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Wolf body mass, skull morphology, and mitochondrial DNA haplotypes in the Riding Mountain National Park region of Manitoba, Canada

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Abstract:

Two types of wolves, gray (Canis lupus L., 1758) and eastern (Canis lupus lycaon Schreber, 1775 or Canis lycaon) or Great Lakes wolves, representing Old World (OW) and New World (NW) mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotypes, have been reported in eastern Canada and the Great Lakes region. Both haplotypes were found in Duck Mountain Provincial Park and Forest, Manitoba. Only OW haplotypes have been reported from the isolated Riding Mountain National Park (RMNP), 30 km to the south. Wolves with NW haplotypes hybridize with C. lupus and coyotes (Canis latrans Say, 1823) and could mediate gene flow between canids. We examined available data on wolf body mass, skull morphology, and mtDNA from the RMNP region, as well as mtDNA from Manitoba and Saskatchewan, to assess the occurrence of NW haplotypes in wolves and possible canid hybridization. Mean body mass of female (n = 54) and male (n = 42) RMNP wolves during 1985-1987 was higher than that of females (n = 12) and males (n = 8) during 1999-2004. Thirteen skull measures from 29 wolf skulls did not suggest significant differences between RMNP and Duck Mountain wolves. Nineteen of 20 RMNP samples had OW haplotypes, whereas one clustered together with NW haplotypes.

On a signalé deux types de loups, le loup gris (Canis lupus L., 1758) et le loup de l’est ou loup des Grands Lacs (Canis lupus lycaon Schreber, 1775 ou Canis lycaon), représentant des haplotypes d’ADN mitochondrial (ADNmt) de l’Ancien Monde (OW) et du Nouveau Monde (NW), dans l’est du Canada et la région des Grands Lacs. Les deux haplotypes se retrouvent dans la Forêt et le Parc provincial de Duck Mountain, Manitoba. Seuls les haplotypes OW ont été signalés au Parc national du Mont-Riding (RMNP), une région isolée 30 km plus au sud. Les loups possédant des haplotypes NW s’hybrident avec C. lupus et avec les coyotes (Canis latrans Say, 1823) et pourraient favoriser le flux génique entre les canidés. Nous examinons les données disponibles sur la masse corporelle, la morphologie des crânes et l’ADNmt des loups de la région du RMNP ainsi que sur l’ADNmt du Manitoba et de la Saskatchewan afin d’évaluer l’occurrence des haplotypes NW chez les loups et la possibilité d’hybridation entre les canidés. La masse corporelle moyenne des loups femelles (n = 54) et mâles (n = 42) du RMNP en 1985-1987 était plus importante que celle des loups femelles (n = 12) et mâles (n = 8) en 1999-2004. Treize mesures faites sur 29 crânes de loups n’indiquent aucune différence significative entre les loups du RMNP et de Duck Mountain. Dix-neuf des 20 échantillons provenant du RMNP possédaient des haplotypes OW et un échantillon se regroupait avec les haplotypes NW.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2010

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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