Elders of the Heiltsuk First Nation along the B.C. central coast have long recognized the difference between coastal and inland grey wolves in their territory.
Now, new scientific evidence helps prove it.
A study by Victoria-based researchers, published today in the open-access journal BMC Ecology, affirms genetic, ecological and behavioural differences between coastal and mainland wolves living in close proximity to each other.
OH GOSH YOU GUYS THIS IS SO NEAT. THIS IS LIKE EXTRA SUPER DOUBLE NEAT. These coastal wolves have adapted to their specific environment and instead of like elk and mountain goats they eat fuckin MUSSELS AND SEALS AND FUCKIN BARNACLES OKAY.
Darimont said the research shows how ecological development might drive genetic differences and would have significant conservation implications if the wolves are recognized as marine mammals, similar to polar bears.
Paul Paquet, a senior Raincoast scientist and supervisor of the study, said: “It is imperative that responsible government agencies now recognize coastal wolves are unique and take the opportunity to design management plans that reflect the uniqueness, rather than defaulting to simplistic policies that are convenient but inappropriate from a conservation perspective.”
Also, you can learn a lot here about the sad and frankly laughable way that scientists often dismiss the contributions of incredibly knowledgeable local and indigenous people. The scientist is just like “oh yeah this Heiltsuk elder told me about this way back and I totally brushed it off.” And now a DECADE later it’s in the news because he’s researched it. Come on man step up your game.
This is still TOO COOL though I’m totally excited, WOLVES HOW DO THEY WORK. (Here’s the actual research paper that explains how they work, in case you wanna look at some charts and things.)
These are three examples where assuming that breeding “best-to-best” will not result in “even better” because of failure to understand the underlying genetics. In fact, it can result in removing a dog from the gene pool for a genetic issue (e.g., a Malinois with extreme circling), when in fact breeding that dog to the appropriate mate (e.g., a homozygous dog with low drive) would result in heterozygous offspring that could have the perfect blend of motivation and self-control. Likewise, using Ridgebacks without ridges will produce some offspring without ridges, but it also will not produce pups with dermoid sinus.
Interesting article that suggests that there is value in including less desirable dogs in your breeding plan. This makes sense from a straight AA, Aa, aa, etc. stand point but what does this look like in reality for the resulting pups?
Here an article that I think probably explains the concepts of exploitative breeding (competition breeding) better than Ms. Beuchats, which touches on only a couple of traits for which there are studies on the genes involved. This article is sled dog specific but is widely applicable.
One thing that many breeders fail to remember is that relatively few breeds were developed specifically FOR competition purposes. Dogs that did the job, whatever that job happened to be, were bred from. Dogs that didn’t perform up to the owners expectations were not. I have a lot of acquaintances with lurchers and longdogs, and ‘good enough’ is highly variable and really depends on what the owner expects from the dog. A dog that isn’t fast enough for day running may be a perfectly good worker on the lamp, for example, and a good candidate for breeding to a faster dog. This is not ‘best to the best’ breeding. Breeding FOR competition is, frankly, contrary to the history of the dog up until the last hundred and forty years or so. I can pretty much guarantee you that no Afghani tribesman decided a hound wasn’t worthy of breeding because it’s ear set was contrary to the ‘standard’ or it didn’t set a new record on the race track or lure coursing field.
The Bragg article is a good one, check it out.