This is going to stir things up. A just-released scientific study concludes that the wolf population is more than high enough to maintain genetic diversity throughout the Northern Rockies. This from the same team that earlier concluded that the wolf population in Yellowstone was genetically isolated, a finding used to argue against removing wolves from Endangered Species Act protection.
Some old research is providing new insight into the genetic diversity of wolves in the Northern Rockies.
Authored by well-known names in the world of wolf reintroduction, the newly published study concludes that as far back as six years ago, wolf numbers were high enough to avoid genetic stagnation in the region.
Mark Hebblewhite, a University of Montana ecologist and longtime wolf researcher, said the study is the most comprehensive paper ever completed on a wild population of carnivores. . .
The study was authored by the same team that earlier reported wolves in Yellowstone National Park were genetically isolated. That information was used to argue against delisting the Northern Rockies population in 2008. . .
For more detail, read the related “News and Views” item from Molecular Ecology, as well as the full scientific paper referenced in the above article. (Both documents are in PDF format and will open in a new window.)