First wolves killed in more than a century in New Brunswick and Newfoundland

The recent killing of two 80+ pound wolves in areas of eastern Canada where they haven’t been seen for more than a century serves as evidence that wolves are attempting to recolonize much of eastern North America.  Since 1993, no less than nine wolves have been killed over an area from Massachusetts, to upper New York State, across to Newfoundland.

On March 12, 2012, a hunter on Newfoundland’s Bonavista Peninsula shot and killed an 82 pound wolf that came in to his predator caller.  Prior to this killing, the last wolf documented in Newfoundland was killed in 1911.


The 82 pound wolf killed by Joe Fleming in Newfoundland March 2012.

Wolf Paws

The front paws of the 2012 Newfoundland wolf.

In April 2012, a hunter in Saint Simon on New Brunswick’s Acadian Peninsula shot and killed an 86 pound wolf.  Prior to this killing, the last documented wolf in New Brunswick was killed in 1876.

Jacques Mallett

Jacques Mallett with the 86 lb. wolf he killed in New Brunswick April 2012.

As this is written, DNA tests on these animals have either not been completed or are inconclusive.  [UPDATE: Through DNA analysis by Dr. Bradley White, the New Brunswick canid has been determined to be a wolf-a hybrid of a gray wolf and an eastern wolf. ]

There can be no doubt that these animals are wolves.  If they are not pure gray wolf, they are a gray wolf hybrid much like the “new” wolf that has been documented in the northeast U.S. since the 1990’s.  This “new”  wolf is clearly not a coyote or an eastern wolf.  It is much larger than either animal with males averaging some 80-90 lbs. which is 20-30 lbs. more than eastern wolves and 40-50 lbs. more than eastern coyotes.

Regardless of the genetic “purity” of these animals, they are evidence of the ongoing recolonization of wolves in eastern North America.  Since their extirpation from the region a century or more ago, forests and prey species have rebounded.  The northeast U.S. and eastern Canada have many tens of thousands of square miles of potential wolf habitat and ample prey populations.  It is believed that wolves in Newfoundland may have simply starved as caribou populations were decimated in the 19th and early 20th centuries through unregulated hunting.  Today, on “the Rock” the introduced moose numbers in the tens of thousands and has become a serious traffic hazard.

Mother nature is telling us that the ecosystem needs a large canid predator to fill an ecological void.  The sooner we listen to her, the better.

On Monday, May 14, 2012, John Glowa was interviewed by Terry Seguin of CBC radio in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Here’s an article containing much of that interview:


DNA analyses have confirmed that the Newfoundland animal was also a wolf. Read more here:

THIRD UPDATE: The wolf killed by Jacques Mallett in northern New Brunswick in April 2012 has been determined to have been a wild eastern gray wolf.  This was confirmed through stable isotope testing done by researchers at the University of New Brunswick.

Click here to read the CBC News article.

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