Hokkaidō wolf ( Canis lupus hattai )
|Canis lupus hattai|
|Kishida , 1931|
The Hokkaidō wolf ( Canis lupus hattai ), also known as the Ezo wolf ( Japanese エ ゾ オ オ カ ミ , Ezo-Ōkami ), was a subspecies of the wolf and is sometimes referred to as the Japanese wolf together with the Honshū wolf. The Hokkaidō wolf is now considered to be extinct, just like the Honshū wolf. Its distribution area included the Japanese island of Hokkaidō (Ezo), which he inhabited until the middle of the Meiji period.
While the Honshū wolf is considered to be one of the smallest subspecies of the wolf due to the island dwarfing , according to morphological studies the Hokkaidō wolf reached normal body size, mtDNA sequences of two Hokkaidō wolves were identical to those of Canadian wolves. The morphological and genetic characteristics indicate that the ancestors of the Ezo wolves were genetically related to the ancestors of the Canadian wolves.
The last specimens of this subspecies died in 1889 due to a poisoning campaign by Japanese farmers. With the establishment of horse and cattle farms, the Hokkaidō wolf was seen as a threat to the animal population. According to American advice, baits poisoned with strychnine were laid out to reduce the wolf population. Another reason for the extinction could have been the extreme decline in the numbers of sika deer .
Both the Honshū wolf and the Hokkaidō wolf are assigned a rather benevolent role in Japanese mythology . Comparable to the Roman saga of Romulus and Remus , the clan leader Fujiwara no Hidehira was said to have been raised by wolves.
- N. Ishiguro et al. : Osteological and genetic analysis of the extinct Ezo wolf (Canis lupus hattai) from Hokkaido Island, Japan. In: Zoological Science. 2010, 27 (4): 320-4. PMID 20377350 .
- John Knight: On the Extinction of the Japanese Wolf . In: Asian Folklore Studies . Vol. 56, No. 1, 1997, pp. 129-159. ( PDF; 0.6 MB )
- Folke Andersson (editor): Ecosystems of the World 6 - Coniferous Forests. Elsevier Science & Technology, 2005, ISBN 978-0444816276 , p. 181.
- Don E. Wilson, DeeAnn M. Reeder: Canis lupus hattai In: Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed), 2005, Johns Hopkins University Press.