Rediscovery of Red Wolf Ghost Alleles in a Canid Population Along the American Gulf Coast.

TitleRediscovery of Red Wolf Ghost Alleles in a Canid Population Along the American Gulf Coast.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsHeppenheimer, E, Brzeski, KE, Wooten, R, Waddell, W, Rutledge, LY, Chamberlain, MJ, Stahler, DR, Hinton, JW, vonHoldt, BM
JournalGenes (Basel)
Date Published2018 Dec 10

<p>Rediscovering species once thought to be extinct or on the edge of extinction is rare. Red wolves have been extinct along the American Gulf Coast since 1980, with their last populations found in coastal Louisiana and Texas. We report the rediscovery of red wolf ghost alleles in a canid population on Galveston Island, Texas. We analyzed over 7000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 60 canid representatives from all legally recognized North American species and two phenotypically ambiguous canids from Galveston Island. We found notably high Bayesian cluster assignments of the Galveston canids to captive red wolves with extensive sharing of red wolf private alleles. Today, the only known extant wild red wolves persist in a reintroduced population in North Carolina, which is dwindling amongst political and taxonomic controversy. Our rediscovery of red wolf ancestry after almost 40 years introduces both positive opportunities for additional conservation action and difficult policy challenges.</p>

Alternate JournalGenes (Basel)
PubMed ID30544757
PubMed Central IDPMC6315914
Grant List1523859 / / National Science Foundation /
DEB-1245373 / / National Science Foundation /
Dr. Holly Reed Conservation Fund / / Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium /
Yellowstone Forever / / Yellowstone Forever /