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Hybridization in Canis (Canidae) in Oklahoma

Ron C. Freeman and James H. Shaw
The Southwestern Naturalist
Vol. 24, No. 3 (Sep. 15, 1979), pp. 485-499
DOI: 10.2307/3671304
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3671304
Page Count: 15
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Hybridization in Canis (Canidae) in Oklahoma
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Abstract

Fifteen cranial and dental measurements were taken from 138 wild Canis collected during 1975-76 and from 114 specimens collected from 1953-70. These were compared to known target populations of coyotes, red wolves, gray wolves, dogs, and coyote x dog hybrids by discriminant function and canonical variable analyses and were, along with weight and pelage color, used to assign each specimen. Measurements of current (1975-76) specimens were compared with those of older (1953-70) samples to test for temporal changes. Most current Oklahoma specimens were coyote-like, with 82.9 percent of the males and 78.6 percent of the females classified as coyotes. Evidence of coyote x dog hybridization was found in 14.6 and 10.7 percent of the males and females, respectively. Red wolf x coyote ancestry was evident in 2.4 percent of the males and 10.7 percent of the females. Temporal comparisons indicated consistent levels of hybridization except in southeastern Oklahoma, where red wolf influence is declining.

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