By Tove Danovich
As wild coyotes turn up everywhere from Central Park to Queens, one band of ecologists armed with tree-mounted cameras and cheese-scented lures seeks to understand just what these carnivorous canids are doing here. READ MORE
By Joanna Klein
The animals are moving into the city and suburbs to escape human hunters. READ MORE
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Coyotes remained on the run Thursday in both the suburbs and city, and residents remained on edge as they were warned of possible danger.
As CBS2’s Matt Kozar reported, at least one coyote has been spotted more than once now by CBS2 cameras running around Riverside Drive.Police Thursday night were searching Riverside Park once again for coyotes, following several sightings of what are likely multiple animals. READ MORE
By Jennifer Peltz
NEW YORK (AP) — One moseyed around Manhattan's East Village. Another was caught in trendy Chelsea. Yet another rambled through a Hudson River park this week.
Coyotes. READ MORE
Currently, Long Island, NY is without a breeding population of northeastern coyote (Canis latras var.), yet recent evidence of dispersing individuals on the island, coupled with the “dogged” momentum of coyote range expansion across North America, suggests a Long Island coyote population is close at hand. We highlighted the fleeting opportunity to takes advantage of this natural experiment by developing a multidisciplinary research framework to investigate the ecological and social impacts of the coyote, pre- and post- range expansion. We reviewed coyote spatial ecology, community ecology, and human dimensions research and identified three components of future investigation: predicting future occupancy, monitoring colonization, testing hypotheses of trophic cascades by leveraging and expanding existing ecological data, and exploring attitudes towards coyotes to better understand and mitigate human-wildlife conflicts. Each proposed component will integrate for a comprehensive investigation to advance theory and applied management of northeastern coyotes. READ MORE
By Lisa Foderara
On a cold, clear afternoon in Pelham Bay Park, the tracks were etched in the crusted snow, doglike but more oblong, the claws less prominent and, over all, more compact.
Coyotes. READ MORE
By Michael Dobie
Humans love tales of survival. We applaud perseverance. We admire those who use their wits to adapt to a changing world.
And yet, we dislike the coyote. READ MORE
Above, an Eastern coyote roams in the Appalachian Mountains. Photo Credit: iStock
By Laura Allen
As predators big and small push quickly into North American cities, biologists are following—and discovering how much we’ve underestimated them. READ MORE
By Mark Weckel (Re-posted from Center for Humans and Nature's City Creatures Blog
don’t think I ever felt deprived of nature growing up in Brooklyn. To a little kid, New York City’s parks felt huge with endless room for adventure. I am still exploring them today. My block was not the most picturesque of streets, but it was a home for stately, beautiful Norway maples. READ MORE
By Javier Monzon
Is it considered cannibalism when a coyote eats a dog, but the coyote is actually a coyote-dog hybrid? Maybe the cannibalism question is akin to counting angels on pinheads, but it is true that coyotes - on occasion - eat pets (e.g. small dogs and outside cats) and that coyote-dog hybrids come aplenty. My recent research1 revealed that northeastern coyotes form what is called a “hybrid swarm,” a population of genetically admixed individuals that descended from an initial hybrid generation. All of 425 eastern coyotes that were analyzed across a vast region of the US and Canada had a genetic signal of past hybridization with dogs; the average eastern coyote is actually about 10% dog in its genetic makeup. It gets more complicated. It turns out that wolves are also involved in a canine ménage à trois, and not just one but two species of wolves. So besides being about 10% dog, the average northeastern coyote is also about 13% eastern wolf and 13% western gray wolf. That leaves only 64% of the genome of the northeastern coyote that can be traced to actual coyote ancestry.
So what shall we call this chimeric canid? Some rural New Yorkers and New Englanders call it “Coydog.” Some scientists propose to call it “Coywolf.” I think “Coydolf” more appropriately reflect its complex hybrid origin, but still prefer the less creative moniker “Eastern Coyote.” Interestingly, the degree of genetic wolf-likeness is not distributed randomly or uniformly across the Northeast; coyotes inhabiting areas with more deer tend to be more wolf-like. This suggests that hybridization between coyotes and wolves introduced adaptive genetic variation that allowed coyotes to colonize eastern forests and exploit a landscape rich with deer prey. It also demonstrates that adaptation can occur very rapidly and at fine geographic scales. Perhaps, the remarkable adaptability of the Eastern Coyote will allow it to replace motorists as the apex predator that regulates suburban deer populations.
Dr. Monzón is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Stony Brook University. He recently completed his doctoral work on the population genomics of the eastern coyote and is currently conducting epidemiological studies on the lone star tick.
1 Monzón, J., Kays, R., Dykhuizen, D.E., 2014. Assessment of coyote-wolf-dog admixture using ancestry-informative diagnosticSNPs. Molecular Ecology vol 23: 182–197.