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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Following up on yesterdays Post regarding Brent Patterson's discussion of Wolves and Coyotes in Ontario, a good friend sent me an abstract from the AMERICAN MIDLAND NATURALIST entitled: COYOTES IN WOLVES CLOTHING, a peer reviewed paper by Tyler Wheeldon, Brent Patterson(Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources) and Dean Beyer(Michigan Dept of Natural Resources)............ This paper focuses on 3 alleged Wolf pups discovered in Michigan's Lower Peninsual............If indeed confirmed as Wolves, it would have been the first documentation of Wolves breeding in the LPMI...........After extensive genetic labwork on the 3 pups, Wheeldon et al. has concluded that the canids are an admix of a female Wolf and a male Coyoye......... The likelihood is that a female Wolf from the Upper Peninsula was staking out territory in the LPMI but had not come across any Male Wolves...........With Coyotes very much present in the LPMI, a pairing occurred and resulting Wolf/Coyote hybridization took place........Wheeldon et al. are of the scientific camp that professes that Gray Wolves and Coyotes do not hybridize but that Eastern Wolves and Coyotes do...........While not recently hybridizing, the Wolves found in the Great Lakes region do have a historical hybrid heritage resulting from Gray and Eastern Wolf pairings...............Eastern Wolves are known to hybridize with Coyotes(result is our Eastern Coyote or as Biologist Jon Way calls them, Coyowolves)........Wheeldon et al. hypothesizes that as Great Lakes Wolves colonize the Wolf friendly Michigan Lower Peninsula(there are somewhere between 850 and 1622 sq. miles of suitable LPMI habitat based on avaialbility of deer as prey, road and human density), that there could be additional Wolf/Coyote hybridization events until enough Great Lakes Wolves occupy the region............As I said yesterday and many times previously on this blog, our Eastern and Midwestern Wolf and Coyote populations are like a rich "broth",,,,laden with all types of "veggies and noodles"......At the end of the day, this blogger(layman, I am) comes out on the side of having the best functioning canids in our forests and fields,,,,,,,ones that can make a meal of Moose, Caribou, Elk, Deer and Beaver and persist into the forever despite the best efforts of most men to eliminate them from the landscape............GO WOLVES.........GO COYOTES,,,,,,,,,,,Go WOLF/COYOTE Hybrids..........Fulfill all ecolgical functions that nature has intended for members of your kind!

click here to read both the abstract as well AS THE FULL WHEELDON ET AL. PAPER ENTITLED: COYOTES IN WOLVES CLOTHING

Western Great Lakes Wolf(the gray wolf c.lupus)

Eastern Great Lakes Wolf(the Eastern Wolf C.lupus lycaon)

Western Coyote(C. latrans)

Eastern Coyote or Coywolf(C.lupus lycaon x latrans

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