DNA Test Confirms Canid Killed In Upstate New York Was A Wolf

DNA Test Confirms Canid Killed In Upstate New York Was A Wolf

Nature

DNA Test Confirms Canid Killed In Upstate New York Was A Wolf

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A DNA analysis of an 85-pound canid killed during a coyote hunt in Cherry Valley, New York in 2021 confirmed that the animal was, in fact, a wolf. Initial DNA tests conducted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) concluded that the animal was a coyote, but further tests conducted at Princeton University contradicted those results.

“After initial DNA analysis completed this summer determined the wild canid to be most closely identified as an Eastern coyote, DNA submitted voluntarily by the hunter was sent for further analysis to Dr. Bridgett vonHoldt, Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University as part of a joint research effort by multiple parties. DEC experts reviewed the vonHoldt DNA test results on Sept. 21 and determined the species is likely a male wolf.” New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

According to ABC News 10, wolves are believed to be completely wiped out from the Northeast since the 20th century. However, according to the DEC, three wolf sightings have been confirmed in New York in the past 25 years and, according to The Maine Wolf Coalition, there have been 7 wolf sightings in the Northeast Untied States since 1993.

Wolves are currently protected in New York as endangered species. According to The Maine Wolf Coalition, however, DEC officers told the hunter he will not be prosecuted for killing the animal as “there are no wolves in New York.”

“DEC will continue to work with federal, state and local partners to advance additional conservation actions to continue to build a network of protected landscapes that provide habitat for threatened and endangered species in the state.” New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

It seems fairly difficult to understand that someone could see a wolf and think it’s a coyote. They definitely don’t look identical. However, if it’s dark, the adrenaline is pumping, and you fully believe there are no wolves in your area, the confusion might make a bit more sense. That being said, as The Maine Wolf Coalition points out, coyotes don’t grow to be 85-pounds.

“Of course, NYSDEC made no acknowledgement of the fact that there is no such animal as an 85 pound coyote.” The Maine Wolf Coalition

Image Credit: Nat Geo WILD via YouTube

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