The Once Mighty Yellowstone Druid Peak Pack Down To Just One Wolf….

This is the saddest wolf news I’ve heard and that’s saying something in a season of bad wolf news.  The once mighty Druids, who ruled the Lamarr Valley in Yellowstone for so many years, the wolves that people came from all over the world to view, who’ve had several documentaries made of their lives, are now down to just one wolf.  Six Druids are missing.

The Druids were hit with mange and lost pups to parvo but this could be the end of them as a pack.  How unbelievable this would happen now when wolves are being hunted for the first time since their reintroduction and over 500 wolves died in the Northern Rockies in 2009.  I have no words to describe the sadness I feel about the demise of the legendary Druid Peak Pack, though their genes will live on in their offspring.


Kathie Lynch: Druid wolf pack likely to fade away

Only one Druid is known to remain-


End of an era in Yellowstone?

 March 03, 2010 Jeff Welsch | GYC


Famed Yellowstone wolf pack down to 1 member

By The Associated Press

March 07, 2010, 12:11PM


Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: gray wolf/canis lupus, Yellowstone wolves

 Tags: Druid Peak Pack, mange, parvo, legendary wolf pack


Published in: on March 1, 2010 at 10:41 pm  Comments (26)  
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Tiny Pooches Descended From Middle Eastern Gray Wolf

What does a genetic study on small dogs reveal? Surprisingly our cute little lap dogs probably originated in the Middle East some twelve thousand years ago, the direct descendants of the Middle Eastern gray wolf. The theory is smaller wolves were domesticated because they’re easier to manage in the home.

All small dogs, normally weighing 20 pounds or less, share the variant of IGF1 also found in Middle Eastern gray wolves, the scientists discovered. This means the gene must have surfaced early in the history of small dogs, but after dogs in general were first domesticated.

It all comes back to wolves. If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t have small dogs or any dogs for that matter. Many of the qualities we love in our dogs were gifted to them by their direct ancestor, the wolf.

I wonder if people that hunt wolves think about that when they look through their scopes and aim to kill a wolf? If they don’t, they should.


An arabian wolf (Canis lupus arabs) in southern Israel (the southern Arava desert). It has been scavanging alone that night.

From Science Daily:

Small Dogs Originated in the Middle East

ScienceDaily (Feb. 23, 2010) — A genetic study has found that small domestic dogs probably originated in the Middle East more than 12,000 years ago. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Biology traced the evolutionary history of the IGF1 gene, finding that the version of the gene that is a major determinant of small size probably originated as a result of the domestication of the Middle Eastern gray wolf.

Melissa Gray and Robert Wayne, from the University of California, Los Angeles, led a team of researchers who surveyed a large sample of gray wolf populations. She said, “The mutation for small body size post-dates the domestication of dogs. However, because all small dogs possess this variant of IGF1, it probably arose early in their history. Our results show that the version of the IGF1 gene found in small dogs is closely related to that found in Middle Eastern wolves and is consistent with an ancient origin in this region of small domestic dogs.”

Previous archeological work in the Middle East has unearthed the remains of small domestic dogs dating to 12,000 years ago. Sites in Belgium, Germany and Western Russia contain older remains (13,000-31,000 years ago), but these are of larger dogs. These findings support the hypothesis put forward by Gray and colleagues that small body size evolved in the Middle East.

Reduction in body size is a common feature of domestication and has been seen in other domesticated animals including cattle, pigs and goats. According to Gray, “Small size could have been more desirable in more densely packed agricultural societies, in which dogs may have lived partly indoors or in confined outdoor spaces.”

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: dogs descended from wolves,  gray wolf/canis lupus

Tags: small dogs, Middle Eastern gray wolf, genetics

Published in: on March 1, 2010 at 3:02 am  Comments (1)  
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