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Clarifying late Holocene Coyote (Canis latrans)–Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) sympatry in the western Great Lake states

Richard P. Thiel


North American Canis genetics research varies in interpreting the Pre-Columbian distribution of Coyotes (Canis latrans). Many studies have relied on generalized species-distribution maps and a few actually cite earlier genetics works as secondary sources. I use archaeological, paleontological, and settlement era documents to demonstrate that Coyotes were present in portions of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois thousands of years prior to European arrival. This review provides important clarification of historical Coyote distribution in the region and may have implications on the various interpretations of introgressed Coyote haplotypes present in Gray Wolves (Canis lupus) throughout the Great Lakes region.


Coyote (Canis latrans); Gray Wolf (Canis lupus); Great Lakes region; Coyote-wolf hybridization; Coyote-wolf sympatry; Coyote-wolf haplotypes

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