Ramey et al. (2017) Genetics of Mexican wolves: assessment of possible hybridization

A new study, commissioned by the Pima Natural Resource Conservation District, examined the genetics of Mexican wolves and assessed the possibility of hybridization with with dogs and or/coyotes. The final report was released to us on August 20, 2017.

Genetics of Mexican wolves: assessment of possible hybridization with other canids

Report prepared by:
Rob Roy Ramey II1, Weston Selna2,3, and Matthew Cronin4
1Wildlife Science International, Inc., P.O. Box 386, Nederland, CO 80466
2University of California, Davis, CA
3Present address: P.O. Box 385, Silverthorne, CO 80498
4Northwest Biotechnology Company, 1038 Saxon Way, Bozeman, Montana 59718

Prepared for: Pima NRCD

1 To whom correspondence should be addressed: robroyrameyii@gmail.com

20 August 2017


This study assessed whether living Mexican wolves (Canis lupus baileyi) are hybrids resulting from breeding of native wolves and domestic dogs of Native American origin. Previous genetic studies of Mexican wolves had concluded that hybridization with dogs has been negligible to nonexistent. However, those studies compared Mexican wolves and European dog breeds rather than dogs of Native American origin (i.e. brought by native people who crossed the Bering Land Bridge approximately 12,000 – 14,000 years ago). In our analysis we combined three data sets of 172,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms per data set (SNP, Fitak 2014; Cronin et al. 2015; and Shannon et al. 2015). Our results were consistent with previous studies: living Mexican wolves are not derived from hybridization with Native American dogs. The results also did not indicate recent hybridization between Mexican wolves and coyotes. However, one wolf-dog hybrid was detected in wolves from Idaho. Our study used captive-reared Mexican wolves, therefor future analyses of wild-born wolves and dogs living in the same areas are needed to determine if hybridization is occurring in the wild population of Mexican wolves in Mexico, New Mexico and Arizona.

Click below to read the full report.

Ramey et al (2017) Genetics of Mexican wolves: assessment of possible hybridization with other canids

The Pima NRCD wishes to thank the following people for the generous financial support that made this study possible:

Eastern Arizona Counties Organization (ECO)

Graham/Cochise Cattle Growers Association

Greenlee County

Cochise County

Bear Valley Ranch

Arizona Cattle Growers Association

Marana Stockyards

Yavapai Cattle Growers Association

New Mexico Cattle Growers Association

Gila County Cattle Growers Association

Navajo County

Winkelman Resource Management Center