Nature and falconry writer Steve Bodio sends me this, which offers an amusing perspective on the "species does not exist" problem:
Here is the text-- from The Gyrfalcon, by Eugene Potapov and Richard Sale-- Sale is mostly a translator.
"There was panic in Sweden in 1999 when an escaped male Gyrfalcon x Peregrine Falcon hybrid from Denmark paired with a native Peregrine female in Bohuslan, the male bird being identified by its leg ring. The pairing made the headlines of Swedish newspapers...Falconry is, in general, prohibited in Finland, Sweden and Norway, and so the public reaction to this event was negative because of the potential for genetic pollution of the native species. The case was termed the 'birds of prey scandal' by the Swedish Ornithological society...Officials from Naturvårdsverket (the Swedish Ministry of the environment) killed the chicks produced by the pair and shot the hybrid. They also wished to kill the female as her willingness to mate with a non-pure bird caused concern that should another escape happen the bird might be equally willing a second time. However the female escaped and remained at large...”
This is also the opinion of the U.S. federal government. Well, not about people, but about red wolves. The red wolf is found in isolated spots in the South. Although the government lists it as an endangered species, it looks like a cross between a wolf and a coyote (which, just to indicate the depths of the confusion here, used to be called separate species, but generally aren't anymore). Indeed, as genetic tests have shown, that is exactly what it is.
In other words, the red wolf is not an endangered species but an endangered race. The main threat to the continued racial existence of red wolves is - miscegenation with the common coyote. So, in some parts of the South, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is pursuing an aggressive campaign of sterilizing or killing uppity coyotes that can't keep their cotton-pickin' paws off our precious red wolves.
This program of lynching Southern coyotes that don't know their place is pretty amusing in a sick way. But it probably is the only way to preserve the red wolf race. Being of conservative temperament, I tend to favor conserving things, because if we don't, we'll miss them when they're gone.