Genetic study shows remaining gray wolves mated with dogs to produce dangerous hybrids-

Vancouver Island now again has real wolves, but could this explain some of the “wolf” attacks on hikers in the 1980s?

B.C. cull led to hybrid ‘monster wolves,’ study shows. Nicholas Read, Vancouver Sun

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

10 Responses to B.C. cull led to hybrid 'monster wolves,' study shows

  1. ProWolf in WY says:

    The name monster wolves sounds like something from a horror movie. Just in time for Halloween. That is not to say that wolves couldn’t mate with domestic dogs.

  2. timz says:

    And of course government officials (instead of admitting a mistake) dismiss the findings.

  3. JW says:

    Kind of weird to call them “monsters” and not give any data – like body weight – to support their claims

  4. Aaron M.C. says:

    Wolf/dog hybrids can be more inclined to attack humans then then a pure wolf. As we know, the aggressive behavior of some dogs towards unfamiliar humans, it explains.

  5. It is hard to understand why a science team would call them “monsters.” That is not a scientific term, and is one reason I was slow to post this article.

    However, it is important to understand the effects of poorly thought out efforts to reduce populations of animals. Every time I read about the coywolves that have replaced the wolves back East I have to chuckle.

  6. jdubya says:

    “””If the wolf-control campaign had carried on and kept wild wolves at low levels, we would have had, potentially, a population of monster wolves on Vancouver Island,” Raincoast biologist and University of California post-doctoral researcher Chris Darimont said in an interview.””

    Darimont clearly should be kept away from microphones and interviewers. He is only a post doc so he still has time to learn how to keep his foot out of his mouth.

  7. Cris Waller says:

    Here’s a link to an abstract of the actual study-

    It’s not nearly as dramatic as the news story. Nor is it the first time this has happened; remember the research from a year or so ago that showed that black coat color in wolves is due to a gene acquired from dogs?

  8. Chris,

    Yes, the actually study language is quite at variance with “monster wolves.”

  9. jimbob says:

    Read the official BC government response at the end of the article to understand why conservationists do not and should not trust governments to make decisions regarding sound wildlife science. Not only is it negative to the findings, it basically makes no sense!

  10. Wilderness Muse says:

    I read the full study. It seriously suffers from a small numbers problem. Furthermore, nowhere is there an explanation of the source of the mainland wolf DNA, Thus, it would not be unreasonable to presume the mainland wolf DNA was imported by somebody breeding hybrids purposefully, rather than mainland wolves mysteriously appearing on Vancouver Island, not being able to find mates and seeking out dogs to mate as a last resort. And, only big dogs, to boot. If that premise is accepted, the rest of the study is not meaningful as to its conclusions or as presented in the news article – the reporting also raises more questions than it answers. Sloppy science, in my view, and I am very surprised the Smithsonian was linked in any way.

    The study does not use the term “monster wolves” either.

    Last, Paul Paquet is not without his detractors. Just ask the entire Kenton Carnagie death investigation team.


October 2009


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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