Gray Wolf Sighting in Upstate New York
By: Yitzy Fried
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has yet to acknowledge the existence of wolves in the state of New York. They cite the St. Lawrence River, and other man-made barriers are what prevent wolves from making their way from Canada to the United States.
However, this is contradicted by much anecdotal evidence from ecological observers who claim to have seen wolves here, and now, DNA confirms these assertions.
Joseph Butera of the Northeast Ecological Society arranged for a DNA test to be conducted at Ohio’s Trent University, which confirmed that a canine killed in Upstate New York had 99% wolf DNA, a mixture of three different wolf breeds. He initiated this after seeing a Facebook post from a hunter who bagged the wolf. The hunter then provided a biological sample which Butera sent for testing.
For the moment, the NYSDEC insists that the wolf sightings are Coywolves (a mixture of coyote and wolf), but the DNA test seems to fly in the face of this.
Coyotes are not protected from hunting, while wolves are.
“How many more wolves have been killed or will be killed in New York State and the northeast if the NYSDEC claims that all of these large wolves are coywolves—hybrids that are predominantly coyotes—because they won’t acknowledge the DNA confirmation that we have wolves here?,” Butera asked.
Photo Credit: Flickr