January 17, 2014 |
A new study says genomic analysis shows dogs and wolves diverged from a common wolf-like ancestor 11,000 to 16,000 years ago, although repeated interbreeding between the animals has clouded their evolutionary history. The study , published in the journal PLOS Genetics on Thursday, is the latest to argue that dogs were initially domesticated by hunter-gatherer humans, and not agriculturalists. The study authors assert that this initial domestication also occurred 11,000 to 16,000 years ago. The topic of dog domestication, and just when it occurred, is a matter of heated debate among experts.
September 4, 2013 |
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has extended the public comment period on its proposal to remove the Canadian gray wolf from the endangered species list and its plan to maintain protections for the Mexican gray wolf. The comment period will now end Oct. 28, and a series of public hearings have been scheduled: Sept. 20 in Washington, Oct. 2 in Sacramento and Oct. 4 in Albuquerque. The service has received much criticism for its plan to allow states to manage wolves in the Great Lakes, the upper Rockies and small populations of gray wolves in Oregon, Washington state and California. in Albuquerque, the hearing will include an airing of the federal plan to expand the predator's current range.
August 6, 2013 |
The Interior Department this week opened to public comment and review its proposal to expand the range of federally protected Mexican wolves. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been attempting to reintroduce wolves into parts of Arizona and New Mexico with little success. A small population of about 75 wolves is restricted to a recovery area, and when an animal roams beyond those borders, it must be recaptured and returned. Allowing wolves more room will increase their numbers and genetic diversity, biologists say. Livestock growers and others oppose any expansion of wolf territory.
June 7, 2013 |
Saying that gray wolves are no longer in danger of extinction, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced plans Friday to remove federal protections for the often-reviled animals nationwide and turn wolf management over to states. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Daniel Ashe called the species' comeback "one of the most successful recoveries in the history of wildlife conservation," a characterization that some conservation groups called overly optimistic given the eagerness of hunters and ranchers to kill wolves.
June 7, 2013 |
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Friday announced it intends to drop all federal protections for gray wolves in the lower 48 states, carving out an exception for a struggling population of Mexican wolves in New Mexico and Arizona. The announcement means that federal scientists believe that wolves in the lower 48 states are no longer threatened with extinction and don't require the protection afforded by the Endangered Species Act. Wolf packs are well established in the Great Lakes and Northern Rockies, as well as scattered populations in Oregon, Washington and Northern California, officials said.
May 21, 2013 |
The on-again, off-again protected status of wolves in the Lower 48 continues, as it appears that the expected de-listing of gray wolves in the United States has been placed on indefinite hold. The Associated Press reported that the U.S. Fish and Wildife Service indicated in filings in response to a lawsuit that the removal of gray wolves from the endangered species list was not going to happen soon, but the agency provided no further explanation. The status of the Mexican wolf, a separate species in Arizona and New Mexico, remains unclear.