Document Type

Yellowstone National Park Report

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There are proposals to reintroduce (Canis lupus) to Yellowstone National Park through translocation of individuals from other populations. Ideally, these wolves should have a genotype similar to that possessed by the subspecies previously found in the Park. This genetic similarity would enhance the probability that genetically based adaptations to the environment of the Park were present, and thus enhance the likelihood that a viable population would be established with minimum animals and effort. Concern has been expressed about preserving the genetic purity of potentially translocated wolves. A genetic test which would permit differentiation between restored pure wolves and clandestinely introduced ones, as well as between pure wolf and wolf x coyote, and wolf x dog hybrid genotypes would be valuable. Furthermore, it is important to understand the power of DNA fingerprinting as a tool for monitoring breeding structure of the restored pack(s) at intervals subsequent to their release in Yellowstone.