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Demographic history shapes North American gray wolf genomic diversity and informs species’ conservation

Effective population size estimates are critical information needed for evolutionary predictions and conservation decisions. This is particularly true for species with social factors that restrict access to breeding or experience repeated fluctuations in population size across generations. Further, if isolated, … read more

Genetics and wolf conservation in the American West: lessons and challenges

Top predators are endangered throughout the world because of human persecution and habitat destruction. Plans to conserve and restore predator populations are often contentious, but few species are as problematic as the gray wolf (Canis lupus). In the United States, … read more

Developing Metapopulation Connectivity Criteria from Genetic and Habitat Data to Recover the Endangered Mexican Wolf

Restoring connectivity between fragmented populations is an important tool for alleviating genetic threats to endangered species. Yet recovery plans typically lack quantitative criteria for ensuring such population connectivity. We demonstrate how models that integrate habitat, genetic, and demographic data can … read more

Genomic signatures of extensive inbreeding in Isle Royale wolves, a population on the threshold of extinction

The observation that small isolated populations often suffer reduced fitness from inbreeding depression has guided conservation theory and practice for decades. However, investigating the genome-wide dynamics associated with inbreeding depression in natural populations is only now feasible with relatively inexpensive … read more

Evaluating the Taxonomic Status of the Mexican Gray Wolf and the Red Wolf

Taxonomy—the scientific study of biological classification—enables scientists to name and group living organisms. However, because species are dynamic and not fixed entities, taxonomic designations are often debated. At any given time, different populations can be in different stages in the … read more

Dogs Have ‘Happy Gene’ That Make Them Friendlier, Different From Wolves

Structural variants in genes associated with human Williams-Beuren syndrome underlie stereotypical hypersociability in domestic dogs Although considerable progress has been made in understanding the genetic basis of morphologic traits (for example, body size and coat color) in dogs and wolves, … read more

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