This June, Canada changed the status of the Algonquin wolf from “species of special concern” to “threatened”, increasing government protection for the fewer than 500 Algonquin wolves that currently live in Ontario. Threatened status prohibits harming and harassing the wolves, and makes hunting them illegal.
However, some question the effectiveness of these new protections due to similarities between the Algonquin wolf and other species in the area. It is nearly impossible to distinguish between Algonquin wolves and coyotes without conducting a genetic test. This means that the newly protected wolves may still be in danger from hunters who mistake them for coyotes – which are legal to hunt. According to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, hunting and trapping are the greatest threat to these wolf populations.