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Old 11-22-2016, 02:07 PM   #21
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Until recently, wasn't the eastern wolf considered a subspecies of the gray wolf?

I don't know why the US Fish and Wildlife Service ultimately decided to reclassify it as a separate species; their natural range overlaps with that of the gray wolf and they frequently breed together. Given time, the two species will likely continue to co-mingle and exchange their genes with one another.

Personally I don't see the need to treat them as separate species; the few differences there are in terms of size and appearance are very normal for species with regional variations (like cougar, black bear, brown bear, ect.).

The common ancestor of Wolves in Eurasia came to North America tens of thousands of years ago. Those evolved into the Coyote and Eastern Wolf. Much later what we call the Gray Wolf that evolved in Eurasia came to North America.

I believe the confusion to the relationship of the two wolves stems from the common ancestor in Eurasia.

If the pack structure and hierarchy are somewhat stable there is very little hybridization. Hunting undermines the pack structure. A bigger problem in the east where packs are much smaller. If one or both alphas are taken out there may not be another member in place to assume that role.
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:36 PM   #22
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The common ancestor of Wolves in Eurasia came to North America tens of thousands of years ago. Those evolved into the Coyote and Eastern Wolf. Much later what we call the Gray Wolf that evolved in Eurasia came to North America.

I believe the confusion to the relationship of the two wolves stems from the common ancestor in Eurasia.
The gray wolf and eastern wolf have been cohabiting in North America for how long now? Tens of thousands of years at least, right? There has simply been far too much breeding and genetic exchange to make the argument that this modern eastern wolf is somehow genetically independent and separate from the overall gray wolf family. I think the reason for the FWS' separate species classification of the 'eastern' wolf was more to appease certain political interests more than anything else.

There are examples of wolf populations becoming genetically isolated from the gray wolf and essentially evolving into their own species (Red Wolf and Mexican Wolf). The wolf populations of Canada and Alaska aren't isolated (at least not to that same degree) and will continue to breed and exchange genes (which in my mind rules out any argument for separate classifications). What variations there are between say a wolf living in Algonquin Provincial Park and one in Denali National Park are no more abnormal than the differences you'd see in a Maine black bear and an Alaskan one.

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If the pack structure and hierarchy are somewhat stable there is very little hybridization. Hunting undermines the pack structure. A bigger problem in the east where packs are much smaller. If one or both alphas are taken out there may not be another member in place to assume that role.
Hunting can alter pack structure for sure, though so too do natural causes, sickness, and pack fights. Regulated hunting is also a valuable tool which, when used in coordination with other conservation strategies, can help to control wolf predation (on livestock and native species). Not to mention that the fee and tax revenue generated from hunting wolves, as well as other species, goes right back into funding for conservation and wildlife management.

If the pro-wolf groups truly want to see the continued expansion of the wolf population, they'll have to at least acknowledge that hunting will play a role in that overall conservation effort, even if they don't outright support such an activity.
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Old 11-22-2016, 10:28 PM   #23
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No the Eastern Wolf is genetically different. That's not a hypothesis but fact.

Nothing political about it. Has nothing to do with US politics. So far any protection issues of Eastern Wolves are Province of Ontario issues. Although it is almost a certainty the Eastern Wolf of Algonquin was the same wolf of the Adirondacks.

An Eastern Wolf is not a genetically isolated Gray Wolf. It is seperate by tens of thousands of years.

There a 3 seperate intact populations of Eastern Wolves. There is one common denomitor...all three reside in zones that do not allow hunting of wolves. Furthermore 100,000 people each year attend Algonquin Wolf howls. The money generated from Algonquin wolf tourism far exceeds the nickel and dimes spent by hunters.

In closing think about 50 years in the future. Melting of the Arctic Ocean has pushed Polar Bears onto land where they encounter Grizzly Bears moving north because of global warming. The Polar Bears face gene swamping by Grizzlies. Within 20 years no pure Polar Bears exist...only hybrids.
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Old 11-23-2016, 05:46 AM   #24
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I recently read (might have been E O Wilson's book, The Diversity of Life) that if two populations become geographically separated and can thus not interbreed they can be considered as separate species. Obviously, there must be more to it than mere separation. I'll have to go back to the chapter on speciation and read it again.

OTOH, I understand that domestic dogs can breed with wolves (well, maybe not chihuahuas) so perhaps the defining rule - interbreeding and producing viable offspring is too limiting. Evidence in our genome suggests humans interbred with Neanderthals but no one would call us the same species. Unless our "Neanderthal genes" were acquired from a common ancestor and retained.

Sorry for the thread drift.
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Old 11-23-2016, 10:12 AM   #25
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Neil,

Offending comment removed.

Like a lot of men where I grew up my father kept hounds. On winter Saturday mornings gangs would hunt wolves. They were actually hybrids. From the time I was old enough to tag along I went too and shot quite a few myself and then I stopped hunting altogether.

I have seen some things done that were awful. The same stuff still goes on. My father is almost 90 and still goes. He tries not to tell me anything because he knows how I feel but once in a while he slips.
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Old 11-23-2016, 04:13 PM   #26
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[QUOTE=Gman;253575]... Although it is almost a certainty the Eastern Wolf of Algonquin was the same wolf of the Adirondacks.QUOTE]

I have no idea where I read this, it was several years ago and I can't prove a darn thing, but this article said that ADK wolves *MAY* have the Red Wolf that now resides in some of our southern states.

If nothing else, it's an interesting idea.
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Old 11-23-2016, 08:09 PM   #27
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No the Eastern Wolf is genetically different. That's not a hypothesis but fact.

Nothing political about it. Has nothing to do with US politics. So far any protection issues of Eastern Wolves are Province of Ontario issues. Although it is almost a certainty the Eastern Wolf of Algonquin was the same wolf of the Adirondacks.
The influence of politics on the FWS' decision is purely speculation on my part, so take it or leave it at that. Genetically-speaking, the eastern wolf is no doubt different from the gray wolf of western Canada and Alaska...so too is a Maine black bear and an Alaskan one. The real reason I don't see a point in treating them as separate species (I think a subspecies relationship makes far more sense) is because the populations continue to intermingle and breed with one another, as they have for tens of thousands of years, to the point where there is far too much gray area (no pun intended) to indicate decisive differences between the two....the only real difference that I have read about (other than size) is that the far eastern wolf (the ones in Algonquin) will actually breed with coyote from time to time, whereas the wolves further west will normally kill them on sight (which is why coyotes and wolves normally don't cohabit the same regions).

I think making the eastern wolf a separate species just muddy's the waters and makes managing them more complicated than it needs to be, but that's just my 2 cents.

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An Eastern Wolf is not a genetically isolated Gray Wolf. It is seperate by tens of thousands of years.
I know that the eastern wolf is not genetically isolated...that was the point I made to support my argument that the gray and eastern wolf really aren't distinct species in the genetic sense.

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There a 3 seperate intact populations of Eastern Wolves. There is one common denomitor...all three reside in zones that do not allow hunting of wolves. Furthermore 100,000 people each year attend Algonquin Wolf howls. The money generated from Algonquin wolf tourism far exceeds the nickel and dimes spent by hunters.
Well I truly believe that a holistic conservation effort includes a variety of efforts: fund-raising; outdoor education/awareness; camping; wildlife viewing; and, yes, hunting. I don't think one effort needs to be used to the exclusion of another; rather I think they can be utilized in coordination with one another. So I'm glad that there are many people gathering in Algonquin to hear the wolves howl. The "nickle and dime" contribution made by hunters which you referred to adds up to hundreds of Millions of dollars (Billions by some estimates) every year...not only is that contribution significant, but it far outpaces any fiscal contributions made by non-hunting conservation groups. I don't say that to deride what groups like the ADK Mountain Club and the Sierra Club provide, because they do their fair share as well, but rather to illustrate that hunters and anglers are a tremendous part of the 'conservation' pie. Groups like Rocky Mountain Elk and Ducks Unlimited have also gone above and beyond to fight for and set up protections for lands to ensure that certain species get the habitat that they need.

Also keep in mind that wolves have been hunted in Alaska and western Canada for quite some time now, and despite that their numbers there have continued to grow over the years. Regulated hunting isn't focused on eliminating a species, but rather managing it for the long term.


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In closing think about 50 years in the future. Melting of the Arctic Ocean has pushed Polar Bears onto land where they encounter Grizzly Bears moving north because of global warming. The Polar Bears face gene swamping by Grizzlies. Within 20 years no pure Polar Bears exist...only hybrids.
I don't know about that. Polar bears and Brown bear might be swapping genes from time to time, but that's not nearly as common as the eastern wolves and western wolves breeding. Also the differences between them are pretty set in stone at this point; that's not something that is going to change within 20 years...that's too short of a timeframe to begin with.

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Old 11-24-2016, 01:01 AM   #28
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Mr Bounder,

No doubt hunters contribute a lot towards conservation but its not going into wolf conservation. So, whatever contributions hunters make to wildlife conservation is a moot point in this debate because none of that money is finding its way to protecting Eastern Wolves.

Now there is an outfitter just outside the Algonquin protected zone who offers guided hunts for wolves but he's only had one guest in last 4 years to hunt wolves. No, the typical hunter of THESE wolves is a local with a $25 license, a second hand rifle and a box of ammo he bought at Canadian Tire 5 years ago.

Second, wolf management in Alaska and Western Canada have nothing to do with this. It's sort of like comparing the management of moose populations of Alaska and the Adirondacks.

Anyway, this is an Adirondack Board so none of this means anything to NY residents and those who love the ADK's unless you might someday want wolves back. Just wanted you all to know they were holding they're own in case you do. Or/And if they got a some more love up here you might get them back whether you wanted them or not.

Here's some links you or others might enjoy.

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/comm...quin-wolf.html

https://news.ontario.ca/mnr/en/2016/...nd-wolves.html

http://cpaws-ov-vo.org/campaigns/eastern-wolf

http://cpaws-ov-vo.org/upload/EBR010315APW.pdf

http://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.c...f-peterborough

http://wolvesontario.org/algonquin-wolf/

https://www.ontarionature.org/connec...-eastern-wolf/

https://www.registrelep-sararegistry...olf_2015_e.pdf

http://www.sbaa.ca/projects.asp?cn=314

http://www.ottawavalley.ca/NaturalResourcesWolves.pdf

http://www.natureconservancy.ca/en/w...tern-wolf.html

http://wolvesontario.org/wolves-ontario/
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Old 11-24-2016, 01:20 AM   #29
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[QUOTE=dundee;253601]
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... Although it is almost a certainty the Eastern Wolf of Algonquin was the same wolf of the Adirondacks.QUOTE]

I have no idea where I read this, it was several years ago and I can't prove a darn thing, but this article said that ADK wolves *MAY* have the Red Wolf that now resides in some of our southern states.

If nothing else, it's an interesting idea.
I believe the Eastern Wolf and Red Wolf are genetically the same thing. They follow Bergmanns Rule in that animals in colder parts of their range are larger than those in warmer and southerly limits of their rage. The Eastern Wolves in Algonquin are darker in colour and have more colour variation too.
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Old 11-24-2016, 04:38 AM   #30
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A lot of useful information here.Thanks for sharing
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Old 11-24-2016, 06:49 AM   #31
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Old 11-24-2016, 01:39 PM   #32
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Mr Bounder,

No doubt hunters contribute a lot towards conservation but its not going into wolf conservation. So, whatever contributions hunters make to wildlife conservation is a moot point in this debate because none of that money is finding its way to protecting Eastern Wolves.

Now there is an outfitter just outside the Algonquin protected zone who offers guided hunts for wolves but he's only had one guest in last 4 years to hunt wolves. No, the typical hunter of THESE wolves is a local with a $25 license, a second hand rifle and a box of ammo he bought at Canadian Tire 5 years ago.
The whole point behind my view is that eastern wolves aren't really all that different from western ones and that wolves in general don't really need protection in most areas they currently inhabit, and certainly not in Canada (at least central Ontario and west of there). The various Canadian provinces (which have resident wolf populations) are managing them appropriately, which does entail some amount of hunting and culling. Their numbers and range have grown and, given time, will continue to grow.

As for how much hunting revenue is going towards protecting those wolves specifically located in Ontario, I couldn't tell you that since I'm not as familiar with Canada's hunting permitting procedures. But if average-joe hunters are paying $25 per license, my guess is that at least some of that money is going towards wolf-related conservation. My point on hunter-related revenue was more generically US-focused to show that hunting fees and revenue can go back towards helping a certain species.


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Second, wolf management in Alaska and Western Canada have nothing to do with this. It's sort of like comparing the management of moose populations of Alaska and the Adirondacks.
Well if and when wolves make their way back into the eastern parts of Canada, and possibly parts of the northeastern US, those management plans currently used out west will likely be very relevant to how they are managed here in the east. Like I said, if people truly want wolves to come back in established, breeding populations, they're going to have to accept that there will be hunting as part of their management, just like it is for any species once it becomes well established.
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Old 11-24-2016, 11:07 PM   #33
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According to the US Fish and Wildlife service and the Michigan DNR we have both eastern and gray wolves in Michigan. We do not have hunting of any wolves, because a wise US District judge determined that since there were no wolves in the suburbs of Detroit, the wolf still must be endangered so an injunction was issued to stop any hunting. However I believe there is some illegal control of wolves that is ongoing. I have heard too many yoopers speak of it for some control measures not to be occurring.
As far as money generated by wolf calls. I believe national parks offer tourist opportunities that do not happen outside of those areas. Deer hunting in the UP is poor since the boom in the wolf population. I know of few guys that do not go to the UP to run white rabbits. They lost a few good beagles, and decided that the running in the northern lower peninsula was just fine. No need to loose dogs to wolves. I don't think there has been dollar one that has been exchanged for wolf tourism.
I do not think it is official, I believe wolves documented in the lower peninsula are considered transient. I also believe in another ten years we will have a wolf population in the northern lower peninsula. We have cougars in the UP.
The point being in my lifetime, I have seen a real expansion of large predator ranges.
I can't think of an animal more politicized than the wolf. I don't mind being in wild places. I am less fond of being in places with wild carnivores that have not been hunted in generations. I prefer large carnivores to have reason to fear me also. Animals that aren't hunted do not have the same fear of man. I have read there are more cougars in Utah than California, but there have been deaths by cougars in California and not Utah. I think the fact cougars are pursued with hounds is the differential in that equation.
I really do hope the wolf returns to the Adirondacks. I also hope that states have the right to mange them within the state border before you folks have to deal with wolves.
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Old 01-19-2017, 04:23 PM   #34
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Gman said, "The money generated from Algonquin wolf tourism far exceeds the nickel and dimes spent by hunters."

Just to make things clear , hunters spend more than nickels and dimes. If you can show me that your people spend more than this I'll stand corrected, the following figures are from the Canadian Tourism Commission for the Province of Ontario,


Ontario:
According to the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, hunting has become an important industry, part of Canada’s resource-based economy. In 2000, the net economic benefits associated with recreational hunting in Ontario represented over $1.5 billion in economic activity. It employed approximately 20,000 people, with many jobs away from the city. Federal, provincial, and municipal governments collected an additional $140 million directly as a result of hunters’ expenditures.
• Canadian hunters spent about $1.2 billion a year on hunting trips, and paid $70 million for hunting licenses. • Hunting and fishing license sales represented approximately 70% of the total operating budget of the Ontario Ministry of natural Resources.
Sport Fishing and Game Hunting in Canada - An Assessment on the Potential International Tourism Opportunity
6
• Ontario’s hunting industry generated more wealth than Ontario’s television and film production industry ($1.4 billion in 2000).


Now that being aired out , I don't should artificially introduce wolves in the Adirondacks, If they were to show up naturally they should of course be protected.

I pack of wolves in the High Peaks might solve some of the overcrowding issues there.

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Old 01-20-2017, 10:58 AM   #35
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The discussion regarding the different species of wolves to me is academic. What's the diff from an Adirondack perspective? The biggest one is that if a group of wolves is classified as a unique species, then it probably is going to garner special protection and resources. I agree with the sentiment already expressed that the A2A corridor allows for possible expansion of range, but not probable. The possibility would exist even without the corridor. Seems to me in some cases that we wish to thwart evolution of some species in a drastically changing world. Are we all for forever wild unless it means letting species evolve? Just some food for thought.
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Old 01-21-2017, 01:58 PM   #36
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Gman said, "The money generated from Algonquin wolf tourism far exceeds the nickel and dimes spent by hunters."

Just to make things clear , hunters spend more than nickels and dimes. If you can show me that your people spend more than this I'll stand corrected, the following figures are from the Canadian Tourism Commission for the Province of Ontario,


Ontario:
According to the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, hunting has become an important industry, part of Canada’s resource-based economy. In 2000, the net economic benefits associated with recreational hunting in Ontario represented over $1.5 billion in economic activity. It employed approximately 20,000 people, with many jobs away from the city. Federal, provincial, and municipal governments collected an additional $140 million directly as a result of hunters’ expenditures.
• Canadian hunters spent about $1.2 billion a year on hunting trips, and paid $70 million for hunting licenses. • Hunting and fishing license sales represented approximately 70% of the total operating budget of the Ontario Ministry of natural Resources.
Sport Fishing and Game Hunting in Canada - An Assessment on the Potential International Tourism Opportunity
6
• Ontario’s hunting industry generated more wealth than Ontario’s television and film production industry ($1.4 billion in 2000).


Now that being aired out , I don't should artificially introduce wolves in the Adirondacks, If they were to show up naturally they should of course be protected.

I pack of wolves in the High Peaks might solve some of the overcrowding issues there.

John M
I realize I was not being clear. I was speaking specifically the amount of money generated by wolf hunting, more so the region south of Lake Nippissing / French River and more specifically the area on the south side of Algonquin where there is some wolf tourism and it is this area where the wolves are most vulnerable and it where these Eastern Wolves are found.

The wolf hunting that occurs doesn't generate much income as it mostly local guys out on a Saturday morning.

I don't have issues with wolf hunting in Northern Ontario. The population of Grey Wolves is among the largest in the world and its the outfitters who generate the real money from hunting and it is a big part of the local economy of northern communities.

I used to think wolves could re colonize the Adirondacks on their own but don't believe that now. No doubt you would get some wanderers but you need whole intact packs.
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Old 01-21-2017, 03:20 PM   #37
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The discussion regarding the different species of wolves to me is academic. What's the diff from an Adirondack perspective? The biggest one is that if a group of wolves is classified as a unique species, then it probably is going to garner special protection and resources. I agree with the sentiment already expressed that the A2A corridor allows for possible expansion of range, but not probable. The possibility would exist even without the corridor. Seems to me in some cases that we wish to thwart evolution of some species in a drastically changing world. Are we all for forever wild unless it means letting species evolve? Just some food for thought.
I believe the species of wolf is important. Why introduce a wolf that is not native just for sake of having wolves. You'd be better off with the hybrids. The Eastern Wolf was the native wolf of the Adirondacks. It would need special attention as there are probably less than 500 that have not hybridized left in the wild.

They don't form large packs and only the alpha pair breed. They are apex predators of deer whereas the hybrid is a generalist. The Adirondacks hybrid population is much larger than the potential Eastern Wolf population.

A pure Eastern Wolf prefers large forested areas unlike hybrids which do better in open country. It is a beautiful animal with longer legs than a hybrid, square snout but smaller in the body and head than a Grey Wolf.

http://wolf.nrdpfc.ca/easternwolf.htm
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Old 01-31-2017, 01:24 PM   #38
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I believe the species of wolf is important. Why introduce a wolf that is not native just for sake of having wolves. You'd be better off with the hybrids. The Eastern Wolf was the native wolf of the Adirondacks. It would need special attention as there are probably less than 500 that have not hybridized left in the wild.

They don't form large packs and only the alpha pair breed. They are apex predators of deer whereas the hybrid is a generalist. The Adirondacks hybrid population is much larger than the potential Eastern Wolf population.

A pure Eastern Wolf prefers large forested areas unlike hybrids which do better in open country. It is a beautiful animal with longer legs than a hybrid, square snout but smaller in the body and head than a Grey Wolf.

http://wolf.nrdpfc.ca/easternwolf.htm
And just FYI, this concept of eastern wolves vs western wolves being 2 separate and distinct species is by no means settled. There are scientific opinions out there that the eastern wolf is nothing more than a hybridization of coyotes and western (gray) wolves:
https://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/07/2...m.facebook.com

This is why I brought up the issue of the US Fish and Wildlife classifying the eastern wolf separately may have had political motivations; because if you create a separate species it then becomes easier to assign separate funding, studies, efforts and protections over what is already assigned to the wolf population as a whole.

And as for wolves making their way back into the ADK's, I'll expect to see cougar make their way back in here before I'll expect to see any wolves.
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Old 02-01-2017, 12:53 PM   #39
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That study reeks of political motivation to head off the de-listing of Grey Wolves. The Eastern wolf sample used was from only 2 animals that came from an area where hybridization is common. They never went into the field to study and sample them! I would defer to researchers here in Ontario who have sampled hundreds of animals and spent countless hours in the field studying them.
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:32 PM   #40
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That study reeks of political motivation to head off the de-listing of Grey Wolves. The Eastern wolf sample used was from only 2 animals that came from an area where hybridization is common. They never went into the field to study and sample them! I would defer to researchers here in Ontario who have sampled hundreds of animals and spent countless hours in the field studying them.
That seems like a pretty arbitrary dismissal of an academic and peer-reviewed journal article.

From reading the news article, it seems these researches have been taking DNA samples from wolves all over North America and the world:
Quote:
Bridgett M. vonHoldt of Princeton University and her colleagues sequenced the genomes of 12 gray wolves, six Eastern wolves, three red wolves and three coyotes, as well as the genomes of dogs and wolves from Asia.
The article mentions specifically that 2 of the "eastern" wolves were from the Algonquin Provincial Park.

And it seems there are additional studies which are using larger sample populations:
Quote:
Despite her concerns, Dr. Rutledge joined Dr. vonHoldt’s lab as a research associate last year to participate in a new study on wolves, called the Canine Ancestry Project. The researchers are pooling their samples of DNA to study up to 100 wolves, coyotes and dogs from every state in the continental United States, as well as in Canadian provinces.
If you have links to studies which offer countering views, please share them.
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