Wolf recovery program focused on hybrids
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
November 13, 2007
The Great Lakes wolf population has been delisted but now scientists are revealing that the “saved” wolf population isn’t what was there to begin with, since what was saved were hybrids.
Here’s the abstract to the article in Biology Letters:
“Wolves from the Great Lakes area were historically decimated due to habitat loss and predator control programmes. Under the protection of the US Endangered Species Act, the population has rebounded to approximately 3000 individuals. We show that the pre-recovery population was dominated by mitochondrial DNA haplotypes from an endemic American wolf referred to here as the Great Lakes wolf. In contrast, the recent population is admixed, and probably derives also from the grey wolf (Canis lupus) of Old World origin and the coyote (Canis latrans). Consequently, the pre-recovery population has not been restored, casting doubt on delisting action.”
The New York Times science section has a great article about the findings in the report. Click on the link below to read the article.