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Pinedale Online > News > June 2009 > Origin of Great Lakes wolves
Origin of Great Lakes wolves
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
June 29, 2009

The ongoing debate over the origin of wolves in the Great Lakes region, and whether the current wolf population is comprised of hybrid animals, continues with a new paper published in the journal Molecular Ecology.

"Origin and status of the GReat Lakes wolf," is the name of the paper by S. KoblmÜller, M. Nord, R. Wayne and J. Leonard. Here is the abstract:

"An extensive debate concerning the origin and taxonomic status of wolf-like canids in the North American Great Lakes region and the consequences for conservation politics regarding these enigmatic predators is ongoing. Using maternally, paternally and biparentally inherited molecular markers, we demonstrate that the Great Lakes wolves are a unique population or ecotype of gray wolves. Furthermore, we show that the Great Lakes wolves experienced high degrees of ancient and recent introgression of coyote and western gray wolf mtDNA and Y-chromosome haplotypes, and that the recent demographic bottleneck caused by persecution and habitat depletion in the early 1900s is not reflected in the genetic data."

KoblmÜller, S.; Nord, M.; Wayne, R.; Leonard, J.
Origin and status of the Great Lakes wolf
2009, Molecular Ecology 18: 2313-2326

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