[Taxacom] Canis lycaon (Eastern wolf)

Ken Kinman kinman at hotmail.com
Sun Sep 16 22:16:36 CDT 2007


Sorry,
     I am more tired tonight than I thought and didn't proofread my posting 
properly before sending it.  Canis lycaon has priority over Canis rufus, so 
the combined species could be Canis lycaon.  Anyway, if it is a single 
species, calling it the Greater Coyote would best reflect its sister 
relationship with the Common Coyote (Canis latrans).  They are apparently 
the original canid species of North America, while the larger Grey Wolf is a 
later invader from Asia.  Whatever the species names used, calling all the 
original canids of North America (latrans, rufus, and lycaon) as coyotes 
would best reflect their smaller size and minimize fear of them, regardless 
of whether they are regarded as two species or three.
  -----Ken Kinman

**********************************
>From: "Ken Kinman" <kinman at hotmail.com>
>To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
>Subject: [Taxacom] Canis lycaon (Eastern wolf)
>Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2007 02:54:23 +0000
>
>Dear All,
>      I am interested in learning more about the taxonomic status of _Canis 
>lycaon_ (Eastern wolf or Eastern Canadian wolf).  It has been long been 
>regarded as a subspecies of the grey wolf.
>
>     However, more recent publications seem to regard it as a separate 
>species unto itself (Eastern Canadian wolf), or as a subspecies of Canis 
>rufus (with the Red Wolf and Eastern Canadian Wolf lumped together as one 
>species, the  "Eastern Wolf" of North America).  If the latter is the case, 
>and this eastern species is most closely related to coyotes, perhaps this 
>the Eastern Wolf should better be called the Greater Coyote.  They are not 
>only smaller than grey wolves (like coyotes), but apparently also tend to 
>hybridize more readily with coyotes.
>
>     From a standpoint of preservation and/or reintroduction of these 
>eastern canids, perhaps calling them coyotes (rather than wolves) would 
>also make the public less hostile towards them.  Their smaller size is not 
>well represented by calling them wolves, which automatically engenders fear 
>in the minds of those who equate them with the larger grey wolves.  Of 
>course, the species taxonomy must first be settled, and then the best 
>common name for conservation purposes would then follow.  The 
>reintroduction of grey wolves in areas outside of "Yellowstone" will always 
>meet stiff resistance, but this should not influence the reintroduction or 
>preservation of the smaller "Greater Coyotes" in eastern North America just 
>because they were misnamed "wolves".
>     -----Ken Kinman
>

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