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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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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Massachusetts Coywolf(Eastern Coyote) biologist Jon Way(Eastern Coyote/Coywolf Research ( commenting on last weeks Study revealing that Coywolves in a specific section of Algonquin National Park in Eastern Canada have been preying on adult Moose.............As Jon states through his communication with Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources chief Brent Patterson, the hybrids they refer to are hybrids between eastern coyotes/coywolves and eastern wolves. He says that these hybrids (essentially hybrids of hybrids) are only found in this small band around Algonquin and are bigger than the typical eastern coyote/coywolf. So certainly more research needs to take place with "eastern coyotes" in the Northeast to see if they really do prey on moose to any extent.

To: Rick Meril
From: Jon Way

Agreed Rick and adding eastern wolves, despite hybridization, would get us closer to a wolf-sized animal. Agreed...
To: Jon Way
From: Rick Meril

The"canid soup" continues to "add ingredients",,,,,,,Jon,,,,,,,if Eastern Wolves were rewilded into NewEngland,,,,likley the same admix would ultimately occur,,,,,,Eastern Wolves and Coywolves(eastern coyotes) mating to create even larger bodied hybrids......just like in humans when the already taller daughter who comes from a nordic(taller) dad and a japaneese(smaller) mom,,,,,,then has kids with another nordic manI--thenext generation are likely even taller

Let this happen with wolves and coytotes in. The eastern usa and ultimately the "wolf" ecosytem top down functions on beaver,moose, elk and deer will once. Again be fulfilled

Tjanks for the article!

Keep me posted and thanks

Hi Rick,

Thanks for this. I have been following it this weekend and got the journal article (attached) for your interest...

I have also talked with Brent Patterson and he is saying that the hybrids they refer to are hybrids between eastern coyotes/coywolves and eastern wolves. He says that these hybrids (essentially hybrids of hybrids) are only found in this small band around Algonquin and are bigger than the typical eastern coyote/coywolf. So certainly more research needs to take place with "eastern coyotes" in the Northeast to see if they really do prey on moose to any extent.

best, Jon

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; (2) My Yellowstone Experience which details my experiences viewing the spectacular hydrothermal features, scenery, and wildlife within Yellowstone National Park; and (3) Coywolf which focuses on describing the hybrid origin of eastern coyotes/coywolves.


Anonymous said...

Just discovered this site--and LOVING it! Let me test to see if this response gets through successfully, then I'll peck out another MUCH LARGER response involving "Red Wolves", coyotes, and Gray Wolves(and hybrids between them all--which YES, do occur more and more throughout the Southeast U. S.!)) repopulating the Southeast, which I have some experience/knowledge/interest/ideas about.....L. B.

Anonymous said...

....awright--I got through! Now for some rambling on the subject. And perhaps a new perspective you and your readers might find interesting(and encouraging!) As for my "credentials", so you'll have some idea I know something about what I'm talking about(since most of it is anecdotal and probably unprovable)--I am a lifelong(half-a-century plus) wolf/coyote(etc. etc.) lover--reading/studying anything I can on the critters. I was involved years ago as a college student in the beginnings of the Wolf Recovery project in Montana, and am currently a zookeeper in the N. C. zoo, which is part of the breeding/releasing program for Red Wolves in N. C.(though not one of the Red Wolves' main keepers here, I do help out in their section every chance I get!). And(gasp!) I politically incorrectly(but successfully and satisfyingly) kept a pack of 5 wolf-hybrids and roamed an isolated part of the southern Appalachians with them for decades--got involved with the whole "wolf hybrid" pet phenomenon, which though you may not realize it DOES have something to do(if only inadvertently!) with the prescence of wolf/coyote crosses in some areas!!!!! A different perspective, at be continued......L.B.

Anonymous said...

.....first-off, let me state my opinion on just what I think "Red Wolves" are(after much experience with Gray Wolves, Coyotes, and captive Red Wolves)--to the purists' horror, I do believe Red Wolves are simply a naturally occurring Gray Wolf/Coyote crossed bloodline. I in no way, shape, or form think this makes them less worth preserving or encouraging! And living in the state(N. C.) with the last wild(if reintroduced) "pure" Red Wolves, you'd think I might be more of a "purist" at heart. But alas, I feel that the ORIGINAL Red Wolf bloodlines(as represented by the reintroduced population) are doomed to being eventually "swamped" by other canine genetics, no matter the human efforts made to prevent it. But this doesn't depress me particularly because I'm NOT a "purist"--I think Nature is reinventing the "Red Wolf" with these Coyote/Gray Wolf hybrids from the NorthEast--animals of this genetic makeup I find indistinguishable(just my opinion here) from the "pure" lines of Red Wolves. And they fill the exact same niche in the environment, in a place where we really need(again, MY opinion!) a larger, more human-savvy wild canine(larger than the introduced and range-expanding coyotes). Reading on this site(which I've just started to do--you guys may have gone into all this already in older posts for all I know at this point....), and in other sources, the "Eastern Coyote" wolf/coyote hybrids are described as inhabiting mostly the Northeast, but ARE spreading south(one source did say that this canine bloodline was as far south as Virginia, but I don't know that that has been verified for sure--I haven't read this elsewhere). Yet people involved forget(or don't know), that there are OTHER sources of both Red Wolf and Gray Wolf genetics into the southeastern coyote be continued......L.B.

Anonymous said... of the sources is, of course, the "pure" Red Wolves from the reintroduced eastern North Carolina population. Despite all efforts to prevent Red Wolves from crossing with the very populous local coyote population, it DOES happen, and in no way are the humans monitoring this operation able to "control" all the crosses, which then breed back into the local coyote population, as well as DISPERSE to other areas! I personally saw a newscast from a midstate N. C. station(a coupla hundred or more miles from the reintroduced "Red Wolf" population) that showed a video a motorist had taken of a wild canid alongside a local highway. In my opinion, it was NOT a pure coyote, and I think VERY LIKELY a Red Wolf/Coyote "hybrid". No doubt this crossing and dispersal is continuous, and will most definetely have an important genetic influence on the local "coyote" populations! So this spread of Red Wolf/Coyote crosses is from the eastern part of N. C. There is another in existence(despite "official" reports!) spreading from the western part of the state(and eastern Tennessee) be continued......L.B.

Anonymous said...

.....the western source(in western N. C. and eastern Tennessee) is from the "failed" Red Wolf introduction into Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I just happened to live nearby when this introduction was going on, and knew some folks related to Park employees, so I heard both the official AND unofficial accounts of this "experiment"! Officially it was discontinued for several reasons--complaints from locals for livestock predation was one, but another was the fact that the Red Wolves released had no qualms about spreading their genes in the (again) very numerous local coyote population. Therefore making keeping a "pure" strain of Red Wolves virtually impossible. So, OFFICIALLY, the RADIO-COLLARED Red Wolves were recaptured and the project terminated. UNOFFICIALLY(and utilizing basic common sense), it is well known locally they did NOT get ALL the Red Wolves(they had reproduced quite successfully, and they never got radio collars on all the pups born even to the "pure" parents, from what I heard), and certainly did not bother with the Red Wolf/Coyote hybrids(of which there were many) produced. End result is another local coyote population with a nice injection of "Red Wolf" genetics! And then there is the whole captive gray wolf influence all over the eastern U. S., which is MUCH larger than most people realize, and which most people are unaware of without "connections" to the exotic pet be continued......L.B.

Anonymous said...

....and now the captive gray wolf influence(I warned you I was going to ramble on...)--having kept politically incorrect wolf hybrids for many years myself(and please save yer breath bashing me for it--I've been lamblasted every-which-way by every imaginable viewpoint for this--purebred dog breeders, professional dog trainers, veterinarians, wolf researchers, animal rightists, rescue organizations, and the knee-jerk-reaction general public--which all seemed to ignore that I took in animals nobody else wanted, gave them a great home for their whole lives, loved them dearly and had that love returned fully until the animals' last breaths in decrepit old age, learned a heckuva lot from them, and never bred them and was able to honestly, bluntly discourage many unqualified humans from aquiring such animals of their own! And I'll never apologize for it--I would NEVER betray the memories of my amazing, faithful, wonderful pack!) Anyway, this perspective led me to associate(not always positively!) with MANY others involved with both wolfdog crosses and pure gray wolves kept in captivity by private individuals.(To breed WOLVES with dogs, SOME individuals must keep pure gray wolves, of course!) And there have been FAR MORE such people out there than is generally known or acknowledged by the uninitiated! Although, fortunetely, the wolf-hybrid fad that was VERY prevelant in recent decades has died down considerably now. Yet there are COUNTLESS stories of both full wolves, and very high-percent hybrids that have escaped their owners(and never been recaptured), or are ALLOWED to run loose unattended! I personally know of several such incidents, and I even once saw what I'm sure was a full gray wolf trotting calmly across a highway on the outskirts of Asheville N. C.--I actually stopped my truck and attempted to pursue the animal on foot(making me late for work, and my boss at the time incredulous when I explained WHY I was late!). This particular animal was undoubtedly someone's tame pet by all his behaviour--he was not particularly afraid of me, but would not allow me to get very close, eventually loping away into the woods in that classic rocking-horse gait! He seemed to just be like a neighborhood dog out on his rounds! So it is not hard to imagine this, and likely HUNDREDS of other such animals over the years(if you take into account the numbers of these "pets" all across the eastern United States), at least occaisionally meeting up with and mating with wild coyotes(just as free roaming domestic dogs do)--interjecting some of that wolf DNA into the local coyote population. My guess is that far more of the gray wolf genetics in the "Eastern Coyotes" is from just such scenarios, as opposed to ONLY the influence/crossbreeding from gray wolves in eastern Canada! Again, just my perspective here. Regardless, I feel that the "New" Red Wolves will eventually populate the entire east, and I personally wish them great success!....L.B.