- NAACP: Detroit water shutoffs are racially motivated
- Obama family set to buy $4.25M desert home in California: report
- Big milestone for Britain’s little Prince George who turns 1
- Murphy: Israel must be wary of Hamas using civilian deaths for recruitment
- Royce: Putin recruiting ‘every skinhead and malcontent around Russia’
- Nancy Pelosi is adamant: Congress worked together when Bush was president
- ‘Slender Man’ stabbing victim receives Purple Heart from anonymous veteran
- Kentucky city called socialist for buying gas station, undercutting competitor fuel prices
- Israel hits five mosques, sports complex in overnight Gaza strikes
- Hillary Clinton dogged for refusing reporters’ questions on book tour
Study: Eastern wolves are hybrids with coyotes
Question of the Day
“How do you reconcile this with the fact that gray wolves typically don’t breed with coyotes, but kill them?” Mech said. “We have no records in the West of wolves hybridizing with coyotes, even in areas where single wolves looking for mates have dispersed into the middle of coyote country.”
Mech also questioned whether the study tested enough Canadian and North Carolina wolves and whether those specimens were true representatives of those populations.
Although 48,000 genetic markers sounds like a lot, it’s actually a relatively small part of the entire genetic code, Mech said. So the evidence of a unique eastern wolf ancestor could simply be in another part of the code that wasn’t analyzed, he said.
Several researchers who consider the eastern wolf species separate from the gray wolf weighed in recently in an online discussion of the new study.
Brent Patterson, a genetics researcher at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, called the study “an important step forward.” But until more samples are analyzed, the hypothesis that a North American wolf evolved independently from the gray wolf was still viable, he said.
“It’s an academic issue,” Mech said. “It’s nice to know what the origins are from the standpoint of curiosity, but from a conservation standpoint, it shouldn’t make any difference.”
David Rabon, coordinator of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Red Wolf Recovery Program in North Carolina, said the federal agency has taken the position that the red wolf is a unique species that warrants protection. The new study, while interesting, won’t likely change management decisions, he said.
TWT Video Picks
U.S. appetite for drugs begets violence migrants are fleeing
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- Jewish woman booted from JetBlue flight over fight with Palestinian
- YOUNG: A sinking presidency, deeper after November?
- Hillary Clinton dogged for refusing reporters' questions on book tour
- PRUDEN: A deadly enemy within exacerbating immigration crisis
- Rep. Jared Polis' anti-fracking crusade riles Colorado
- Hamas terrorists wear Israeli army uniforms to ambush soldiers in Gaza
- MERRY: Handicaps in Hillary's way
- Blunder on the bases costly in D-Backs' 4-3 loss
- Nancy Pelosi: Congress worked together when Bush was president
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq