Ethiopian wolves discussion.

Discuss other canids (dogs, coyotes, foxes, dholes, etc.).

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Have you heard of these animals before?

Never in my life
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A little bit
1
8%
Sort of
2
17%
Yeah
9
75%
I know everything about them!
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Total votes: 12

WolfHyrrokkin
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Re: Ethiopian wolves discussion.

Post by WolfHyrrokkin » Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:22 am

La Striata, you are way too bossy to argue with, as I've seen from your previous posts in this thread. I just wanted to clear up that your suggesting Ethiopian wolves are not "wolves" is inaccurate from a genetic standpoint. Ethiopian wolves ARE wolves.

To answer the question you repeatedly pose of why Ethiopian wolves are wolves but coyotes and Golden Jackals aren't, is one of nomenclature. Ethiopian wolves are wolves because we call them that. Coyotes and Golden Jackals are more commonly known by those names which is why most people don't call them wolves, but Coyotes are also called "prairie wolves" and Golden Jackals are also called "reed wolves." Golden Jackal is actually a more incorrect name than Ethiopian wolf because Golden Jackals are more closely related to wolves, coyotes, and dogs than they are to other kinds of jackals.

Ethiopian wolves are not gray wolves, but wolves is not a scientific term. If we defined "wolves" as all the animals around the world that are genetically similar enough to be considered variations of the form that includes the familiar gray wolf, then all of these animals in question are wolves. The only reason people don't is because they behavioral, morphological, and geographic differences separate these animals into different species that never naturally mate with each other in the wild.

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La Striata
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Re: Ethiopian wolves discussion.

Post by La Striata » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:31 pm

So the IWC's (and other wolf organisation's) inclusion of Ethiopian wolves into its magazines and news feeds, but disregard for coyotes and golden jackals is entirely justified simply because of taxonomic inconsistencies in the English language? By that logic then, they ought to include maned wolves, which although nowhere near related to grey wolves as even African wild dogs are, just so happen to have the right name.
WolfHyrrokkin wrote:Golden Jackal is actually a more incorrect name than Ethiopian wolf because Golden Jackals are more closely related to wolves, coyotes, and dogs than they are to other kinds of jackals.
I'm glad you've acknowledged that. If the public can accept renaming the "Simien jackal" as "Ethiopian wolf" at the drop of a hat in the 1990s, then whose to say the same can't be extended to the golden jackal?
I cannot see that wolves are in any way nobler in character than hyenas- Frederick Selous

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Re: Ethiopian wolves discussion.

Post by WolfHyrrokkin » Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:58 am

I can't speak for the IWC, but this discussion ended up bringing up more questions for me than answers. I thought a lot about it and this is what I've come up with:

Ecological, morphological, and behavioral (and not genetic) constraints define the different species in the Canis genus. Coyotes and wolves are similar enough to breed with each other, but a wild wolf and a wild coyote wouldn't expect it! (Except of course when they do: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_coyote)

When people refer to "wolves" they are really talking about one of the 37 wild subspecies of Canis lupis. If this is how you define a wolf, you would correctly say that "Ethiopian wolves are not wolves" because the Ethiopian wolf is not a subspecies of the gray wolf.

In my opinion, one of two things could be done:
1. Define "wolves" only as the subspecies of Canis lupus. Ethiopian wolf's common name must be changed.
2. Accept the label of "wolf" to any of these animals that are genetically similar enough to mate with each other, with the understanding that they may be different species capable of hybridizing. Ethiopian wolf is still an okay name. Maned wolf needs to be changed.

I sense that you feel strongly about the inclusion of the Ethiopian wolf alongside the exclusion of the Golden Jackal, and in my opinion this is a hypocrisy stemming from inconsistencies in the language. Even if the golden jackal and coyote are established enough not to warrant the interest or protection the Ethiopian wolf's been getting, It would be nice to change the golden jackal's common name to better reflect its status as a Canid.

Here is one web page I looked at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canid_hybrid it defines these animals in question as the "dog genus."

So are Ethiopian wolves, wolves? I guess it depends on if you consider ecology or genetics more important...and if you want to label coyotes and the golden jackal as wolves or not, too.

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La Striata
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Re: Ethiopian wolves discussion.

Post by La Striata » Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:40 pm

WolfHyrrokkin wrote: So are Ethiopian wolves, wolves? I guess it depends on if you consider ecology or genetics more important...and if you want to label coyotes and the golden jackal as wolves or not, too.
If it is a matter of ecology, and genetics, then the Ethiopian wolf loses out anyway, as it is a specialised rodent-eater with very specific habitat requirements, unlike the gray wolf, coyote and golden jackal which are all habitat/dietary generalists.

If you want my (uninformed) opinion, simply calling a newly discovered canid a "wolf" is a sure way of giving it good PR and conservation funds. I know this isn't the case with the red wolf, which was named by 19th century European colonists ignorant of its closer relation to the coyote, but I certainly can't see why else they'd name the newly discovered Canis lycaon "Eastern wolf", when it is of the coyote lineage. I guess calling it "wolf" was the best way to draw attention to it. Heck, I've heard of efforts to rename the African wild dog "Painted wolf" for that very purpose.

Personally, I prefer the Ethiopian wolf's original name: cuberow. It's not at all misleading, and gives one a sense of its uniqueness.
I cannot see that wolves are in any way nobler in character than hyenas- Frederick Selous

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Re: Ethiopian wolves discussion.

Post by Chumpkins_ » Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:35 am

Blizzard_Wolf wrote: Please read this whole thing before you argue what I have said as this proves my point.

They are wolves because I have watched many Tv shows on these animals very recently and it said they was wolves. Ethiopian wolves are wolves, They evolved after they migrated. They have mated with jackals and domestic dogs, and that is a reason why people mistake them. Here's an exact sentence from wikipedia that states they are wolves.
Initial molecular evidence suggested that the Ethiopian wolf is a descendant of the gray wolf. More recent evidence suggests that this is not the case; although the Ethiopian wolf is closely related to other wolves.
They are wolves. They just resemble the coyote and jackal. Just because they have different ways, that doesn't make them not wolves. For instance just because a terrier has a different shape and size and coat color and different health risks from a Labrador Retriever doesn't make the terrier not a dog.
There is a subspecies of this wolf that the coat is redder, but most Ethiopian wolves do not have bright red coats. The have red coats just but it also has some brown/tan in it as shown in this photo: http://www.predatorconservation.com/ima ... nwolf2.jpg


Actually, La Striata is right. the Ethiopian Wolf, or canis simensis, is actually not a wolf, but a canid. There related, like coyotes, to wolves but aren't actually wolves. You can tell by there scientific name, Canis Simensis, that it is, in fact, not a real wolf but a canid. If it were a wolf it's scientific name would have lupus in it, for example Canis Lupus, or gray wolf. So, in truth, the "fact" that the Ethiopan Wolf is in fact a wolf is outdated information due to recent studies. Don't believe everything you see on tv, for it isn't always what it really is, or it could be a reply of outdated information.
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Re: Ethiopian wolves discussion.

Post by Nordue » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:19 pm

  • Excellent discussion La Striata and WolfHyrrokkin! As I continue to study as an undergrad using many of the persepctives you two have discussed (genetic, ecological, morphological, etc.), I am intrigued to do further research on the relationships between the taxa discussed here. When I have the time, I would like to start up a new topic within Other Canids that can become a sound source of the latest scientific research on species/phylogenies, and I think you two would be excellent contributors.

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