New study questions wolf DNA

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Stop the freight train — brand-new DNA study involving North American wolves and coyotes threatens to derail the whole concept of what we consider “pure wolves,” as well as the federal reintroduction programs dealing with them.

Researchers from Princeton University studied the genomes from a variety of gray and red wolves as well as coyotes. Both the gray species (Canis lupus) and the red (Canis niger, so-named from a black phase of them) wolves were initially listed as endangered in 1973.

The federal Endangered Species Act allows for the protection of threatened or endangered species and subspecies (the Mount Graham red squirrel is one of the latter) but does not authorize safeguards for hybrids.<<<Read More>>>

*Staff Note* – To substantiate the often voiced opinion that when two or more people read a study or a news media article, they will take away from it only what they want to see, consider the information to follow. In one situation, scientists and concerned people believe the gray wolf to be threatened because it, and other canine species, are over-protected and/or too abundant, thus adding the serious problem of interbreeding of species. This group suggests greater isolation of “pure” wolves, i.e. removing them from human-settled landscapes to limit or prevent the cross breeding of wolves, with coyotes, wild dogs and domestic dogs.

A second event, which below is a link to an article claiming that the results of the study referenced above, concludes that the discovery that DNA mixtures in wild canines is blended, the call should be for more protection for the gray wolf.

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