What is the taxonomic identity of Minnesota wolves?

Mech, L. D.
February 2010
Canadian Journal of Zoology;Feb2010, Vol. 88 Issue 2, p129
Academic Journal
The taxonomic identity of the historical and current wolf (Canis lupus L., 1758 or Canis lycaon Schreber, 1775 or their hybrids) population in Minnesota (MN) and the Great Lakes region has been, and continues to be, controversial. So too does its legal status under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. This review summarizes the morphological and genetic information about that population and concludes that historically the MN population consisted of a gray wolf (C. lupus) in the west and an eastern type (Canis lupus lycaon or C. lycaon) in the east with intergrades or hybrids between the two in most of the state. After extirpation in much of its original MN range, the now-recovered population was infused with gray wolves from Ontario but still consists of hybrid lycaon × gray wolves, probably with higher content gray wolves in the west and higher content lycaon in the east but with most wolves morphologically appearing to be gray wolves. Because the current Wisconsin and Michigan wolf population was derived from MN wolves, they would be primarily hybrids as well. Future research should seek to relate genetic data with morphological measurements in MN wolves. In addition, attempts to breed coyotes (Canis latrans Say, 1823) with gray wolves in captivity would shed considerable light on the controversy over the origin and taxonomic identity of the newly proposed C. lycaon.


Related Articles

  • Oregon erred in delisting wolves from ESA. Wuerthner, George // Confederated Umatilla Journal;Dec2015, Vol. 23 Issue 12, p7 

    The article discusses the decision of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission to delist wolves from the state's Endangered Species Act, analysis of the potential for wolf restoration in Oregon done by the author and increase in elk population in the state.

  • EDITOR'S NOTE. Johns, Chris // National Geographic;Mar2010, Vol. 217 Issue 3, p4 

    The article discusses a report in the issue by Doug Chadwick which is concerned with an increase in the population of wolves which has been seen in several western U.S. states and its impact on native wildlife, domestic livestock and residents.

  • Northern Rocky wolf numbers higher than expected.  // Western Farmer-Stockman;Oct2014, Vol. 137 Issue 10, p54 

    The article says that according to a report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the number of protected wolves in the states along the northern reaches of the Rocky Mountains is higher than expected.

  • Crying Wolf! Krahn, Gordy J. // Predator Xtreme;Oct2009, Vol. 10 Issue 5, p70 

    The article focuses on the problems faced by the state of Minnesota on controlling the wolf population. The state wildlife officials are said to be facing a dilemma on balancing conservation and public opinion due to threat posed by wolves on livestock, deer and moose. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife...

  • Are Gray Wolves Endangered in the Northern Rocky Mountains? A Role for Social Science in Listing Determinations. Bruskotter, Jeremy T.; Toman, Eric; Enzler, Sherry A.; Schmidt, Robert H. // BioScience;Dec2010, Vol. 60 Issue 11, p941 

    Conservation scientists increasingly recognize the need to incorporate the social sciences into policy decisions. In practice, however, considerable challenges to integrating the social and natural sciences remain. In this article, we review the US Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) 2009 decision...

  • Endangered Species Act. Phillips, Mike // International Wolf;Fall2011, Vol. 21 Issue 3, p4 

    An interview with Mike Phillips, executive director of the Turner Endangered Species Fund and an expert on the Endangered Species Act (ESA), is presented. He states that ESA should aim to reestablish healthy animal population levels but determining the desired levels needs to be resolved between...

  • MOJAVE SQUEEZE. GREEN, EMILY // High Country News;8/5/2013, Vol. 45 Issue 13, p12 

    The article discusses the conservation strategy that saved the desert tortoises living in the Mojave Desert. The plan was based on the translocation process that involves moving animals to other habitats, which was recommended through a study performed by Kristin Berry for the U.S. Geological...

  • Genetic diversity and demography of two endangered captive pronghorn subspecies from the Sonoran Desert. Klimova, Anastasia; Munguia-Vega, Adrian; Hoffman, Joseph I.; Culver, Melanie // Journal of Mammalogy;Dec2014, Vol. 95 Issue 6, p1263 

    Species that have experienced population reduction provide valuable case studies for understanding genetic responses to demographic change. Pronghorn ( Antilocapra americana) were once widespread across the North American plains but were subject to drastic population reductions due to...

  • Just the Facts Without the Spin. Tubbs, Nancy Jo // International Wolf;Winter2011, Vol. 21 Issue 4, p3 

    The author looks at the efforts of the International Wolf Center in addressing issues involving wolves. She believes that gray wolves must be revoked from the list of endangered species, where these wolves do not add the Mexican gray wolf. The author explains that the plan on delisting gray...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics