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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Gray Foxes Are Expanding Their Range

Donald McAlpine evaluates the possible reasons for why Gray Foxes are expanding their range northward into Southern Canada and Northern Maine. He cites warming temperatures as a possible explanation. Instead of Spruce/fir woodlands, the warmer weather might be encougaging northern hardwoods (beech/birch, etc) which the Gray Fox finds comfortable to inhabit. Another possibility for this range expansion is that red foxes might be being culled by coyotes.  It is well known that red foxes tend to outcompete Gray foxes when the two inhabit the same region. I postulate that with the arrival of the Eastern Coyote(Coywolf), Gray foxes began to reclaim their historical Southern Canadian habitat. The gray fox is able to climb trees whereas the Red fox lacks this ability. As a result, the "Grays" can often escape their Coywolf foe by hiding in the branches(coyotes do not climb trees) and have been able to take over vacant red fox territory during these past 30 years. One creatures woes is another creatures gain.....................and so goes the ebb and flow of mother nature.

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