(p. A19) The first large study of North American wolf genomes has found that there is only one species on the continent: the gray wolf. Two other purported species, the Eastern wolf and the red wolf, are mixes of gray wolf and coyote DNA, the scientists behind the study concluded.
The finding, announced Wednesday, highlights the shortcomings of laws intended to protect endangered species, as such laws lag far behind scientific research into the evolution of species.
The gray wolf and red wolf were listed as endangered in the lower 48 states under the Endangered Species Act in the 1970s and remain protected today, to the periodic consternation of ranchers and agricultural interests.
For the full story, see:
Zimmer, Carl. “The One and Only Wolf Species of North America.” The New York Times (Thurs., JULY 28, 2016): A19.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date JULY 27, 2016, and has the title “MATTER; DNA Study Reveals the One and Only Wolf Species in North America.”)