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Irish Elk

Recent evidence of Grey Wolf presence in North Africa

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Looks like a wolf to me... sent off to Bob Wayne at UCLA, canid genetics specialist.

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Now if only the camera traps could yield images of Atlas Bear!!!

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Or the Game Warden...

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I guess this all follows on from the reclassification of the African Golden Jackal (formerly Canis aureus lupaster and now presumably Canis Lupus Lupaster) that is known from Egypt and Ethiopia and that DNA studies proved is actually a form of wolf. Right then, Who's up for doing a North African wolf trek??? :D

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The animals in the photos certainly look very like wolves but then that there may be wolves in the Atlas Mts. surely doesn’t come as a huge surprise in fact the surprise is that it’s taken so long to discover this. After all Morocco and the Maghreb region is home to a number of typically Eurasian species like the Barbary race of red deer (Africa’s only deer), wild boar, common otter, weasel, red fox and probably once Africa’s only bear the extinct Atlas bear Ursus arctos crowtheri. If all of these species were able to colonise North Africa then logically it would seem likely that wolves would have done so too, especially since wolves are (or at least were) found throughout the Middle East including the Sinai Peninsula.

 

Let’s hope that these animals are doing rather better than North Africa’s other carnivores or indeed other wildlife generally. After all this region was of course also home to typically African species like lions, leopards, servals, bubal hartebeest and elephants (back in Hannibal’s day) to name a few. Of these it seems likely that only the serval still survives albeit only just, interestingly servals have apparently been reintroduced in to Tunisia using animals taken from East Africa.

 

Here’s an interesting article on the African wolf.

 

Reviving the African Wolf Canis lupus lupaster in North and West Africa: A Mitochondrial Lineage Ranging More than 6,000 km Wide

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Now if only the camera traps could yield images of Atlas Bear!!!

 

Or t'Barbary lion!

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Now if only the camera traps could yield images of Atlas Bear!!!

 

Or t'Barbary lion!

 

 

Yes though Barbary leopard would be more likely because leopards can survive on fairly small prey whereas lions need large prey to survive. With the bubal hartebeest extinct and most other wild ungulates if not extinct very thin on the ground, I wouldn’t think there’s really enough wild food to support lions anymore and sadly we all know what happens to lions that take domestic stock.

 

Unlike the Atlas bear though Barbary lions do theoretically still exist in captivity and there is some talk of a reintroduction but I can’t really see this happening.

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From the canid genetic experts:

 

 

"Canis aureus falls within the"wolf-like canids" cluster and is sister to coyote and wolf. The other two jackals are also wolf- like canids but sit deeper within the clade. Lupaster continues to be a mystery - more DNA analysis is needed".

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On 8/31/2012 at 2:53 AM, inyathi said:

The animals in the photos certainly look very like wolves but then that there may be wolves in the Atlas Mts. surely doesn’t come as a huge surprise in fact the surprise is that it’s taken so long to discover this. After all Morocco and the Maghreb region is home to a number of typically Eurasian species like the Barbary race of red deer (Africa’s only deer), wild boar, common otter, weasel, red fox and probably once Africa’s only bear the extinct Atlas bear Ursus arctos crowtheri. If all of these species were able to colonise North Africa then logically it would seem likely that wolves would have done so too, especially since wolves are (or at least were) found throughout the Middle East including the Sinai Peninsula.

 

Let’s hope that these animals are doing rather better than North Africa’s other carnivores or indeed other wildlife generally. After all this region was of course also home to typically African species like lions, leopards, servals, bubal hartebeest and elephants (back in Hannibal’s day) to name a few. Of these it seems likely that only the serval still survives albeit only just, interestingly servals have apparently been reintroduced in to Tunisia using animals taken from East Africa.

 

Here’s an interesting article on the African wolf.

 

Reviving the African Wolf Canis lupus lupaster in North and West Africa: A Mitochondrial Lineage Ranging More than 6,000 km Wide

 

~ Thank you for providing this link.

 

Tom K.

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