Friday, November 18, 2011

Coyote-Wolf hybrids have spread across Eastern U.S.

Some coyotes have expanded their range eastward bred with wolves in the Great Lakes region. The pairings created viable hybrid offspring identified by their DNA and skulls have been found in the mid-Atlantic states like New York and Pennsylvania.

Now, DNA analysis of coyote droppings new shows for the first time that some coyotes in the state of Virginia are also part of the wolf. Scientists believe that these animals are the wolf-coyote hybrids that traveled to southern New England along the Appalachian Mountains.

Coyotes from the west are moving not only through the Great Lakes, but also south of the region, through Ohio. But so far, it is unknown how the southern route of colonization was influencing coyotes in the mid-Atlantic region.

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