Eastern Wolf

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Eastern Wolf

Conservation Status:    Endangered

Scientific Classification:

Kingdom:   Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class:  Mammalia
Order:  Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus:  Canis
Species:   C. lupus
Subspecies: C. l. lycaon
Trinomial name
Canis lupus lycaon

Schreber, 1775

Eastern Timber Wolf Range

The Eastern Wolf (Canis [lupus] lycaon) also know as Eastern Canadian Wolf or Eastern Canadian Red Wolf is traditionally considered to be a subspecies of the Gray Wolf. Sometimes it is also viewed as a result of historical hybridization between grey wolves and red wolves or coyotes. However, recent molecular studies suggest that the eastern wolf is not a gray wolf subspecies, nor the result of gray wolf/coyote hybridization, but a distinct species (Canis lycaon)[1][2]. Many names were proposed, including the Eastern Wolf, Eastern Gray Wolf, Eastern Timber Wolf and Algonquin Wolf, although Eastern Wolf has appeared to gain the most recognition.

Eastern Wolf



Eastern Wolf was recently recognized as a potentially distinct species, but closely related to red wolf [3]. However, some authors suspect differentiate for two species. This is, however, still not an official status. This is identified so early, as 1970. Now, many international and government organisation carry out scientific research for their ecology, taxonomy, genetic and influence to ecosystem. the Eastern Wolf is smaller than the grey wolf and has a grey-reddish coat with black hairs cover on back and sides thorax[citation needed] . The mtDNA analysis confirm that eastern wolf, belonged to ancient form primitive wolf (with red wolf) origin from North America in 750 000 years ago in east part of North America (Nowak,1979, 1992). This sequence of halotypes show elements similar to red wolf and probably is a part if this species. Scientist suggest that Eastern Wolf population know as "red wolf" was extirpated from the wild in the southeastern United States and now is very endangered and slowly reintroduced to wild nature.

The Eastern Canadian wolf is just thought to be the remnant northern range of a once continuous range of a native canid - the Eastern wolf (E.C. w & Red Wolf). The pre-Columbian range is thought to include US states east of the Mississippi and South of the Canadian Shield-St. Lawrence corridor (Aria Johnson & Brad N. White, 2003 ). The Red Wolf is slowly being re-introduced into the wild in areas like Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina. Eastern Wolves (and therefore Red Wolves) are very small in size compared to the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) living in the boreal forest north of Lake Superior in Ontario. Unlike the Gray Wolf, the Eastern Wolf in Algonquin Park has never been recorded with an all-black or all-white coat (wolf research in Al. P. cited 2008). Eastern wolf mainly exist in Algonquin Park in Canada-USA border. Type Algonquin is pure genetic population of Eastern wolf, type-Ontario is hybrid with grey wolf (possible with C. l. nubilus or C. l. griseoalbus ad etc. ) (Wilson et al. 2000). Mech and Frenzel (1971) suggest, when they stated that the northeastern Minnesota timber wolves are assigned to C. l. lycaon, but they are from an area within 150 km of the range of C. l nubilus as described by Goldman (1944) Type live in South of Algonquin Park is mix Eastern Canadian Wolf with Coyotes.

Physical Attributes:

The Eastern Wolf is smaller than the Gray Wolf. It has a pale greyish-brown pelt. The back and the sides are covered with long, black hairs. Behind the ears, there is a slight reddish colour. These differences in attributes are thought to be a result of their Red Wolf ancestry. The Algonquin wolf is also skinnier than the Grey Wolf and displays a coyote-like appearance. This is because wolves and coyotes often mate and breed hybrid wolf/coyote pups in the park. The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society states: "Hybridization with coyotes has historically been a precursor to the decline of Eastern wolf populations. The Committee on the Status of Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) has identified hybridization with coyotes as one of the major threats facing the Eastern wolf, and hybridization continues to pose a serious challenge to red wolf recovery efforts in North Carolina." Because the two animals looks so much alike, a ban on the hunting of Algonquin wolves and coyotes has been in place to make sure no accidental deaths occur.

Grey wolves will attack, kill or drive out coyotes if they find them, but recent studies by John and Mary Theberge suggest that Algonquin red wolf males mate and accept coyote females. John Theberge states that, because coyotes are smaller than wolves, that female wolves would be less likely to accept a smaller mate.

The Eastern Wolf mainly occupies the area in and around Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, and also ventures into adjacent parts of Quebec, Canada. It also may be present in Minnesota and Manitoba. In the past, this species might have ranged south into the United States, but after the arrival of Europeans, these wolves were heavily persecuted and became extirpated from the United States. In Canada, exact numbers of Eastern Canadian Wolves are unknown.

In Algonquin wolves often travel outside the park boundaries, and enter farm country where some are killed. "Of all the wolf deaths recorded from 1988 to 1999, a minimum of 66% was caused by humans. Shooting and snaring outside park boundaries were the leading causes of death for wolves radio-collared in Algonquin Park" (Theberge 1998, CBSG 2000). One wolf that was radio-collared in July 1992 was located in October in Gatineau Park (north of Ottawa), which is 170 km from Algonquin Park. By mid-December it had made its way back to Algonquin ,and then, in March 1993, this wolf's severed head was found nailed to a telephone poll in Round Lake by a man who hated wolves.

The Eastern Wolf preys on White-tailed Deer, Moose, lagomorphs, and rodents including beaver, muskrat, and mice. Preying on American Black Bear was also reported. Studies in Algonquin Provincial Park showed that three species accounted for 99% of the wolves's diet: Moose (some of which is scavenged), White-tailed Deer, and Beaver(ca. 33% each). The wolves tend to prey more frequently on American Beaver in the summer, and on White-tailed Deer in the winter.[citation needed]

Wikispecies has information related to:   Canis lupus lycaon
See also:  Red Wolf

External Links

    * The Wolves of Algonquin Park PHVA Final Report, PDF includes the final recommendation on how to proceed with the Eastern Canadian Wolf.
    * The Wolves of Algonquin Provincial Park ? A Report by the Algonquin Wolf Advisory Group PDF
    * Status of the Eastern Wolf A PDF document outlining genetic research concerning the Eastern Canadian Wolf.
    * The Comparative Toxicogenomics Database which lists some of the Eastern Canadian Wolf's Genetic Information.
    * Wolves at the Door Documenting the resurgence of wolves in North America.


   1.  Sonya K. Grewal, Paul. J. Wilson, Tabitha K. Kung, Karmi Shami, Mary T. Theberge, John B. Theberge, and Bradley N. White: A GENETIC ASSESSMENT OF THE EASTERN WOLF (CANIS LYCAON) IN ALGONQUIN PROVINCIAL PARK. Journal of Mammalogy, Volume 85, Issue 4 (August 2004). Abstract
   2.  C.J. Kyle, A.R. Johnson, B.R. Patterson, P.J. Wilson, K. Shami, S.K. Grewal and B.N. White: Genetic nature of eastern wolves: Past, present and future. Conservation Genetics, Volume 7, Number 2 / April 2006. Pages 273-287 Abstract
   3.   Bradley White, Paul Wilson, Aria Johnson, Sonya Grewal and Karmi Shami: Status of the eastern wolf (Canis lycaon). Natural Resources DNA Profiling and Forensic Centre, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario (2001) [1]

    * Banfield, A.W.F. 1974. The Mammals of Canada. University of Toronto Press.

    * Reid, F.A. 2006. Field Guide to the Mammals of North America north of Mexico. Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin. New York.

    * http://www.hww.ca/hww2.asp?id=107