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Conservation Genetics

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 699–701 | Cite as

The conspecific nature of eastern and red wolves: conservation and management implications

  • C. J. Kyle
  • A. R. Johnson
  • B. R. Patterson
  • P. J. Wilson
  • B. N. White
Short Communication

Murray and Waits (2007) respond to a recent publication by Kyle et al. (2006) evaluating hypotheses regarding the evolutionary origins and taxonomic status of eastern North American wolves. These authors acknowledge the genetic similarity of red wolves (Canis rufus) and eastern wolves (C. lycaon), yet they are concerned with conservation recommendations within Kyle et al. (2006) that they believe would imperil current red wolf recovery efforts. While Kyle et al. (2006) focus on the broader distribution of eastern wolves in south central Canada, and not red wolves, Murray and Waits (2007) raise several important points that lead us to examine red wolf conservation strategies. Further, we discuss how hybridization between canid taxa should not always be negatively viewed, and may allow eastern wolf genes to persist in regions from which they would otherwise be extirpated.

Taxonomic uncertainty

Briefly, Kyle et al. (2006) interpreted molecular data to suggest that eastern wolves are...

Keywords

Hybridization Eastern wolf Canis latrans Canis lycaon Canis rufus Conservation 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. J. Kyle
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. R. Johnson
    • 2
    • 3
  • B. R. Patterson
    • 1
  • P. J. Wilson
    • 2
  • B. N. White
    • 2
  1. 1.Wildlife Research and Development Section, Ontario Ministry of Natural ResourcesTrent UniversityPeterboroughCanada
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Natural Resources DNA Profiling and Forensic CentreTrent UniversityPeterboroughCanada
  3. 3.Department of BiologyMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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