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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, May 12, 2016

Two of my favorite Eastern woodland canid biologitsts, Clark University's Jon Way and Raleigh, North Carolina Biodiversity Research Lab chief Roland Kays have "agreed to disagree" over the nomenclature and species designation of the Canid currently known as the EASTERN COYOTE.............Both Jon and Roland are two of the most respected Eastern Coyote biologists around and my memory suggests that the two men have even collaborated together on Coyote research in the past........... Both are widely peer reviewed published on this subject and often quoted by their fellow researchers as well as non fiction news writers.................Jon has long come out for COYWOLF as the proper name for this canid as his studies reveal a creature that is 60 percent coyote, 30 percent wolf, and 10 percent dog.................Roland favors the current popular name of EASTERN COYOTE as his research suggests this creature is 60-84 percent coyote, with lesser amounts of wolf (%-25 percent) and dog (8-11 percent)..................Jon rebuts these %'s by saying that the values of 84 percent coyote and only 8 percent wolf used a study (by vonHoldt et al. 2011) that has since mostly been discounted by subsequent papers since eastern wolves were not adequately sampled in their analysis....................Bottom line here is that I call both men Friend, both have shared email correspondence with me over the past 6 years and both are passionate, purposeful and highly professional in their pursuit of "truth".............................I am simply happy that that the Eastern Coyote/Coywolf exists and that it's resiliency in our human-centric environment has caused millions of folks in the Northeast to come to realize that they are not alone on our great planet.............., To begin to come to understand that it is important for carnivores/omnivores other than ourselves to be present as top down trophic predators so that some semblance of checks and balances on deer, rodents and other small mammals continues to be at play in our woodlands and fields..................My best and hearty congratulations to both Jon and Roland for continuing this spirited discussion and for continually bringing us new knowledge and insights about the Eastern Coyote/Coywolf


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