By Samuel Shepherd
WSCH 6’s Bill Green reported this week that a new wolf-coyote hybrid “thrives” in Maine.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service, wolves have been the victim of mass hunting since colonial times. When Europeans began to colonize the United States, wolves were abundant throughout the country. Seen as dangerous pests, they were pushed out of the colonized areas.
This effort to exterminate wolves continued until 1973, when President Richard Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act. At that point, there were only a few hundred wolves left in the United States. Now, protected by law from hunters, wolves are beginning to spread out.
There is no known breeding population of wolves in the Northeast, but the Defenders of Wildlife want to change that. According to its website, northwest and central Maine would be an ideal habitat for a colony of wolves:
While wolf sightings have been reported in the Northeast, a breeding population has not been confirmed, according to a 2014 BDN article. Cox was told by John Glowa, founder and leader of the Maine Wolf Coalition, that he “strongly” believed that wolves were in Maine.
Green’s report asserted that the hybrids popping up in Maine are a cross between the eastern wolves of the Great Lakes region and western coyotes. The resulting hybrid is said to be double the size of a coyote.
These hybrids have been called “eastern coyotes” and “coywolves.” The video above allegedly shows coywolves in Maine.