October 19, 2018

Search Results for: hybrid

Widespread, long-term admixture between grey wolves and domestic dogs across Eurasia and its implications for the conservation status of hybrids

Abstract

Hybridisation between a domesticated species and its wild ancestor is an important conservation problem, especially if it results in the introgression of domestic gene variants into wild species. Nevertheless, the legal status of hybrids remains unregulated, partially because of the limited understanding of the hybridisation process and its consequences. The occurrence of hybridisation between grey wolves and domestic dogs is well documented from different parts of the wolf geographic range, but little is known about the frequency of hybridisation events, their causes and the genetic impact on wolf populations. We analysed 61K SNPs spanning the canid genome in wolves from across Eurasia and North America and compared that data to similar data from dogs to identify signatures of admixture. The haplotype block analysis, which included 38 autosomes and the X chromosome, indicated the presence of individuals of mixed wolf–dog ancestry in most Eurasian wolf populations, but less admixture was present in North American populations. We found evidence for male?biased introgression of dog alleles into wolf populations, but also identified a first?generation hybrid resulting from mating between a female dog and a male wolf. We found small blocks of dog ancestry in the genomes of 62% Eurasian wolves studied and melanistic individuals with no signs of recent admixed ancestry, but with a dog?derived allele at a locus linked to melanism. Consequently, these results suggest that hybridisation has been occurring in different parts of Eurasia on multiple timescales and is not solely a recent phenomenon. Nevertheless, wolf populations have maintained genetic differentiation from dogs, suggesting that hybridisation at a low frequency does not diminish distinctiveness of the wolf gene pool. However, increased hybridisation frequency may be detrimental for wolf populations, stressing the need for genetic monitoring to assess the frequency and distribution of individuals resulting from recent admixture.<<<Read More>>>

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Are Hybrid Wild Dogs So Wonderful for Our Ecosystems?

Wolf advocates, in broken record fashion, always resort to the false claim that having wolves in every corner of our landscape is “good for a healthy ecosystem.” Is it?

The claim is that there were abundant wolves in every state of the Union…once. Perhaps that is true, perhaps not. Real historic accounts reveal that even if wolves were in every state of the Lower 48, they did not exist in numbers that some seem to think they did and are demanding that they do today.

When Teddy Roosevelt traveled throughout the West and the Rocky Mountains, he toiled to document the differences between wolves and coyotes and pointed out that each breed of wild dog had different names often depicting the region in which they inhabited. He also pointed out that these wild dog breeds essentially remained geographically separate. This separation limited, or even eliminated any kind of interbreeding between coyotes and wolves. So, one has to ask if this phenomenon of mixed breeds of wild dogs is a modern era event.

When one examines the journals of Lewis and Clark as well as the explorers and trappers that soon followed Lewis and Clark, we see that wild game was not widespread and abundant. It was found in certain pockets. As a matter of fact, often these explorers nearly starved to death due to lack of food from hunting. We also find scant accounts of encounters with wolves.

I recently have been rereading “The Journal of a Trapper” by Osborne Russell. On rare occasions, he mentions the distant howl of a wolf but never an encounter. Is all of this evidence that wolves existed in abundance, so much so that with the number of wolves we have today, along with the number of coyotes, cross-breeding was inevitable?

If wolves and coyotes are important to an ecosystem, as is claimed, should it also be important that we do what we can to ensure that a wolf remains a wolf and a coyote a coyote? That is not what is happening as DNA testing of wild canines is revealing. If the distinct qualities of each canine species become blurred what then becomes of the animal so many are claiming to be wanting to save? The other question is what changes in our ecosystem and what dangers do these changes put on the rest of the items within those ecosystems?

In a recent article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about hybrid coyotes/wolves, a Maine wildlife biologist is quoted as saying that he wonders “what additional wolf-like traits will mean for the future of coyotes.” The article continues to quote the biologist about this subject: “Whether these wolf genes are conferring some kind of advantage to these coyotes,” he said, “that’s where it really gets interesting.”

Interesting may be a bit mild in terms of the possible serious complications to our ecosystems from a mixed bag species we know nothing about. It appears that to this point in time, our wildlife biologists and managers have had only to deal with the wolf and the coyote. Over time and through studies and experience, scientists have learned about these creatures and their behaviors. Along with these, they have discovered how each species interacts with everything within an ecosystem. Throw into this equation a new breed of animal, a hybrid wild to semi-wild canine and what changes? What other species are now being put at risk because some have chosen to artificially and unnaturally grow, by protection, wolves and coyotes and all other large predators? No matter how much some of these people want to rid man from the landscape, thinking that somehow we are ruining everything for the poor animals, it isn’t going to happen. Get over it. Time to move on.

It makes little sense that some would argue that large predators need to be restored to their historic habitats because of the importance of their perceived “in balance” ecosystems while in their effort, mostly due to historical ignorance, attempt to force unlimited numbers of their favorite animals into habitats that not only may not have the room but in so doing destroy other species. Isn’t this selfish, reckless abandon? Perhaps it’s just plain insanity.

A member of the coyote advocate group Project Coyote was quoted in the above linked-to article when referencing coyote management, “If we leave them alone, they will self-regulate.” Not only has this claim been repeatedly proven as a falsehood, consider what is being said here. “If we leave them alone,” is essentially not being practiced by anyone, including the group Project Coyote. It has always amazed me that these clowns will yell and scream in protest that man is attempting to manipulate wildlife in order to meet the social demands of people, and sometimes will even employ a bit of science in their work, while they do all that they can to manipulate the same species for their own selfish purposes. But, I thought that “if we leave them alone, they will self-regulate.” In other words, they want us to leave them alone but they can do as their agenda demands.

From everything I have read and researched, it appears to me that this hybridization of wild canines is a recent phenomenon brought about by the protection of the species. At the rate we are going, there will no longer be wolves or coyotes anywhere where there are human settlements. Perhaps it will be more drastic than that in time. This may solve the problem of keeping the wolf in the habitat where it belongs isolated from human-settled landscapes, but of the actions in place now, what kind of creature are we left with roaming undauntedly on our landscape and what threats from disease and the dangers to other species will exist?

These questions need to be answered before we keep up this foolishness of predator protection and demanding a wolf in every yard.

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Wolf? Hybrid? Dog? Does Anybody Care?

I was sent a series of 7 photographs under the heading of “Swimming Wolf.” I will not show all 7 pictures. I will show two of the originals – a canine creature swimming a body of water, and the same canine after it got across to the land and was headed in a direction that took it across what appears to be a road.

The last photo was returned to everyone included on the original email list, with graphics showing differences between a wolf track and those of a dog.

If you follow this link to Wolf Education International, you’ll find an article written in both German and English with links to photos and graphics with details about how to determine, from a well-defined track, the differences between the track of a wolf, the track of a hybrid/crossbreed, and the track of a dog.

The real crime here is that we either a clueless as to what kind of animals we are protecting, or those perpetuating this act know exactly what they are doing and are doing it for political or other reasons. Either way, none of it is actually saving or protecting the actual wolf.

It appears most simply want wild dogs and then in their wee bit of a mind they can believe they are one with “wolves.”

Click on photos if you need to enlarge for viewing.

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USFWS in Very Hot Water Over False ESA Protections of Hybrid Red Wolves

Click to enlarge photograph if necessary.

Finally, what appears to be some action on this biological catastrophe and a complete bastardization of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Some of us have known for a long time that the wild, mongrel dog that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) perpetuated and placed in portions of North Carolina, under a program we were told was to “restore” red wolves to their native range, was a lie. Apparently the U.S. Attorney General’s Office has documentation that the USFWS knew that the animal they were using was not a red wolf, but presented as such, which is a violation of the ESA.

The USFWS has filed criminal charges against citizens for allegedly harming a “protected” species, as well as levying fines, etc., knowing full well the animal was not a legally protected species. The U.S. Attorney General wants all such cases vacated and all costs for damages, fines, etc. reimbursed to those victims.

This can only come as a huge victory to those in North Carolina who have fought for years to get this travesty brought to justice.

Perhaps this will start the ball rolling to investigate the fake Mexican wolf and the laws that were broken by many people when gray wolves in Canada were trapped and illegally transported to the U.S. for introduction, bringing with them diseases. The money used for the wolf introduction in the Yellowstone Region was stolen from Pittman-Robertson Excise Tax. This act has never been investigated and prosecuted. Maybe it’s time.

For more information on this subject, readers can visit this website.

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Multilocus Detection of Wolf x Dog Hybridization in Italy, and Guidelines for Marker Selection

*Editor’s Note* – The following study should come as no surprise to those with knowledge and an honest approach to scientific wolf study. Hybridization between canine species is something that happens in nature, but is exceptionally enhanced by several events, one of which is, of course, human intervention and manipulation. Wolves with the least amount of hybridization were found in geographically isolated regions. Expanding populations of wolves increases the likelihood of hybridization and that is magnified when such expansions force wolves into human-settled landscapes and especially where dogs exist and are free ranging – the more dogs the greater the risk of hybridization.

This study confirms what many of us have been saying for several years; that forcing or introducing wolves into areas that are not geographically isolated (to protect the species), promotes hybridization, which in turns leads to the destruction of the wolf gene. 

Teddy Roosevelt wrote a great deal about his observances of different species of wild canines and determined that, at that time in history, wolf species were geographically isolated, and, as such, contributed to his and other’s ability to distinguish wolf species, i.e. big wolf and little wolf.

As a society with responsibility to care for our animal species, rational thought should lead us to conclude that we should be working hard to do what we can to keep wolves – those with the least amount of mixed genes – geographically isolated. The worst thing we can do is a continuation of forcing more and more wolves onto the landscape, thus heavily promoting hybridization and a destruction of the species. Or, we can do as some have suggested: simply acknowledging that all wild dogs are a species that should be protected regardless of its genetic composition. 

That makes absolutely no sense.

<<<Read Entire Study>>>

Abstract
Hybridization and introgression can impact the evolution of natural populations. Several wild canid species hybridize in nature, sometimes originating new taxa. However, hybridization with free-ranging dogs is threatening the genetic integrity of grey wolf populations (Canis lupus), or even the survival of endangered species (e.g., the Ethiopian wolf C. simensis). Efficient molecular tools to assess hybridization rates are essential in wolf conservation strategies. We evaluated the power of biparental and uniparental markers (39 autosomal and 4 Y-linked microsatellites, a melanistic deletion at the b-defensin CBD103 gene, the hypervariable domain of the mtDNA control-region) to identify the multilocus admixture patterns in wolf x dog hybrids. We used empirical data from 2 hybrid groups with different histories: 30 presumptive natural hybrids from Italy and 73 Czechoslovakian wolfdogs of known hybrid origin, as well as simulated data. We assessed the efficiency of various marker combinations and reference samples in admixture analyses using 69 dogs of different breeds and 99 wolves from Italy, Balkans and Carpathian Mountains. Results confirmed the occurrence of hybrids in Italy, some of them showing anomalous phenotypic traits and exogenous mtDNA or Y-chromosome introgression. Hybridization was mostly attributable to village dogs and not strictly patrilineal. The melanistic b-defensin deletion was found only in Italian dogs and in putative hybrids. The 24 most divergent microsatellites (largest wolf-dog FST values) were equally or more informative than the entire panel of 39 loci. A smaller panel of 12 microsatellites increased risks to identify false admixed individuals. The frequency of F1 and F2 was lower than backcrosses or introgressed individuals, suggesting hybridization already occurred some
generations in the past, during early phases of wolf expansion from their historical core areas. Empirical and simulated data indicated the identification of the past generation backcrosses is always uncertain, and a larger number of ancestryinformative markers is needed.

Conclusions
The frequency of backcrosses or introgressed individuals (87.5%) between wolf and dog is far higher than the frequency of F1 and F2 hybrids (12.5%), suggesting that hybridization events already occurred in Italy some generations in the past. Probably this happened during the early phases of population re-expansion in Italy, when wolves moved from their historical core areas in the central-southern Apennines and colonized the northern Apennine mountains and lower hills [61]. Theoretical expectations [97] and empirical findings [29,43] indicate that the risk of hybridization is higher in the periphery of wolf distributions in human-dominated landscapes, where wolf populations are less dense, free-ranging dogs are more abundant and early dispersing wolves have more probabilities to meet and mate with dogs. Expanding wolf populations will inevitably spread further into anthropogenically altered areas, where settlement density, infrastructure and the presence of agricultural activities will likely increase traffic
casualties, illegal wolf killings. Consequently high pack turnover can contribute to further raise hybridization frequency. These findings suggest that: 1) expanding wolf populations may experience higher hybridization risks than stable populations; 2) the dynamics of hybridization and introgression will change through time, with a maximum expectancy of hybridization during the early phases of the colonization waves, followed by the subsequent spread of hybrids and the generation of backcrosses within wild populations. The spatial and temporal dynamics of hybridization and backcrossing should be conditioned by landscape features, anthropogenic factors, wolf and feral dog initial
population density and colonization rates. These variables could be modelled using landscape genetic tools to reconstruct maps of hybridization risks, thus providing important resources for the monitoring and management of wolf populations in Europe.

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Thoughts on the Eastern Coyote/Wolf/Dog/Hybrid Mongrel

“Because venison accounts for one third of their diet, coyotes may have replaced automobiles as the principle deer predator in the Northeast.”

“…the ancestry of the average eastern coyote is 64% western coyote, 26% wolf, and 10% dog.”

“North America supports two species of gray wolf, a western and an eastern species, and that a third species, the so-called red wolf of the Southeast, is merely a blend of gray wolf and coyote – and the dark coat of some North American wolves may be an artifact of crossbreeding with the dogs that accompanied the first humans into the New World.”

“This canine mélange suggests that the biologic definition of a species, which once leaned heavily on reproductive isolation, is shifting.”<<<Read More>>>

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Hybrid Wolves Attack and Kill Mini-Horse on Ranch Near Riverside

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Researchers question possible “coyote type of wolf-dog hybrid” roaming around Wauwatosa

*Editor’s Comment* – Science (cough, cough) has shown that there exists some kind of mongrel mutt in many parts of the East and Northeast. What I’ve come to conclude in reading reports of “wild dog” sightings worldwide, is that many observers are delusional and wouldn’t know the difference between a wolf and a poodle (and this is actually one case in Europe.)

The take away from all this is that none of these wild dogs need protecting.

“It looks like a dog. It looks like a German Shepard,” said Falz.

Bob FalzOthers who live nearby say the coyote they’ve seen was rather majestic, more like a wolf.

Source: Researchers question possible “coyote type of wolf-dog hybrid” roaming around Wauwatosa | FOX6Now.com

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Is this coyote-wolf hybrid taking over North America?

And this sort of mixing occurs beyond the northeastern US. Coyotes, Mexican wolves and red wolves are known to interbreed in Texas. In North Carolina, coyotes mix with grey wolves, red wolves and domestic dogs. Eastern wolves pass genes between coyotes and western wolves by breeding with both in eastern Canada. Meanwhile, domestic dog genes pop up in Australian dingoes, European grey wolves and Ethiopian wolves.

Source: Is this coyote-wolf hybrid taking over North America? | animal-behaviour | Earth Touch News

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Defining Hybrids as Species is Political

*Editor’s Note* – For much the same reasons as the Ruling Establishment wants to outlaw opposing science that shows man-caused Climate Change is fake, politics will get us in a world of trouble by assigning specie designation to cross-bred wild and domestic canines.

In the article linked below, it clearly spells out that the purpose for wanting to assign a species to “hybrid” animals is so that they can be categorized for threatened or endangered animals – assuming that actually means for purposes of administering the Endangered Species Act. That’s where the money is.

Instead of dealing with the facts and reasons as to why we are seeing so much cross breeding among canines – an actual threat to species such as wolves and coyotes – evidently there must be more money in placing a label on a wild, mongrel dog and declaring it an endangered species.

“We infer from that pattern that a greater proportion of wolf DNA in any individual makes that individual more capable of exploiting that resource, in this case a whitetail deer,” Monzon said.

Genetic findings aside, Monzon agreed with Rutledge that defining hybrids as species is important for conservation. He said he expects more hybrids will be discovered as climate change shifts the ranges of different species, causing them to overlap.

Source: EMBARK: The eastern coyote quandary – LakePlacidNews.com | News and information on the Lake Placid and Essex County region of New York – Lake Placid News

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