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

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Raincoast’s in-house scientists, collaborating graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and professors make us unique among conservation groups. We work with First Nations, academic institutions, government, and other NGOs to build support and inform decisions that protect aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and the wildlife that depend on them. We conduct ethically applied, process-oriented, and hypothesis-driven research that has immediate and relevant utility for conservation deliberations and the collective body of scientific knowledge.

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Coastal wolf with a salmon in its month.
Photo by Dene Rossouw.