#11. The Red Wolf
If you live in the Southeastern United States, chances are you have never seen one of these magnificent creatures. The Red Wolf used to be a common predator in the Southeast with a triangular range that stretched from Texas to Florida to New York. That was before private property owners destroyed their ecosystem and exterminated the hated “varmint.” There are only about 200 Red Wolves left in North America. Most of these welfare bums are slumming on public property maintained by your taxpayer dollars.
#12. The Carolina Parakeet
If you’re anything like me, when you think of ‘parrots’ the tropics usually come to mind. Most White Southerners are unaware that an indigenous species, the Carolina Parakeet, used to be found in the forests of the Eastern United States from the Ohio Valley to the Gulf of Mexico.
Unfortunately, the Carolina Parakeet suffered the same fate as the Passenger Pigeon. Their habitat was destroyed by careless White settlers who cut down forests to make room for new farmland. They were also shot en masse as “varmints” by private property owners and their colorful feathers were highly in demand as decorations in ladies’ hats. Although the CP flourished in capitivity, the ‘free market’ couldn’t find any commercial incentive to preserve the species and it went extinct in the early twentieth century.
#13. The Cougar
White Southerners love to swap stories and rumors about “Mountain Lions” prowling about their hunting land. As I child, I distinctly remember being spirited away one afternoon to see some of their alleged tracks on my own property. The ubiquitous Cougar once roamed most of the Western Hemisphere from Alaska to Chile.
Cougars are rarely seen in the Eastern United States these days. East of the Mississippi, “Mountain Lions” were extirpated virtually everywhere outside of Florida by private property owners as another hated “varmint” thought to be more trouble than they are worth. The Cougar was able to survive into modern times due largely to having such an extensive range. Less widespread species haven’t shared their luck.
#14. The Heath Hen
In Colonial America, the heath hen was an extremely common and popular animal. It could often be found on the dinner plate of of poor Americans. Some have speculated that it was heath hens (and not wild turkeys) that were consumed on the first Thanksgiving. Now all but forgotten, the heath hen was driven to extinction by market hunters and private property owners who decimated the species over the course of the nineteenth century. The ‘free market’ apparently couldn’t find an incentive to preserve this animal for posterity either.
#15. The Bighorn Sheep
By now you should be starting to get the picture. There used to be millions of Bighorn Sheep in the American West. By 1900, the market hunters had reduced their population to a few thousand. The species has made a dramatic comeback on the wildlife refuges established by the federal government. Libertarian ideologues insist that ‘government’ can’t do anything the ‘private sphere’ can’t do better, but any number of successful examples in wildlife management show otherwise.