The coywolf, known scientifically as Canis latrans x Lupus, is a unique species that develop from the interbreeding of gray wolves and coyotes.
It has the physical characteristics of both of its ancestors and is found in many parts of North America, with particularly have strong populations in Ontario and Quebec.
Coyote wolf hybrid species originated when expanding human activities caused an increase in the number of coyotes, leading to the rise of hybridization with wolves. Let’s discover more about the coywolf breed in this blog.
Is The Coywolf Real?
If you think that a coywolf really exists in the real world. So the answer is yes! they do. Even genetically, a wolf and a coyote can interbreed. But there is no proper ratio of the genes of a wolf and a coyote that does exist in coywolf.
The Coyote Wolf Mix and Genetics
Coyotes were seen in Vermont first time in the year 1940s. They migrated front the west and mated with the wolves. And the hybrid we have today is mixed species.
As per DNA testing, in the northeast, these hybrid contains 60 to 80% coyotes, 8 to 25% wolves, and 8 to 11% dogs genes.
The mixed genes range from south to east. As Southern coyotes have wolf and dog genes. However, Virginian coyotes contain more dog genes than a wolf genes.
Moreover, some research also showed that eastern coyotes have no wolf genes.
Additionally, by interbreeding a dog and coyote, a coydog form and not a coywolf. Most people confuse this interbreed and this coydog breed also exists in the wild.
Interbreeding is a natural way and part of the evolutionary process. Nowadays, in the presence of quick climate change or global warming, new varieties are doing way better than their ancestors.
Likewise, to control the increasing population of deer in the eastern forest, coyote wolves can be helpful.
Additionally, the new generation of coywolves is called the eastern wolf after dispersing in the eastern region.
However, which dog and wolf genes have survived in natural selection in the present eastern coyote is still blurred.
Why Do Coyotes Breed with Wolves and Dogs?
There is no such high interest in breeding with wolves, and dogs has been observed in eastern coyotes. A wolf, a coyote, and a dog are three different and specific species. These all breed doesn’t want to breed despite being genetically close.
The coyote’s DNA testing revealed that coyotes mated with wolves around one hundred years earlier and 50 years before with dogs.
But there were some reasons that these three breeds had mated. Years ago, the wolf populations in the great lakes declined.
As deforestation, hunting, and poisoning depleted the population numbers of eastern wolves. And female wolves failed to find a male wolf for mating, and in the end they interbred with western coyotes.
Additionally, the eastern coyotes have enough male coyotes for mating. Their population is increasing, and now they prioritize killing dogs rather than breeding with them.
Plus, a wolf is an extreme opponent of a coyote, not assuming it as its last option for mating anymore.
A coyote-wolf hybrid is found when a gray wolf breeds with the coyotes. That’s why the majority of the gray wolves have the genes of the coyotes.
They didn’t do this intentionally, but the reason was the decline in the wolf population. At that time, wolves were overhunted and badly affected by habitat fragmentation which caused a disbalance in their population.
Moreover, a wolf, a coyote, and a dog, all these species can interbreed. Hybridization is part of the evolutionary process, which animals do to survive and avoid extinction.
But now the population is in balance, and they are strongly against the coyotes. And presently, they prefer to kill the coyotes instead of mating with them. Watch the video given below for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a coyote and a coywolf?
The term coywolf is used for eastern coyote, larger than the ones habituated in the western united states.
Where are coywolves found?
The coywolves are found throughout Eastern Canada and the U.S.
Is a coywolf bigger than a coyote?
A coywolf is bigger than western coyotes but smaller than wolves.
Can a coywolf breed with a dog?
They are genetically able to interbreed and produce hybrid litters.
What does a coyote-dog mix look like?
A coydog or coyote dog has a long muzzle, triangular upright ears, and medium to large size.