Fish and Wildlife Service, Gary Kramer, File
The US government recognizes three wolf species in North America: the red wolf, eastern wolf, and gray wolf.
Two, it turns out, aren't true wolf at all.
In a new genetic study, scientists at UCLA say the gray wolf is the last wolf species on the continent and all others are simply hybrids.
After studying the genomes of eastern wolves, red wolves, gray wolves, and coyotes, they found "no evidence for distinct eastern or red wolf species," study author Robert Wayne tells the Los Angeles Times.
In fact, the red wolf found in the southern US has about 25% gray wolf and 75% coyote ancestry, while the eastern wolf of central Ontario has about 75% gray wolf and 25% coyote ancestry.