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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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Monday, November 3, 2014

The Center for Biological Diversity has compiled a consortium of biologist recommendations for additional Wolf habitat in the lower 48 states totaling 350,000 Square Miles..............Such regions as the Grand Canyon where a wolf has been recently spotted along with vast sections of New England, NY State and an a near full length continuum along the Rocky Mountain Spine.............You can download the full report by clicking on the link below and going to the 6th paragraph from the bottom of the article(click on the statement--"DOWNLOAD HERE"...............This report, "Making Room for Wolf Recovery: The Case for Maintaining Endangered Species Act Protections for America’s Wolves", analyzes 27 published research papers identifying suitable wolf habitat................ It shows that the current wolf population of 5,400 could be nearly doubled if federal protections were retained and recovery efforts began to restore wolves to some of the places they once called home

View the page here:

New Report IDs 350,000 Square
 of Additional 
Habitat for Wolves in Lower 48,
Including Grand Canyon Area 
Where Wolf
 Recently Spotted
Obama Administration Prematurely 
Recovery, Despite Ample Room
Wolves in Southern Rockies, West Coast,


Mark LaRoux said...

Hmm...would like to see a similar one done for the red wolf and Mexican grey wolf. Interesting point on the historic range map shown that 3 wolf types would be in the same area of Texas.

Anonymous said...

...don't forget that the Mexican gray wolf is just a subspecies of "regular" gray wolves, and did the West get repopulated from north to south(as seems to be happening), these genes would be mixing again just as they did in the past. The distinctive appearance of modern Mexican gray wolves is a product of severe inbreeding--if you look at old photos of wolves trapped and killed in the Southwest before they were almost wiped out there, you'll see a much more "regular" gray wolf appearance! And I heartily disagree with the original gray wolf range map--though there is certainly room for debate there! But such range maps only showed red wolves dominating the ENTIRE southeastern 3rd of the continent as a direct product of RECENT human politics trying to promote red wolf recovery, and the claims that they are a distinct separate species(from gray wolves and coyotes), and not a naturally occurring hybrid. From early settler and naturalists' accounts, gray wolf range included much of this southeastern area, too. Although one could debate such "unscientific" accounts as mistaken, I feel some of those early woodsmen knew their critters quite well--there are some accounts specifically describing two different types of wolves well outside original coyote range--larger and smaller types of wolves being described--the larger(usually gray-colored) obviously gray wolves, and the smaller(often black, which many strains of red wolf used to be--hence the original latin name for red wolf being "canis niger" rather than the modern accepted "canis rufus") very red wolf sounding. But unless we can get a time machine in working order, we aren't likely to ever know the whole truth on THAT subject.....L.B.

Rick Meril said...

the entire canis soup debate is what got me to begin this blog.............Have been interested and reading all perspectives on this subject for years............Even the early New England pioneers talked of two wolf speices(large and small) occupying the region

AS you say LB,,,,,,,,,,,no time machine,,,,,,,,,,,,,no certainty

Mark LaRoux said...

Hey Rick and L.B., been trying to get this stuff worked on myself. If y'all know of any one/institute interested, a great specimen is at the Smithsonian in the off-site mammalogy section #348063...remember every bone is a gift from time, we use it or we lose it.
Also, I'll argue the Mexican gray wolf is more closely related to old world wolves than the grays (or reds) we have here. I'm not sure if using old photos is the best sources of reference for more than a few centuries, they reflect a certain animal at a certain time that was being oppressed continent-wide (the survivors had to keep moving or get shot). Before photos, maybe we use old drawings of Mexican gray wolves? May be useful.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm, never heard/read that about Mexican grays being closer related to Old World wolves than grays in other areas of the U. S.--that must be something from new DNA research, if true. But before modern times(prior to 1900), the gray wolf population was purty continuous across the West, so it would be odd indeed if there wasn't regular gene mixing of subspecies/races going on all the time. Mexican wolves not being genetically or geographically isolated in any way. Some people used to seperate the Plains "buffalo wolf" as a distinct species or subspecies as well. There will always be that controversy between the "lumpers" and the "splitters"--I've always been quite the lumper, myself. That's probably a genetic trait in us! Speaking of gene mixing, species and subspecies of wolves, I checked out some more recent stuff via the computer on DIRE wolves--and they HAVE compared DNA with modern wolves, and so far no potential interbreeding connection found(at least the stuff I read....). But I bet if they were capable of crossbreeding and producing fertile offspring(gray wolves and dire wolves), it likely did happen sometimes. Dang, gotta get that time machine up and running!....L.B.

Rick Meril said...

LB and Mark.............glad to see that many of us find fascinating with the "canid soup" conundrum.............Like LB, I vote for what seems most likely,,,,,,,,,,that there were all types of hybridization taking place at the time of colonization(AD 1500) running all the way up until about 1875-1900, when the last Indian tribes werre rounded up and the last Bison slaughtered,,,,,,,,,,The thing I ponder most though is that old world gray wolves that wandered into North America never hybridized with coyotes and to this day kill them when they can..........The Trent University folks in eastern Canada make a compelling genetic case for Eastern Wolves being a separate species and evolving from an ancient lineage of a Coyote like creature,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and that is why Eastern Wolves(red wolves) find it easy to hybridize with coyotes to this day

Anonymous said...

I have read that about the "Eastern Wolves" being something a bit different from more Western gray wolves--but I personally think that is a more "modern" phenomenon(since overwhelming European influences), and though it is certainly true that most gray wolves(especially in the West) kill coyotes rather than befriend or mate with them, this is likely more a matter of CIRCUMSTANCES(I believe, anyway) than an inflexible species'(western gray wolf) characteristic--keeping in mind gray wolves tend to kill ANY competitor carnivores when they get the chance--including other gray wolves not of their pack! There ARE some documented cases of some of "the last" gray wolves out West(before the fairly recent reintroductions and natural recolonizing), when there were individual "outlaw" wolves that were left alone after all their pack members were killed off, and the species exterminated in their areas, taking up with coyotes. In some cases these lone gray wolf individuals just seemed to tolerate coyote presence, in others, there seemed to be actual friendly interaction. It never led to any significant interbreeding only because those last rare individual gray wolves got killed off before such interactions could have much impact. Where wolves are populous and have plenty of other wolves as mate choices, this doesn't usually happen. But wolves are very individualistic, and regularly contradict our limited human perceptions!.....L.B.

Rick Meril said...

...........and so the canid discussion continues,,,,,,,,,never boring,,,,,,,,,,always with possiblity and revelation just around the next bend in the road