Coyotes in Wolves Clothing
June 28, 2019
We report on three presumed wolf pups captured in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula, potentially representing the first documented case of wolf reproduction in the Lower Peninsula since wolves were extirpated there a century ago. The pups, two females and one male, were assumed to be wolves based on physical characteristics. Genetic profiles assigned all three pups as coyotes but revealed evidence of maternal introgression from a Great Lakes wolf in their pedigree. These findings suggest that Great Lakes wolves are capable of interbreeding with coyotes when conspecifics are rare.
Author(s): Wheeldon, Tyler; Patterson, Brent; Beyer, Dean - The American Midland Naturalist