Wolf rebound depends on U.S./Canada plan

A Maine conservation group wants to see wolf populations rebound in its state and said there's a good chance there are more wolves in New Brunswick that should be protected, jointly, by the U.S. and Canada.

DNA tests released last week confirmed the first known wolf kill in New Brunswick since the late 1870s.

John Glowa, president of the Maine Wolf Coalition, believes the animals are trying to re-establish themselves in eastern North America and said over the past 20 years, wolves have been found in Maine, Massachusetts and New York State.

"It seems to be a new wolf species. These animals are ranging 80, 90 to 100 pounds," Glowa said.

"It's an extremely interesting and complex situation that scientists really haven't gotten a handle on yet."

Glowa said based on these sightings, he predicted it was only a matter of time before one was found in neighbouring New Brunswick.

"New Brunswick has a tremendous amount of potential wolf habitat, large numbers of prey for wolves, and when you combine Maine and New Brunswick together —remember that wolves don't recognize international boundaries — you have in excess of a quarter of a million deer, and you have in excess of 50,000 moose. So this entire region would really be a wolf magnet," he said.

Glowa said wolves are an important part of the ecosystem and allowing wolf populations to rebound in eastern North America would be "righting a wrong," that humans perpetuated on the species.

He said the large meat-eaters pose very little risk to humans.

"To be honest with you, you're at far more risk of being injured or killed getting into your car and driving to the market in the morning, than you are being affected by wolves," Glowa said.

"The chances of it occurring are infinitesimally small. I would tell folks just go about their regular business and not give it a second thought. Wolves are wild animals, they don't want to bother people, they want to be left alone."

'It is happening. It's inevitable. But it will happen sooner if our governments work together to give wolves the protection that they're going to need.'
—John Glowa, President of the Maine Wolf Coalition

Canada a leader in wolf conservation

He'd love to see Canada and the U.S. work together on the issue.

"Wolves were never exterminated in Canada. People across Canada coexist with wolves now. So I think Canada can be a real leader on this issue and we're hopeful that they will be," Glowa said.

He said the the Maine Wolf Coalition's initial request to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior and to Canada's Environment Minister did not get much positive response.

The group sent another letter last week, again asking that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service work with Canada to promote the wolf's natural recolonization.

"It is happening. It's inevitable. But it will happen sooner if our governments work together to give wolves the protection that they're going to need."

Glowa said to give the wolf a chance, hunters shouldn't pull the trigger if they're not completely sure what they're shooting.

He said scientists should get a chance to examine any big, dead "coyotes."

Joe Kennedy, a biologist for the Department of Natural Resources, said it's often difficult to tell coyotes and wolves apart.

He said the two species have similar coat colours and although wolves are often much bigger than coyotes, he has seen some very large coyote specimens.

"There's very strong similarities in appearance between to the two animals and occasionally there's not a great size difference," Kennedy said.

According to its website, the Maine Wolf Coalition is an all-volunteer organization founded in 1994 to support wolf recovery in Maine through research, education and protection.

The coalition's aim is to gather reports and follow up on possible wolf sightings, working to educate the public, public officials and the press.

Responses to "New Wolf Species Emerging in America"

  1. The animal in the upper image really looks like a wolf/coyote hybrid. At one time there was a small population of animals biologists were calling New England Canids in this area. Any idea if this "new wolf species" is simply a resurgence of this interesting animal?

    If so how would that impact conservation/protection/advocacy efforts?

  2. I believe of course, that we humans need not to continue to interfere with what mother nature is doing to balance herself against man's destruction of the ecosystem, and if what we are seeing is a hybrid of the wolf and domestic dog, we still should not attempt at this time to tamper with what nature is tying to do to reproduce what man has been abolishing for so long on this continent. I am not a person that own any kind of a degree in nature, however , as a citizen nature belongs to all of us not just to the scientists or hunter's. I'm a tracker of wild canine and never have had a wild dog backtrack to me and attempt to hurt me. The coyote always run's as fast as it can to avoid me, but as a former long distance runner I have been tight on the tracking trail of coyote in southern NE area many times. I have no fear at this time of any hybrid's. And I believe the theory that the NE coyote (In Native American language means, "he that always returns", is the western coyote and NE wolf hybrid and possibly domestic German Shepard including the possibility of the Siberian Husky. Looking at the size of paws on this example posted, they look they appear to be small pads/paws, like domestic wolf family, however , the paws have the typical narrowness of a coyote or wolf, not a wide spread like domestic dog. You are correct , this is a interesting research, but with people that want to shoot everything they perceive to be a wolf, I worry for it's survival in our destructive society. Thank you..

  3. Dawnie says:

    Maybe this kind of thinking can rub off on the people of Montana and Idaho!

  4. Dawnie says:

    Maybe this kind of thinking can rub off on the people of Montana and Idaho!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, Not all of Canada is wonderfully co-exsisting with native wolf populations. In Northern Alberta, wolves are being poisoned to "ease pressure'' on the Little Smokey Lake caribou herd. This herd is declining because of habat destruction due to tarsands developement, not to wolf predation.

  6. Has there been any DNA sequencing testing done on these animals? They could be Algonquin "Red" Wolves and if so, aren't a new species.

  7. stephen owens uk says:

    here in britain we killed off our native wolves hundreds of years ago through frightened people and folklores,you countries what have these beautiful animals should be honoured to still have these magnificent animals LEAVE THEM ALONE!!!!!!

  8. lolapower says:

    Thrilled to hear about this! There is hope! Lolapowers

  9. Anonymous says:

    I’m all for returning of the wolf. I am against people who try to eliminate the hunting of Coyotes. And Mr Glowa is a big proponent of outlawing hunting.

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