Author Archive

New DNA Study Supports the Eastern Wolf as a Distinct Species


In a new article by authors Rutledge et al 2015 eastern wolves genetic simulations, evidence is presented to support the existence of three distinct large canids in eastern North America, the gray wolf, the eastern wolf and the eastern coyote.  Whereas some researchers conclude that the eastern wolf (canis lycaon) is a hybrid of the gray wolf and the western coyote, this article provides evidence that the eastern wolf is a distinct species.  Furthermore, the article provides evidence that the great lakes wolf is a hybrid of the gray wolf and the eastern wolf and that the eastern coyote is a hybrid of the eastern wolf and the western coyote.  It cites a prior study in which Great Lakes wolves were considered to be eastern wolves, thereby producing incorrect conclusions regarding the origins and identities of eastern North American canids.  The authors of this study considered only wolves from Algonquin Park to be eastern wolves for purposes of DNA comparison.

The article states, “The recognition of the eastern wolf as a separate species does not exclude the possibility that a grey wolf x eastern wolf hybrid animal (similar to the Great Lakes wolves)…historically inhabited the northeastern United States alongside eastern wolves, and there is some evidence to support the historical presence of both Canis types. The recognition of C. lycaon should not, therefore, influence grey wolf delisting decisions in the USA.”

We at MWC again call for further DNA analyses of wolves killed south of the St. Lawrence River to determine their origins, their relation (if any) one another, and the possible existence of a breeding wolf population in the northeast U.S. and maritime Canada.

Canadian Study Documents the Ability of Large Carnivores to Cross the St. Lawrence River


A recent study done by Canadian researchers documented the ability of Canada lynx to cross the St. Lawrence River from north to south and vice versa. Genetic analyses of 558 lynx pelts from Newfoundland, Labrador, Quebec north and south of the St. Lawrence River , and New Brunswick found three genetic clusters of lynx.  They are located in New Brunswick and Quebec south of the St. Lawrence River (Maine is part of this cluster), Labrador and Quebec north of the St. Lawrence River, and Newfoundland.  Despite the genetic clustering and relatively little genetic mixing between the three clusters, the analyses documented that at least nineteen adult lynx had moved from one cluster to another by crossing the St. Lawrence River. Read the rest of this entry »

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Proposes to Exclude the Gray Wolf from the 2015 State Wildlife Action Plan


The Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) 2005 Wildlife Conservation Strategy listed the gray wolf as a Priority 2 species with occasional animals in the state but no known breeding populations. The two highest program components (Super Strategies) listed for the gray wolf were surveys/monitoring and education/outreach. To our knowledge MDIFW implemented neither component for gray wolves. Now MDIFW proposes to exclude the gray wolf from the 2015 State Wildlife Action Plan altogether because they believe it to be extirpated in the state. MDIFW is receiving public comments on their 2015 Plan during a 30 day public comment period that commenced on July 13, 2015. The DRAFT Plan can be found here: Comments can be sent by email to: Read the rest of this entry »