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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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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Jeff Main of the Westechester County, New York's Ward Pound Ridge Reservation weighs in on coyotes and moose

Pound Ridge Reservation is an open space haven 60 minutes from downtown Manhattan...............Senior Curator, Jeff Main providing perspective on Eastern Coyote's deer eating(and potential Moose eating) habits.....................Indeed, there have been two Moose sightings on the New York/Connecticut line over the past 5 years!

-----Original Message-----

From: Main, Jeff []
Sent: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 1:23 PM

To: Meril, Rick

Subject: RE: Moose foraging in the temp forest of southern new england


Thanks for the e-mail. It definitely is food for thought. We do have the larger Eastern Coyote, Canis latrans, well established here in Westchester County which is just to the north of New York City (yes, they have them there as well). What we don’t really have is a population of Moose, so your direct question about coyote predation on this species is moot. At best we might get an occasional wandering animal which, to my knowledge, has only been two in the past five years, one of which was across the state line in Connecticut, and as I recall, suffering quite a bit from heat exhaustion.

We do “see” coyotes taking white-tail deer fawns, which is a good thing since the deer population down here is “out of control”. They may also take an adult animal, but we think that sickness or starvation might be complicit in turning one into a prey item. There has also been some (anecdotal) evidence of “pack behavior” in taking adult deer (in deep snow), but that is not well substantiated. It has yet to be determined whether the Eastern Coyote is at all effective in managing the white-tailed deer population.

That said, if coyotes are being successful taking adult deer, I do not see it being a difficult permutation for an adult coyote to take an inexperienced Moose calf, but this after all, is nothing but conjecture on my part.

I hope this bit of information has been helpful.

Jeff main, Sr. Curator
Ward Pound Ridge Reservation
Westchester parks (Conservation Division)

1 comment:

Leslie said...

Hi Rick, Great blog. Love all the clips you post. Restoring 'wild' America is of great interest to me as well and I've spent a lot of time studying and thinking about it, in lay terms at least. Seems to me we will be needing a completely new paradigm that involves a sensitivity to living and working on/with the land and animals as well as leaving large tracts of contiguous space for animals, pollinators and plants.

I might encourage you to look at Buchmann's book 'Forgotten Pollinators', one of my favorites on the necessity of contiguous tracts necessary for pollination.

I also just read a wonderful old book entitled 'Heads, Hides and Horns: The complete buffalo book'. It turned my head around relative to Bison and what things looked like before the horse in particular.

In regards to your comments on Native Americans, at this point in my considerations that seems like a big generalization, as there were so many cultures here over the many thousands of years, plus we know very little about the tribes of North America (excluding the Aztecs and Mayans) before 1492. The horse was a major change along with the coming of the white man, in the way the game were hunted, the warring that took place, and how the tribes were pushed out of their tribal lands westward.

Many humans, like the Aboriginals of Australia, were able to 'dance' sympathetically with nature for a long time (50000 years for the aboriginals). We could learn a lot from them.

Keep up the great blog. I'll be visiting from time to time and will add to my own blog list.