The coywolf, a product of evolution

The wolf was not the gray wolf, however, it was the Eastern wolf — canis lycaon-

Dr. Jon Way has been telling us this for some time. I see he has changed his suburban coyote page to the “coywolf page.”

Broken link now fixed. Coywolves’ a product of evolution. By Lawrence Pyne. Burlington Free Press.






  1. Jon Way Avatar

    I will publish my peer-reviewed account of the coywolf here in the NE once when I get the galley proof. For those interested, it will show (in detailed fashion) why we shouldn’t be calling them coyotes here in the Northeast.
    Note: the article above refers to a companion study by Kays et al. that independently found the same thing. Our study uses mt and Nuclear/microsatellite DNA to show that they are western coyote x red/eastern wolf hybrids.
    Jon Way

  2. Bret Gould Avatar
    Bret Gould

    We have these animals in south Louisiana. My question revolves around the fact we dont have wolves here yet we have coydog/coywolf animals all over the place. Have they migrated here ?

  3. Jon Way Avatar

    when the last red wolves were getting killed off they hybridized with colonizing coyotes. We called them many things (coyotes, coydogs) but these are not accurate terms. The animals have DNA from both the original wolf living on the east coast and coyotes. They should be called coywolves but they are the same animals that have been here for 20-50 years… I am talking about the NE but the same thing happened in your area and, in fact, the last remaining pure red wolves that were used to be reintroduced into North Carolina were captured in the LA/TX area. The ones not captured (or killed) likely hybridized with coyotes. So, “coyotes” in the east can legally be killed in most states for any reason despite harboring native wolf genes. Doesn’t make much sense.

  4. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Note: the link in this story was broken. Now I have fixed it.

  5. Claire Taylor Avatar
    Claire Taylor

    We have packs of these red wolf/coyote hybrids in my neighborhood in south Louisiana. We live very near Lake Ponchartrain on the north shore — in Mandeville. They are a big problem. They have eliminated the rabbits and many cats and small dogs are missing. I have seen them many times and they are very fearless. We also have a large deer population. I have not heard of any dead deer around, however.


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.

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