Taxonomic Status of the
MEXICAN GRAY WOLF
and the RED WOLF
Committee on Assessing the Taxonomic Status of the Red Wolf and the Mexican Gray Wolf
Board on Life Sciences
Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources
Division on Earth and Life Studies
A Consensus Study Report of
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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This activity was supported by Contract No. 140F0918C0005 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.
International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-48824-2
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-48824-9
Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/25351
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Copyright 2019 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America
Suggested Citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Evaluating the Taxonomic Status of the Mexican Gray Wolf and the Red Wolf. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.17226/25351.
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COMMITTEE ON ASSESSING THE TAXONOMIC STATUS OF THE RED WOLF AND THE MEXICAN GRAY WOLF
JOSEPH TRAVIS, Florida State University
FRED W. ALLENDORF, University of Montana
DIANE K. BOYD, Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks
LILIANA CORTÉS-ORTIZ, University of Michigan
LORI S. EGGERT, University of Missouri
DIANE GENEREUX, Broad Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University
MICHAEL LYNCH (NAS), Arizona State University
JESÚS E. MALDONADO, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological Park
RASMUS NIELSEN, University of California, Berkeley
KEEGAN SAWYER, Study Director, Board on Life Sciences
CAMILLA YANDOC ABLES, Senior Program Officer, Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources
JENNA BRISCOE, Research Assistant, Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources
ROBERT POOL, Editor
BOARD ON LIFE SCIENCES
JAMES P. COLLINS, Arizona State University
A. ALONSO AGUIRRE, George Mason University
ENRIQUETA C. BOND (NAS), Burroughs Wellcome Fund
DOMINIQUE BROSSARD, University of Wisconsin–Madison
ROGER D. CONE (NAS, NAM), University of Michigan
NANCY D. CONNELL, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security
SEAN M. DECATUR, Kenyon College
JOSEPH R. ECKER (NAS), Howard Hughes Medical Institute
SCOTT V. EDWARDS (NAS), Harvard University
GERALD L. EPSTEIN, National Defense University
ROBERT J. FULL, University of California, Berkeley
ELIZABETH HEITMAN, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
MARY E. MAXON, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
ROBERT NEWMAN, The Aspen Institute
STEPHEN J. O’BRIEN (NAS), Nova Southeastern University
CLAIRE POMEROY (NAM), The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation
MARY E. POWER (NAS), University of California, Berkeley
SUSAN RUNDELL SINGER, Rollins College
LANA SKIRBOLL, Sanofi
DAVID R. WALT (NAE, NAM), Harvard Medical School
FRAN SHARPLES, Director
JO HUSBANDS, Senior Scholar
KATHERINE BOWMAN, Senior Program Officer
KEEGAN SAWYER, Senior Program Officer
ANDREA HODGSON, Program Officer
AUDREY THEVENON, Program Officer
JESSICA DE MOUY, Senior Program Assistant
KOSSANA YOUNG, Senior Program Assistant
BOARD ON AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
CHARLES W. RICE, Kansas State University, Manhattan
SHANE C. BURGESS, University of Arizona, Tucson
SUSAN CAPALBO, Oregon State University, Corvallis
GAIL CZARNECKI-MAULDEN, Nestlé Purina PetCare, St. Louis, MO
GEBISA EJETA, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
JAMES S. FAMIGLIETTI, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
FRED GOULD (NAS), North Carolina State University, Raleigh
DOUGLAS B. JACKSON-SMITH, The Ohio State University, Wooster
JAMES W. JONES (NAE), National Science Foundation
STEPHEN S. KELLEY, North Carolina State University, Raleigh
JAN E. LEACH, Colorado State University, Fort Collins
JILL J. MCCLUSKEY, Washington State University, Richland
KAREN I. PLAUT, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
JIM E. RIVIERE (NAM), Kansas State University, Manhattan
ROBIN A. SCHOEN, Director
CAMILLA YANDOC ABLES, Senior Program Officer
KARA N. LANEY, Senior Program Officer
JENNA BRISCOE, Research Assistant
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This report is based on the intellectual contributions of a host of scientists, from those who wrote the initial descriptions of these animals to those who have published the latest genomic analyses. The committee examined research published between now and almost a century ago, proving that good science is timeless. Beyond the written literature, the report is based on the presentations offered to the committee by many scientific colleagues, the comments of those scientists who did not present to us but who generously answered specific questions addressed to them, and the thoughts of all those who contacted us through the study’s website.
I thank the members of the committee for their dedication and commitment to every phase of this report, including critically assessing a very large literature, thoroughly discussing the evidence in that literature, and cheerfully writing draft after draft to make the report clear and accessible. On behalf of the committee, I thank our study director, Keegan Sawyer, for her leadership, insights, and masterful manner of persuading us to work ever harder. Our thanks also go to Camilla Yandoc Ables for her assistance with many aspects of our work, especially her ability to provide us with the resources we needed to do a thorough review of the large literature on this subject. All of us on the committee are grateful to Jenna Briscoe for her support in organizing and conducting our meetings and to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine librarians, Jorge Mendoza-Torres and Rebecca Morgan, without whose skills the committee might well have been lost.
The committee and I thank all those who informed us about wolves, from in-person presentations to webinars to comments sent via the study’s website. The Appendix includes their names and how they helped us. The committee’s knowledge of the critical issues was deepened and broadened by the contributions of so many people, and our thinking was constantly challenged by each increment in our knowledge. All who spoke or wrote to us were generous with their thoughts, patient in fielding our questions, and unfailingly gracious in their comments. The committee’s gratitude for so much effort cannot be overstated.
Chair, Committee on Assessing the Taxonomic Status of the Red Wolf and the Mexican Gray Wolf
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Acknowledgment of Reviewers
This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.
We thank the following individuals for their review of this report:
Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Dr. James A. Estes (NAS), University of California, Santa Cruz (emeritus), and Dr. Barbara A. Schaal (NAS), Washington University in St. Louis. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies.
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