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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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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Our good friend Coyote biologist Jon Way has been consistently focused and deeply involved in the the discussion of the "what, where, why, how and when" regarding the emergence and persistence of the canid animal in northeastern North America variously called Coydog, Eastern Coyote, Tweed Wolf, Brush Wolf , Northeastern Coyote, Coyote, New Wolf, and Coywolf.............In Jon's most recent peer reviewed paper published in the THE CANADIAN FIELD NATURALIST entitled TAXONOMIC IMPLICATIONS OF MORPHOLOGICAL AND GENETIC DIFFERENCES IN NORTHEASTERN COYOTES(COYWOLVES), WESTERN COYOTES AND EASTERN WOLVES, his stated purpose is to 1) add to the knowledge of northeastern Coyote systematics by conducting a comparison of northeastern Coyote body mass to those of both western Coyotes and Eastern Wolves, 2) compare northeastern canids mtDNA haplotypes with mass, and 3) review the literature and describe northeastern Coyotes(Coywolves) as the 5th major Canis grouping in North America----------Jon's very readable and highly informative "deep dive" reinforces and reveals that northeastern Coyotes(Coywolves) are statistically intermediate in size between Western Coyotes and Eastern Wolves,,,,e.g that adult male Eastern Wolves are 71% heavier than Northeastern Coyotes and that Northeastern Coyotes(Coywolves) are 35% heavier than adult male Western Coyotes.........From an appearance standpoint, Northeastern Coyotes(Coywolves) appear more wolf-like than Coyote-like.....................Northeastern Coyotes(Coywolves) are hybrids between Western coyotes and Eastern Wolves...................Northeastern Coyotes)Coywolves) do kill and eat deer to greater degrees than Western Coyotes..................That Northeastern Coyotes(Coywolves) do not fulfill all of the ecological functions that Eastern Wolves fulfill such as killing Moose...............That the Northeastern Coyote(Coywolf) has an elevated survival and fitness level compared to the Western Coyote due to the Eastern Wolf genes it carries, thus making it better adapted to fulfilling the ecological function of deer predation in the human altered environment of the northeastern USA.........................Thus, Jon concludes that the 5 types of Canis species found in North America are the Western Coyote, the Northeastern Coyote(Coywolf), the Eastern Wolf(including the Red Wolf), the Great Lakes Wolf(Gray Wolf/Eastern Wolf hybrid) and the Gray Wolf................Blog readers, Jon's paper is an outstanding synthesis of the "CANID SOUP" discussion currently taking place in North America today.................I come out in favor of Jon's conclusions...................Read his entire paper by clicking on the link that he provides below


Eastern Coyote Research is pleased to announce the publication and posting of the following peer-reviewed scientific paper in the January-March Canadian Field Naturalist; volume 127, number 1--by Jonathan G. Way; Eastern Coyote Research, 89 Ebenezer Road, Osterville, Massachusetts 02655; email: -click on the link directly below to read the full paper
            There has been much recent discussion on the taxonomy and classification of "eastern coyotes" in Northeastern North America since the 2010 release of 2 important genetic papers that detailed that eastern coyotes are hybrids between western coyotes and wolves. However, there has been some discrepancy as to the actual degree of wolf influence, and the species of wolf involved in this hybridization episode. This current paper reviews those and other peer reviewed papers on the genetics and body masses of canids in Northeastern North America. Most of the recent reviews on eastern North American Canis have focused on eastern wolves and have concluded that the eastern wolf is a distinct species. However, there has also been an abundance of recent research on coyote genetics in eastern North America, and this paper synthesizes those articles.
            It was found that "eastern coyotes" are statistically intermediately both genetically and morphologically to western coyotes and eastern wolves. This paper makes a strong case that "eastern coyotes" should more appropriately be called "coywolves" and not a type of coyote since they are statistically different from both of their parent species. Importantly, these coywolves have important genetic markers that the original/native eastern wolf had/has, but which has been extirpated from the majority of its range south of Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario (where it still resides). The hybridization episodes that created the coywolf likely occurred in southeastern Ontario in the early 1900s. Subsequently, this animal (first called coydog, then eastern coyote or simply just coyote) colonized northern New England and NY ~50-70 years ago and in the past 10-20 years has saturated nearly all available habitat in the Northeast.
           Eastern Coyote Research and other groups (such as the Maine Wildlife Alliance), along with the state wildlife agencies in the Northeast U.S., often receives reports from lay people who claim they have seen wolves. Most of these reports are dismissed as the person having simply seen "coyotes". However, these people may not be far off, as this hybrid "coywolf" often appears wolf-like since its genetic makeup comes from both the native eastern wolf as well as western coyotes, both of which are closely related to each other (and which mated together to form the coywolf). It is the mission of Eastern Coyote Research that science is used to disseminate accurate information to the public as well as wildlife managers to better conserve canids; and results from this paper suggest that coywolf is the most appropriate term for this hybrid animal living throughout the northeastern U.S. and southeastern Canada. Better protection of the coywolf may enable wolves to return to the Northeast one day.

Please visit my websites: (1) Eastern Coyote/Coywolf Research ( where you can purchase my books Suburban Howls and My Yellowstone Experience, read peer-reviewed Publications, and support creating a wildlife watching refuge in the town of Barnstable; and (2) My Yellowstone Experience which details my experiences viewing the spectacular hydrothermal features, scenery, and wildlife within Yellowstone National Park.

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