Gray wolf is the only one species in North America. The other two purported species, the Eastern wolf and the Red Wolf are the mix of grey wolf and coyote DNA, unveils the first large study of North American wolf genomes.
The findings underline loop holes present in laws meant to protect endangered species. They also raise a question as how should the Endangered Species Act address threatened animals that are threatened. It has been mentioned so as the gray wolf and red wolf have been listed endangered in the lower 48 states under the ESA and till now, they remain protected.
In 2013, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has announced the Eastern wolf as separate species. A research wildlife biologist at the United States Geological Survey, Ryan Kovach said that the current research would prove immensely beneficial in addressing challenging questions with regard to conservation.
Farmers and ranchers have been held liable to almost end the wolf population. Over the last four decades, conservation efforts have resulted in the revival of a few wolf populations in the Rocky Mountains as well as around the Great Lakes.
The new examination published in the journal Science Advances has come up with a completely new picture with regard to the American wolf. In the study, the researchers, Bridgett M. vonHoldt of Princeton University along with her colleagues, has carried out genome sequencing of 12 gray wolves, six Eastern wolves, three red wolves, and three coyotes.
The researchers have also sequenced the genomes of dogs and wolves from Asia. From the assessment, the researchers concluded that red wolves or Eastern wolves seem to be populations of gray wolves, as they were having many of the same genes.
Genomes of eastern wolves were half gray wolf and half coyote and that of red wolves were even more mixed, as their genomes were 75% coyote and 25% wolf.