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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, January 6, 2014

Adaptable, flexible, problem solving and persistent, The Coyote exhibits all of the qualities that I look for when hiring someone to work on my team at work..................And this past Spring, The Eastern Coyote(Coywolf) figured out how to get out onto Long Island, NY,,,,the last bastion for them to colonize in the lower 48..............Coyotes now occupy The Bronx, Staten Island, Queens,,,,,,,,,,,,,as well as showing up periodically in Manhattan(and perhaps Brooklyn as well)..................Coyote Biologists Mark Weckel, Chris Nagy and colleagues at the Mianus River Gorge Preserve in Bedford(Westchester County adjacent to The Bronx) have been and continue to study the NY Coyote Population and their survival habits................What I admire most about these "CITY" Coyotes is that they make all 8 million NYC human residents(and all of us) a little more humble and respectful of the power of nature to persevere in the "concrete jungle",,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,puts us all a little more in touch with how the world actually works and our connection to all other living creatures...............The famous Frank Sinatra tune, NEW YORK/NEW YORK, sums up the evolving success of the Eastern Coyote-----"Start spreading the news, I am leaving today,,,,, I want to be a part of it New York, New York",,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,"New York, New York I want to wake up in that city That never sleeps,,,,, And find I'm king of the hill, Top of the list, Head of the heap, King of the hill,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,New York, New York!"

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Coyotes in New York City: A Bonus? -

The growing presence of this predator in the city has piqued the interest of researchers, who say that the animal?s coexistence with humans might not be such a bad thing.
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Coyotes in New York City: A Bonus?

Coyotes in a New York City park. Researchers declined to disclose locations but said that they had cameras in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens.Mark WeckelCoyotes in a New York City park. Researchers declined to disclose the location but said they had cameras in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens.
Green: Science
In March 2010, a wild coyote led the police on a chase through Lower Manhattan. The vagabond was ultimately caught in a parking lot in TriBeCa.
It was just one of many coyotes that have wandered into the city over the years. At least four others were sighted the same year, in Harlem, near Columbia University and in Central Park. They’ve also been seen in Los Angeles, Chicago and in the Boston area.
The growing presence of these top predators in New York City has piqued the interest of researchers, who say that coyotes in human territory might not be such a bad thing.
“What happens is that when there’s a top predator, it will help control other levels of the food chain,” said Mark Weckel, an ecologist and doctoral student at the City University of New York.

Mr. Weckel is also the director of research and land management at theMianus River Gorge Preserve. He and his colleagues are trying to track the migratory patterns of coyotes through New York City and beyond.
“Coyotes in the Northeast have been moving eastward over the past 100 years,” he said. “Our real interest is where are they going and how are they getting there.”

First recorded picture of Coyotes living on Long Island

He suggests that the coyotes of New York City made their way over from the Adirondacks. And with the help of students from the High School for Environmental Studies in Manhattan, Mr. Weckel has been capturing the city’s coyotes on camera for two years.
Jason Bonet, 16, one of the students who is helping to set up the cameras and to log images, says he has installed about 15 cameras throughout the city’s parks. Every month, the images are retrieved. The coyotes are “rare — but not extremely rare,” Jason said. “I’ve seen about three or four.”
Coyotes live in small packs of three or four and are territorial. As their populations grow, they naturally need to spread their range. Mr. Weckel expects that the coyotes of New York City will continue moving east and soon make their way to Long Island.
The coyote expansion might be a good thing, some reason, because the animals prey on a pest that most New Yorkers tend to hate: rodents. Coyotes may also be competing with other animals like raccoons for food resources. This may help dampen an overpopulation of raccoons, Mr. Weckel said.
Still, park lovers fearful of encountering a coyote needn’t worry much, he said. The animals live deep inside places like Van Cortlandt Park and Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx.
“These areas we are working in are technically New York City, but they aren’t the skylines you’d imagine,” Mr. Weckel said. “And we’re working deep off the trails, places where you’d think you were in the middle of Catskills.”
A reminder: it’s important that park visitors who do encounter coyotes never feed or engage with them, said Sarah Aucoin, the director of the Urban Park Rangers program for New York City’s parks department.
“Coyotes exist throughout the nation and the region, and are common in many urban areas – including Los Angeles and Chicago, as well as in New York City’s nearby suburbs,” she said in a statement. “As with all wild animals, coyotes should be observed and enjoyed from a distance, and never fed or handled by the public.”
There is no count yet of coyotes in New York City. It’s a challenge: “We’re moving to a new phase where we’ll collect genetic samples from their feces,” Mr. Weckel said.
For now, all that the researchers know is that the coyotes’ densities are fairly low. And it’s unlikely that one will be wandering near Times Square anytime soon, he said.


Gotham Coyote brings together researchers and students to study NYC's newest immigrant, the eastern coyote.



Dr. Mark Weckel - Mark is Brooklyn born, Bronx and Manhattan educated, and a current resident of Queens (Sorry Staten Island). He did his graduate work at Fordham University and the City University of New York where he worked on jaguar conservation and white-tailed deer management, respectively. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Biodiversity & Conservation at theAmerican Museum of Natural History.

Dr. Chris Nagy - Chris has worked in NYC as a wildlife biologist since 2001.  His graduate work at Fordham University and CUNY focused on the population biology of eastern screech owls in NYC, and he has always been interested in learning how wildlife can make a living in an urban environment.  He is currently Director of Research at the Mianus River Gorge.  Chris contributes his expertise in population and occupancy modeling as well as a thorough knowledge of NYC parks.  

Suzanne Clemente - Suzanne graduated with her B.S. in  Marine Biology from the UCONN in 2009.  She is currently working towards her Master's in the Environmental Science program at Pace University.  Her main interest is anything that lives in the ocean, but quickly came to love the idea of urban ecology.  Suzanne is working with the Mianus River Gorge on the ecology of NYC coyotes.  She is working in the field, which requires the setting up of wildlife cameras and retrieving the information every six weeks.  When she goes through the pictures and inputs data, she listens to Walt Disney World music on full blast and sings along.

Anne Toomey - Anne Toomey has worked in the areas of community development and environmental sustainability in places as diverse as Nicaragua, Mexico and New York City.  She holds a dual-M.A. in Sustainable Development and Natural Resources from American University in Washington, D.C and the University for Peace in Costa Rica. From 2009-2011, she coordinated environmental science research expeditions to conduct baseline studies of wildlife in the metropolitan region funded by the Earthwatch Institute. This led her to begin a study of Eastern coyotes in the New York City area, and ultimately, the Gotham Coyote Project itself! Currently, Anne is undertaking department-funded doctoral research at the Lancaster Environmental Centre in the UK.  

The mission of Mianus River Gorge, an independent, not-for-profit organization, is to preserve, protect and promote appreciation of the natural heritage of the Mianus River watershed through land acquisition and conservation, scientific research and public education throughout the region.
Mianus River Gorge, 167 Mianus River Road, Bedford(Westchester County), New York 10506     914-234-3455  

  Mianus River Gorge Preserve is open April 1 through November 30 from 8:30am until 5pm.  Although it is free to hike our trails, all groups of 20 or more must register in advance. Please contact our office at (914) 234-3455 or email Rod Christie for reservations. Temporary closures may occur in the case of flooding or extended drought. Please call ahead during these conditions.
Our trails are open only to hiking. We do not allow dogs or other pets (even on leash), bicycles, or powered vehicles of any kind.  While we understand this can be an inconvenience, the rewards are many. Our hiking paths are narrow and winding, well kept, yet rugged. Visitors have the experience of a remote wilderness within an hour’s drive from one of the world’s largest cities. It is important that we maintain this experience for all our visitors.
Our address: Entrance to the Preserve is across the street from 167 Mianus River Road, Bedford, NY  10506 (see Google Map below)
From Route 684, NY
From the South, take Exit 4 and turn right onto Route 172 towards Bedford.
From the North, take Exit 4 and turn left.
Go about 2 miles to Shell gas station and turn left (you will remain on Rt 172)
Drive 1 mile to Mobil gas station on your right.
At Mobil gas station, yield right towards Stamford on Route 104 / Long Ridge Road (unmarked).
Less than 1/2 mile, take first right hand turn onto Miller’s Mill Road.
Left on Mianus River Road after crossing the bridge.
Drive about 1/2 mile on dirt road. Entrance to our parking lot is on the left – just across the street from 167 Mianus River Road (our office).

From Stamford and the Merritt Parkway, CT
Take Exit 34 from Merritt.
Drive North on Route 104 / Long Ridge Road towards Bedford for 7.5 miles.
Turn left onto Miller’s Mill Road. If you hit Route 172 and the Mobil gas station, you’ve gone too far.
Left on Mianus River Road after crossing the bridge.
Drive about 1/2 mile on dirt road. Entrance to our parking lot is on the left – just across the street from 167 Mianus River Road (our office).

From Greenwich, CT
Go North or North Street to North Stanwich Road.
Turn right onto N.Stanwich Road. Stay on till it dead ends at Taconic Road.
Turn left onto Taconic Road. Stay on for 3/10 mile.
Turn right onto East Middle Patent Road.
After 2.2 miles, turn right onto Mianus River Road.

Entrance is 1.9 miles down the road. Entrance to our parking lot is on the right – just across the street from 167 Mianus River Road (our office).  


Frank Sinatra – New York, New York Lyrics

Start spreading the news
I am leaving today
I want to be a part of it
New York, New York

These vagabond shoes
They are longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it
New York, New York

I want to wake up in that city
That doesn't sleep
And find I'm king of the hill
Top of the heap

My little town blues
They are melting away
I gonna make a brand new start of it
In old New York

If I can make it there
I'll make it anywhere
It's up to you
New York, New York

New York, New York
I want to wake up in that city
That never sleeps
And find I'm king of the hill
Top of the list
Head of the heap
King of the hill

These are little town blues
They have all melted away
I am about to make a brand new start of it
Right there in old New York

And you bet [Incomprehensible] baby
If I can make it there
You know, I'm gonna make it just about anywhere
Come on, come through New York, New York

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