many painted wolf populations are very small and very fragmented. While painted wolves can roam very far to form a new pack, the increasing human influence on the landscape means that there is sometimes nowhere to go.
So, humans have to intervene. It may require translocations, it may require pack ‘formation’, but it will always rely heavily on the good will of landowners who must be educated about the benefits of having painted wolves on their land. Without such interventions, the remaining populations of painted wolves would slowly become totally isolated – a sad fate for these wide-ranging and fearless souls.