This work represents the most extensive genetic study of the grey wolf (Canis lupus Linnaeus, 1758) in Arabia and the first considering genetic data from multiple locations within Saudi Arabia. Previous suggestion of the occurrence of two subspecies of wolves in Arabia is not supported by this study. The genetic evidence suggests that the wolves of Saudi Arabia are genetically variable and more closely related to the Eurasian wolf Canis lupus group (dog included) than to the Indian wolf C. l. pallipes. The genetic diversity observed for C. lupus in Saudi Arabia indicates that the subspecific status C. l. arabs should be retained for the Arabian wolf. What remains unclear is the degree to which genetic introgression from domestic dogs has influenced the composition and integrity of C. lupus in Saudi Arabia.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.