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.)