DNA analysis in Princeton found that the New York animal was a wolf

the gray wolf
File photo of a gray wolf, Canis lupus. Photo courtesy of US Fish and Wildlife Service/J&K Hollingsworth

DEC releases its genetic report

by Mike Lynch

A DNA test at Princeton University found that a dog killed by a hunter near Cooperstown was a gray wolf.

This is the second independent test that has reached this conclusion regarding an 85-pound bomb killed in December. Princeton’s findings contrast with findings from a lab chartered by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, arriving days after sending 38 individuals from state and national organizations to the DEC urging action to protect wolves likely living in New York state or spreading here.

“What the DEC needs to do based on this second confirmation is that they need to do more to educate people across New York that wolves are coming to the state, and that the wolves that are coming into the state deserve protection under endangered species,” said Peter Bauer, CEO. For Protect the Adirondacks.

Wildlife advocates have called for the DEC to reconsider and restrict wolf hunting regulations, as well as educate hunters about wolves and coyotes. There are no restrictions on the number of coyotes killed during the 24-hour-a-day season from October 1 to March 26. Wolf advocates say hunters may be killing wolves, which they misidentify as wolves.

Bauer also said that the DEC should release details about the test it conducted by the Institute of Wildlife Genetics at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania. The DEC said the analysis identified the animal “to be closely identified as an oriental wolf,” with a mixture of coyote, wolf and dog genes.

Explorer submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for this report in August, and Power said Protect submitted the request shortly after the first test results were released in July. State provided Explorer with a copy of the report Wednesday afternoon.

The report, which can be found above, identified the animal as an oriental wolf, “a natural hybrid of wolves.” She determined that the maternal ratios in dogs were 99.9 percent coyotes. However, it was found that the animal was 65.2% wolf and 34.8% wolf.

Wolves disappeared from New York state around 1900 due to habitat loss and because they were targeted by hunters and bounties. At least two dead wolves have been found here over the years, one in the southern Adirondacks in 2001 and the other in Stirling in 2005. Poachers killed both.

They are now listed as an endangered species in New York based on their historical presence. People are not allowed to kill them without permission. The DEC said it did not expect to pursue charges against the central New York fisherman, who remained unidentified. Wolves are also protected by federal policies.

Wolves are found north of New York State in Canada and to the west in Michigan and Wisconsin. They are found in 11 states overall.

Wolves, which disperse to form groups of their own, have been known to travel hundreds of miles in search of new territories.

A species assessment conducted by DEC determined that Adirondack Park contains 6,000 square miles of habitat suitable for a wolf.

In July, the Center for Natural Resources DNA Profiling and Forensics at Trent University in Ontario released its genetic analysis of a wolf in central New York and found that 98% of the wolf is gray.

Trent University analysis determined that the animal was 52.6% Great Lakes wolf, 34.5% Northwest Territories wolf and 10.9% Eastern wolf. The remaining 2% was a mixture of wolf and dog genes.

Princeton analysis identified 96.2% Great Lakes gray wolf, 1.6% gray wolf, and 1.4% eastern wolf. Dog and wolf DNA formed less than 1% each.

These results are not the last on this animal. DEC has also submitted a sample of this dog to the Princeton Laboratory for genetic testing and is expecting results in early October. The department told the explorer that it plans to run further tests on the animal to determine if it is wild or captive in the event that testing identifies the animal as a wolf.

Tissue samples used in this latest test It was presented by Joe Butera, who heads the nonprofit Northeastern Ecological Recovery Society, on behalf of the many organizations that have banded together around the issue.

A recent letter to the DEC states that “aggregations of apex predators are critical to healthy ecosystems”. “The absence of highly reactive species that are essential to maintaining habitats and other natural functions, such as wolves and cougars, has left a functional void in our ecosystems that degrades overall environmental quality.”

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