Great Lakes boreal wolf

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Great Lakes boreal wolf
Female Gray Wolf (6045673957).jpg
Gray wolf (C. lupus)
Washtenaw County's last wolf (1907).jpg
Eastern wolf (C. lycaon)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Canis
Species: C. lupus x C. lycaon

Great Lakes boreal wolf is an informal term used to describe hybrids between gray wolves, eastern wolves and possibly coyotes in the Great Lakes area. Introgression of gray wolf genes into eastern wolf populations has occurred across northern Ontario, into Manitoba and Quebec, as well as into the western Great Lakes states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.[1] Introgressions of coyotes into eastern wolf populations have also occurred in southern Ontario, Quebec, and all over the Great Lakes states. While gray wolves in the northern states do not directly mate with coyotes, it was long suspected that the eastern wolves who mixed with the gray wolves in the boreal forests may have also had coyote introgressions from past hybridizations with earlier coyote populations thus resulting with the coyote genes transmitted into the Great Lakes boreal wolves who in turn have the ability to further transmit these coyote genes into other gray wolf populations.[2]

The boreal wolf is 25% larger than a pure eastern wolf, and typically has a similarly colored gray-fawn coat but, unlike the eastern wolf, can also be black, cream, or white. It also specalises on larger prey such as moose and reindeer rather than white-tailed deer. Unlike pure eastern wolves, Great Lakes boreal wolves primarily inhabit boreal rather than deciduous forests.[2]


  1. ^ Rutledge, L. Y. (May 2010). Evolutionary origins, social structure, and hybridization of the eastern wolf (Canis lycaon), [thesis], Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
  2. ^ a b Chambers SM, Fain SR, Fazio B, Amaral M (2012). "An account of the taxonomy of North American wolves from morphological and genetic analyses". North American Fauna 77: 1–67. doi:10.3996/nafa.77.0001. Retrieved 2013-07-02. 

External links[edit]

Great Lakes boreal wolf (Canis lupus x lycaon), Wolf and Coyote DNA Bank @ Trent University