Wolves were prevalent when European settlers arrived. There were two types: a smaller deer wolf and a larger moose/caribou wolf.

By the 20th century, hunting and persecution drove wolves to extinction in Maine.

With the "predator void" left by wolves, coyotes migrated east and filled the niche.

Maine coyotes are genetically complex, hybridized with eastern wolves, making them larger than western coyotes.

Some advocate for bringing wolves back to Maine, similar to successful efforts in the West.

Unlike the West, where wolves and coyotes are distinct, Maine's coyotes have wolf ancestry.

Introduced wolves (eastern or gray) would likely interbreed with Maine's coyotes, blurring the genetic lines.

Biologist Mark McCollough's research suggests reintroduction wouldn't achieve the desired outcome of pure wolves.

John Glowa of the Maine Wolf Coalition argues wolves deserve to be back, regardless of genetic makeup.

While pure wolves may be gone, Maine's unique coyote population thrives in a complex ecological balance.