New paper tells story of Vancouver Island wolves

The latest publication from the Raincoast carnivore team and collaborators confirms the hybridization of domestic dogs and wild wolves on Vancouver Island.  This is likely owing to the human-induced extirpation of wolf populations that occurred from eradication campaigns prior to the 1970s.  Following this, wolves recolonized Vancouver Island from the mainland.  The introduction of the dog mtDNA likely took place when the number of wolves on Vancouver Island was extremely low and wolves were trying to find mates.  No dog mtDNA has been previously reported in a population of wild wolves.   While the findings show that individuals in the wolf population have bred with dogs, the population of wolves still remains genetically distinct and should be considered wild.

Vancouver Sun Story

Conservation Genetics pdf

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Monthly giving enables you to protect what you love. For 25 years, Raincoast has been furthering biodiversity conservation in BC. We have big plans and with your help we will: 

  • End commercial trophy hunting of large carnivores in the Great Bear Rainforest.
  • Acquire land in order to protect threatened Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystems.
  • Support the recovery of endangered Southern Resident killer whales by restoring Chinook salmon habitat, and so much more.
Chris Genovali, executive director of Raincoast Conservation Foundation.
Chris Genovali, Executive Director

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