The grey wolf (Canis lupus) is one of the most widely distributed terrestrial mammals, and its distribution and ecology in Europe and North America are largely well described. However, the distribution of grey wolves in southern China is still highly controversial. Several well-known western literatures stated that there were no grey wolves in southern China, while the presence of grey wolves across China has been indicated in A Guide to the Mammals of China, published by Princeton University Press. It is essential to solve this discrepancy since dogs may have originated from grey wolves in southern China. Therefore, we systematically investigated Chinese literatures about wild animal surveys and identified more than 100 articles and books that included information of the distribution of grey wolves in China. We also surveyed the collections of three Chinese natural museums and found 26 grey wolf skins specimens collected across China. Moreover, we investigated the fossil records in China and identified 25 archaeological sites with wolf remains including south China. In conclusion, with the comprehensive summary of Chinese literatures, museum specimens and fossil records, we demonstrate that grey wolves do distribute across all parts of the Chinese mainland, including the most southern parts.
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