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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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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Helen Mcginnis advising us of the apparent Eastern Coyote(Coywolf) that was trapped in South Carolina in 2010.............The southeastern states are the home of the Western Coyote,,,,,,,,,,,,which has moved east from the midwest over the past 120 years filling in the niche left open via the extermination of the Red Wolf.....................Not a surprise that little by little, the larger Eastern Coyote of Eastern Canada, New England and the Mid- Atlantic is spreading it's genes southward little by little co-mingling with the western coyotes currently ensconsed there

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Helen McGinnis <>
Date: Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Subject: Coywolf in South Carolina?
To: Rick Meril <>
The Augusta Journal

Pavey: Coyote trapped at SRS carries DNA of grey wolf

Outdoors Columnist

Southeastern coyotes, such as this one spotted in South Carolina, typically weigh 25 to 30 pounds, but DNA tests on a 64.4-pound female trapped at Savannah River Site confirmed it had DNA of a Canadian grey wolf. Officials say no similar animals have been found in South Carolina or in Georgia.

Just when you think a coyote is a whitetail’s worst nightmare, Savannah River Site researchers have found something even scarier: a super-sized coyote that is part grey wolf.

The big female, which weighed in at 64.4 pounds, was trapped by U.S. Forest Service biologists in late 2010 as part of an ongoing study into coyote predation on whitetail fawns.

“From our perspective, it’s an extremely rare, isolated animal, based on the sampling we’ve done,” said research biologist John Kilgo, whose team has trapped about 500 coyotes and examined another 200 animals killed during SRS deer hunts in recent years.

The unusually large animal – roughly twice the size of typical southeastern coyotes – was tested at a lab in Canada, which confirmed she carried the DNA of a Canadian grey wolf.

The good news, however, is that it was the only animal among 700 sampled at the site that was part wolf - which raises the troubling question of how it ended up in South Carolina.

“We don’t know where it came from,” Kilgo said. “People sometimes move animals around and people have pet wolf-hybrids, but we have no way to know how this one got here.”

The Eastern Coyote(Coywolf) can top the scales 60-70 pounds

Although the animal carried wolf DNA, that doesn’t mean its parents were a wolf and a coyote, he said.

“The lab did not identify exactly what it was,” he said, noting that the genus canis includes everything from wolves to domestic dogs. “It’s an incredibly confused taxonomy.”

Georgia state deer biologist Charlie Killmaster of the Wildlife Resources Division was unaware of any similar animals being found in Georgia.

“It would not surprise me if one did turn up, though,” he said, noting that hybrid animals are known to occur. “It’s not like finding Bigfoot or anything.”

Although the wolf-coyote mix was an apparent oddity, studies at SRS and other venues continue to build stronger evidence that regular coyotes kill huge numbers of whitetail fawns each spring.

Using radio collars and other modern tools, Kilgo’s team concluded coyotes are killing as many as 70 percent to 80 percent of newborn fawns in some areas.

State wildlife managers across the Southeast are also starting to evaluate coyote predation and its impact on whitetail populations. The ultimate result could be that states are forced to adjust hunting pressure to compensate for deer killed by coyotes.
The next phase of SRS studies, which compare fawn mortality in areas where coyotes were heavily trapped versus areas where they were left along, is due out later this year

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