New Study: As of 2004 NR wolves genetically diverse, healthy

1995-2004 study shows beneficial results of reintroducing wolves in terms of their genetics-

Well, this is good news, and just what we would expect.  If wolves had been allowed to recolonize on their own, they would not be at all like this. This is why I supported reintroduction instead of regulation heavy natural recolonization under full ESA protection.

Study finds wolves genetically diverse, dispersing. By Corey Hatch. Jackson Hole News and Guide

I see some attempt trying to spin this paper into evidence for delisting, but no one ever said that the wolf population as of 2004 was not genetically diverse. The question is about the effect of the state management plans over time, not the wolf population prior to state management.



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  1. Virginia Avatar

    Again, please read the article about the “war on wolves” at Interesting how the Canadians treat the wolves.

  2. dave Avatar

    As long as the Northern Rockies metapopulation continues growing and/or is not reduced to the original target numbers, it will probably remain genetically diverse and robust. If the states are allowed to get their way, the population will be decimated, and genetic erosion and the inevitable inbreeding probems will occur.
    Sweden is planning on importing Finish or Russion wolves to increase its wolf population’s genetic diversity. I wonder how the Idaho or Wyoming politicians would react so such a suggestion if genetic problems started showing up in those states’ populations.

  3. Nancy Avatar

    Good article Virginia.

    +We are at a pivotal time in our planet’s history with regard to species diversity and conservation in the face of ever-increasing human expansion and exploitation of what remains of “nature.” How we conserve large carnivores – and in particular wolves, which have been such an iconographic species for so long- may bode to the future of how we are able to coexist with other sentient beings with whom we share this earth- and ultimately with each other+

    On a brighter note not sure if anyone saw this in the weekly wolf report for Montana:

    On 9/29, FWP met with a producer south of Wisdom for the last time to consult on a fencing project.
    Several on site visits occurred over the spring / summer. The producer has a feed lot situation and has
    had wolves approaching the feed lot / corral area in the past. Materials are now on site and the
    producer will be putting up the fence as an extra deterrent to keep wolves from getting into the feed lot
    and causing a disruption in a confined area where livestock could be injured or killed indirectly.

    Be interesting to know who the rancher is since Wisdom seems to make the wolf/activity report pretty often for wolf depredation and wolves killed as a result.


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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Ralph Maughan