Taxonomic status and conservation strategy of the endangered red wolf: a response to Kyle et al. (2006)
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Kyle et al. (2006) evaluated hypotheses related to the origin and taxonomic status of eastern wolves (Canis lycaon) and suggested that C. lycaon is conspecific with C. rufus. They maintain that the C. lycaon/C. rufus taxon likely was endemic to North America even prior to colonization by C. lupus. We consider that the putative origin of C. lycaon proposed by Kyle et al. (2006) is plausible, as is their suggestion that C. lycaon and C. rufus are closely related and possibly conspecific. However, their conclusions regarding ongoing C. rufus restoration efforts in the U.S. are problematic from the perspective of conservation and management for this endangered species.
Kyle et al. (2006) imply that management efforts reducing hybridization between C. rufus and C. latrans for the experimental endangered C. rufus population in eastern North Carolina (see Stoskopf et al. 2005) are “likely not practical, or desirable”. Their argument centers on the premise that C. rufusdoes not deserve...
KeywordsCanis lupus Canis lycaon Canis rufus Conservation Hybridization Wolves
We are grateful to the Red Wolf Recovery Implementation Team for comments on a previous draft.
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