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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, February 16, 2015

With occasional Coyotes being spotted in Long Island, NY(the last spot in the lower 48 states where Coyotes are yet to be documented breeders), Researchers from Hofstra University, Long Island Nature , Brookhaven Lab, the Wild Dog Foundation, the Mianus River Gorge and other Long Island conservation organizations are planning research and outreach projects to document when and where colonization will take hold.....Trail cameras are being installed in portions of Nassau and Suffolk counties(Long Island) that the team feels will most likely harbor the first Coyote breeeders

Coyote pup photographed in the Bronx., 2014.

Long Island Coyote Research Partnership Begins

Long Island Coyote Research Partnership

The Gotham Coyote Project, of which the Gorge is a founding organization, has studied the expanding distribution of coyotes in New York City since 2010. In October, Chris Nagy presented data from 2011-2014 at the 2014 Wildlife Society Conference in Pittsburgh showing that coyotes are expanding into and breeding in new areas of the Bronx.  Occasionally a transient individual is sighted in Queens and Long Island, but still have yet to establish any permanent populations on Long Island (as far as we can tell). However, we do expect coyotes to eventually colonize Queens and the rest of Long Island, the last major landmass in the continental US that does not have permanent coyote populations.
Now, the Gotham Coyote Team is partnering with researchers from Hofstra UniversityLong Island Nature,Brookhaven Lab, the Wild Dog Foundation, and other Long Island conservation organizations to begin planning research and outreach projects in expectation of coyotes’ colonization of Long Island. The main challenge of this endeavor will be to find any coyotes as soon as possible after they show up in new places.  Long Island is a 1,401 sq mile (3,629 km²) land mass, with many areas that are ultimately suitable for the adaptable coyote to live in.  It would be impossible for us to search everywhere, therefore we are working to increase the total “eyes and ears” we have looking for coyotes in NYC and Long Island while simultaneously trying to predict where coyotes are likely to settle down.
In the first phase of this work, the Gorge and its partners, Westmoreland and Teatown, have now expanded theWild Suburbia citizen science program to NYC and Long Island so residents can report any potential coyote sightings (along with red and gray fox) to us.  In a populated area like Long Island, it will probably be the residents of an area that first see a new animal.  We are also reaching out to people in NYC and Long Island who own a trail camera: if you are interested in deploying your camera somewhere in Westchester, Long Island, or NYC and adding your findings to our database, please get in touch with Chris Nagy.  We’re also happy to advise anyone who do not own a camera but are interested in getting one and need help setting it up for the first time. Please visit the Wild Suburbia website for info on how to get involved. 
Preliminary predictions of landscape resistance for coyotes (i.e., likelihood of a coyote to move through a particular area); M. Weckel, M. Henriquez, and J. Munshi-South, 2014.

The Gorge and its Long Island partners also are beginning to build an expanded trail camera array in Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk to keep an eye on as many promising sites (such as parks and other “greenspaces”) as possible.  But, even if we have hundreds of cameras we can not search everywhere.  Thus, Mark Weckel and Jason Munshi-South (Fordham) are currently working on a landscape movement model that will help us figure out what sites are likely to be colonized by coyotes based on their habitat and the likely movement routes. Mark presented a preliminary version of this model at the 2014 Wildlife Society Conference in Pittsburgh this past October .  The final map will help the Long Island collaboration choose where to focus our research.
Researchers from the Gorge and the other partners will be speaking at the upcoming Long Island Natural History Conference on March 20-21, 2015 at in the Berkner auditorium at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, NY.  There will be at least two talks on coyote ecology (by Nagy and Weckel) as well as other talks and presentations on the many environmental research and educational projects going on in Long Island.
Registration, conference schedule, and other information for the Long Island Natural History Conference is
Learn more about the Gotham Coyote Project at
Learn more about Wild suburbia at

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