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Newcomer wolf migrated to take over island pack

[large thumbnail url=”newcomer-wolf-migrated-to-take-over-island-pack” filename=”science” year=”2011″ month=”03″ day=”30″] [thumbnail icon url=”newcomer-wolf-migrated-to-take-over-island-pack” filename=”science” year=”2011″ month=”03″ day=”30″] There’s a new kid in town — or at least there was — among the long-studied wolves of Lake Superior’s Isle Royal, where biologist called him “The Old, Gray Guy.”

By Dan Vergano, USA TODAY

Wolves forded the ice to occupy Isle Royal around 1950, turning the former moose paradise into a laboratory for predator-prey dynamics for the last four decades. In the Proceedings of the Royal Society B journal, a team led by Jennifer Adams of the Michigan Technological University in Houghton, reports one male wolf seems to have migrated more recently to the island in 1997, taking over its main pack and adding fresh genes to its gene pool, likely founded by one female and two males decades ago.

“Here, we document the genetic and demographic impact of a male wolf (Canis lupus) that immigrated across Lake Superior ice from mainland Ontario in 1997 to the small, inbred wolf population in Isle Royale National Park. This migration event was discovered in 2009 from detailed molecular genetic analysis of samples (mainly scat) from specific individuals and the subsequent construction of a pedigree,” says the study.

Read the entire article on USAToday.com: Newcome wolf migrated to take over island pack

Read the study: Genomic sweep and potential genetic rescue during limiting environmental conditions in an isolated wolf population (Jennifer R. Adams, Leah M. Vucetich, Philip W. Hedrick, Rolf O. Peterson and John A. Vucetich – proceedings of the royal society B)

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