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A ghost wolf in GalvestonBridgett vonHoldt was grabbing lunch at Viet Cajun, a restaurant on the Galveston Island Seawall, when a chatty local approached her. The man had pegged her and her group, correctly, as out-of-towners. Birders, he figured, if the binoculars they carried were any clue. “You know what you should do,” he told vonHoldt, “is go look at these wolves.” VonHoldt was thrilled at the suggestion—not because it was the kind of locally sourced hot tip that travelers crave, but because she is one of the preeminent experts on the “ghost wolves” of Galveston, coyotes that carry unusually high levels of DNA from red wolves, the world’s most endangered wolf. VonHoldt, an associate professor of evolutionary genomics at Princeton University, and Kristin Brzeski, a conservation geneticist now at…

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