Visitor Counter

hitwebcounter web counter
Visitors Since Blog Created in March 2010

Click Below to:

Add Blog to Favorites

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

Subscribe via email to get updates

Enter your email address:

Receive New Posting Alerts

(A Maximum of One Alert Per Day)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

This blog was started back in March of 2010 based on my interest in the controversy among Wolf researchers about the nature of the Wolves that both historically and currently reside in Eastern Canada, the Great Lake States and the Southeastern USA...............Are the Wolves in these regions a subspecies of the Gray Wolf(C. lupus) found West of the Mississippi River or are they a distinct species?.......As we have discussed on numerous occasions, their remains a divided opinion in the Wolf Biologist world as to the correct answer...............I lean toward the distinct species school of thought (with the highest regard for my newly acquired Biolgist friends who come out differently on this question) based on the fact that to the best information available, Wolves do not hybridize with Coyotes(they displace and kill them when both are sympatric in a given terrritory) and therefore it seems that the Wolf found in the Eastern half of our continent cannot be an admix of Gray Wolf and Coyote but rather a species unto itself----The Nature Conservancy of Canada describes the Eastern Wolf in detail in the article below)

Eastern wolf (Canis lycaon)
source-Nature Conservancy of Canada

Eastern wolf (Photo by Manuel Henriques)
Eastern wolf
It's an icy mid-winter day in Algonquin Park,  Ontario. In the middle of one of the park's numerous frozen lakes lie the remains of a deer. A bald eagle circles overhead and then, gliding gracefully, lands beside the kill as an eastern wolf silently lopes away.

A rare sight, admits Dan Kraus, the Nature Conservancy of Canada's (NCC's) conservation science manager for the Ontario Region. Most only ever hear the elusive carnivore, he explains. Few are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of it.


Scientific name: Canis lycaon
Weight: 20-35kg
Pack size: 3-6 adults on average
Other names: Eastern Canadian wolf, Algonquin wolf
Home range: Can be as large as 500 km2
Species range: Current range covers approximately 210,000 km2, which represents 42 percent of its original range in Canada.
Cosewic status: Special concern, provincially and nationally.
Did you know: Algonquin Park in Ontario has regular "wolf howls" – allowing park visitors the experience of hearing the haunting
sounds of the park's eastern wolf packs.


For years the eastern wolf was thought to be a sub-species of the grey wolf. However, recent genetic testing has proven that Ontario is home to two distinct wolf species: the grey wolf and eastern wolf. Interestingly, the eastern wolf is more connected to the endangered red wolf of South Carolina than its Canadian cousin.

Where does it live?

Smaller than other wolves, the eastern wolf weighs between 20-35 kilograms. Found in the forests of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence regions of Quebec and Ontario, this mottled brown canine preys primarily on white-tailed deer and moose.


Due to loss of habitat, hunting and trapping , the eastern wolf is now a species of special concern.  Possible breeding with coyotes may also pose a threat to the genetic integrity of the species. This poses a unique challenge to conservation efforts, Kraus points out.

"With eastern wolves the challenge is figuring out if you are actually dealing with pure wolves, which are a species at risk, or with coyote–wolf hybrids, which are more common."

Cross-border conservation

NCC's Ontario Region is working to protect key wolf habitat in the Frontenac Arch Natural Area. "The Frontenac Arch is one of the major linkage projects we're working on. It's part of the Algonquin to Adirondack (A2A) mountain corridor," explains Kraus. Extending from Algonquin Park to Adirondack Park in New York State, A2A is an important ecological corridor that connects the boreal forest with the Appalachian Mountains. 

Kraus stresses the importance of this corridor and coordinating conservation efforts on both sides of the border so that "our work lines up with what they are doing on the U.S. side."

Apart from scat and tracks, Kraus has yet to see any wolves in Frontenac Arch. By conserving cross-border connections and helping to increase protected lands in the Frontenac Arch Natural Area, NCC and its partners may help ensure the eastern wolf will have the land it needs to roam and thrive.

No comments: