Eastern Wolves Vs Gray Wolves

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Recently scientists have found out that red wolves and eastern wolves aren’t a real species. They are just a mix of gray wolves and coyotes.

Gray wolves used to live all over North America,until they got hunted till there were hardly any left and they were near extinction. Then, in 1972 a new law got made it illegal to hunt gray wolves. That law was called the Endangered Species Act. Since then their numbers have improved by quite a bit, but they still have less than before.

Eastern wolves live in the Great Lakes region, along with some gray wolves. Red wolves live in the southeastern part of the US, where gray wolves no longer live.

Scientists looked at the DNA of 23 different wild wolves in North America. They compared the genomes in those wolves to samples from pure coyotes and Eurasian wolves (common wolves) to see how much DNA each animal got from common wolves and coyotes.
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Eastern wolves have about 25 to 50% coyote genes. This data means that red wolves and eastern wolves have both mated with coyotes at some point.

Red wolves and eastern wolves probably first appeared when gray wolves were being hunted and killed which left room for coyotes to move in. Then gray wolves must have started mating when there were’ent many gray wolves

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