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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, August 21, 2016

A solid OP ED article in the NY Time Sunday OPINION SECTION (by Moises Velasquez-Manoff) discussing rewilding the East with trophic carnivores such as Wolves and Pumas to restore balance and health to the woodlands.........The one tangent topic that Mr. Velasquez-Manoff goes down the road on(inaccurately)is stating that Eastern Coyotes "may be helping the spread of Lyme Disease because they have reduced populations of Red and Gray Foxes(who eat the rodents carrying the lyme spyrochete)"............Bottom line is that Coyotes, whether they be Western or Eastern, feed primarily on rodents and small mammals, same as foxes do............See biologist Jon Way's article regarding Coyotes preying on rodents and geneticist Linda Rutledge's paper on the Eastern Wolf, responsible for 25% of the genetic makeup of the Eastern Coyote

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rick Meril <;
Date: Sun, Aug 21, 2016 at 11:47 AM
Subject: Fwd: information on why Eastern Coyotes(Coywolves) are not responsible for increased incidence of lyme disease
To:, Jon Way ;, Linda Rutledge <>, Linda Rutledge <, Brooks Fahy <

To: Moises Velasquez-Manoff:


Enjoyed your article in the OPINION SECTION of todays Sunday NY Times............No question that a return of the the Wolf/Puman(Mountain Lion) to the Eastern woodlands would be a positive for all living biota, plants, other animals, watercourses, et al.


A Natural Cure for Lyme Disease,d.eWE

Please know that Coywolves(Eastern Coyotes) are themselves primary consumers of all types of rodents and small mammals................mice, voles, squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks and any other small critter running through the forest...........Yes, with up to 25% Eastern Wolf(not Western Wolf) genes, they are bigger than our Western Coyotes(e.g. eastern coyotes 25 to 50 pounds normally versus 15-30 pound coyotes found in the Midwest and Western States).......But realistically, their primary prey continues to be the same that red and gray foxes consume--small mammals and rodents..........

Eastern Coyotes do in fact consume a quantity of new born Whitetail Deer in the Spring,,,,,,,,,,but after a couple of weeks of maturity, Fawns are nimble and quick enough to avoid being taken by Coyotes................And yes, Eastern Coyotes can and do take some adult deer,,,,,,,,,,But as Pennsylvania and New York State biologists have found, even with Black Bears(Fawns) and human hunters(adult deer) taking their share of of Whitetails, the trio together is not dampening deer herds..............

Regardless of the recent Paper(Vonholdt) theorizing that Wolves found in the East are Gray Wolf /western coyote hybrids, Gray Wolves never fully occupied Eastern North America.............They do not hybridize with Coyotes as Eastern Wolves do(when under population duress).............Gray Wolves do kill Coyotes............Eastern Wolves and Coyotes seem to have split off from an ancient Coyote-like creature eons ago,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

So with us having obliterated Eastern Wolves, it would take tens of thousands re-introduced to Eastern North America to keep them from hybridizing with the Eastern and Western Coyotes that now occupy the East................Perhaps under these conditions, Eastern Wolves might minimize Coyote populations the same way Gry Wolves do,,,,,But we are no , longer in AD 1600 and the likelihood of Eastern Wolves-aplenty running through our Eastern Forests seem a remote dream at this point, so it would seem that Eastern Coyotes will likely become the dominant canid here..

Bottom line,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Bring Back all the trophic carnivores  to the East and let us see if we can dramatically knock out the Lyme sourge.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Until that happens, please know, that Eastern Coyotes are not factors in increasing the Lyme epidemic and instead are agents that limit it becoming even a more virulent disease..


Rick Meril
Executive VP General Sales Manager
Warner Bros. Worldwide TV Sales
Burbank, California
818 954 5747

p.s  including biologist Jon Way and geneticist Linda Rutledge as well as Predator Defense Chief, Brooks Fahy on this note to you.


From: Rick Meril ;;
Date: August 21, 2016 at 2:08:48 PM PDT
To: Jon Way <
Cc: Brooks Fahy <>, Linda Rutledge ;>, Linda Rutledge lt;
Subject: Re: information on why Eastern Coyotes(Coywolves) are not responsible for increased incidence of lyme disease

And living in lion country myself,,,,,,,,realistically, they do not as a rule come into neighborhoods,,,,,,,,,,and therefore, where the rodents are most abundant(human habitation), they are not going to reduce tics in these areas(studies by national park service in L.A. Confirm lions stay along watercourses and heavy chaparral, not trying to get in the way of humans hiking, biking or barbecuing.......

We would need thousands of eastern wolves to minimize hybridization.......for my money, let them do all........and see how nature rolls the dice on the candid side of the ledger

Sent from my iPad

On Aug 21, 2016, at 12:58 PM, Jon Way <; wrote:

Great letter Rick. Yes the points I made in my response to Levi three years ago are not being acknowledged or tested. I definitely agree that mt lions could help reduce deer but I don't think there is any way eastern wolves would both because they hybridize with coywolves as well as they just can't live in human dominated areas where deer are most abundant. Bit this is here the couwolf does well. So I agree exactly that coywolves and lions should be seen as part of the solution not just lions. 

Well said!

Sent from my iPhone

27 November 2013. Important new publication available on my publications page. Last summer, 2012, a scientific paper came (please refer to my June 22, 2012 post on this subject) out that basically claimed that the presence of coyotes in the East has increased the incidence of Lyme disease because they prey on foxes whom are supposedly more effective predators of rodents, which are one of the main vectors of Lyme disease. Many national sources reported on this finding such as Scientific American and even some hunting groupsIn the following paper, myself and a colleague disagree with their reasoning in this new paper. We use 6 lines of evidence to support our claim.

About Jonathan Way

Jonathan (Jon) Way has a B.S. (UMass Amherst), M.S. (UConn Storrs), and doctorate (Boston College) related to the study of eastern coyotes/coywolves. 

He is the author of 2 books: 1) Suburban Howls, an account of his experiences studying eastern coyotes in Massachusetts, and 2) My Yellowstone Experience, which details – in full color – the spectacular wildlife, scenery, and hydrothermal features that can be found in the world's first national park.

 Jon founded and runs an organization, Eastern Coyote/Coywolf Research, where he is continuing his goal of long-term ecological and behavioral research on coywolves. He also supplements his research with regular trips to Yellowstone National Park. He is seeking a publisher for a 3rd book project of his: "Coywolf".

RAD sequencing and genomic simulations resolve hybrid origins within North American Canis L. Y. Rutledge1 , S. Devillard2 , J. Q. Boone3 , P. A. Hohenlohe4 and B. N. White1 1 Biology Department, Trent University, 2140 East Bank Drive, Peterborough, Ontario, K9J 7B8 Canada 2 Universite´ de Lyon, F-69000, Lyon; Universite´ Lyon 1; CNRS, UMR5558, Laboratoire de Biome´trie et Biologie Evolutive, F-69622, Villeurbanne, France 3 Floragenex Inc., Eugene, OR 97405, USA 4 Department of Biological Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844, USA

 Top predators are disappearing worldwide, significantly changing ecosystems that depend on top-down regulation. Conflict with humans remains the primary roadblock for large carnivore conservation, but for the eastern wolf (Canis lycaon), disagreement over its evolutionary origins presents a significant barrier to conservation in Canada and has impeded protection for grey wolves (Canis lupus) in the USA.

 Here, we use 127 235 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) identified from restriction-site associated DNA sequencing (RAD-seq) of wolves and coyotes, in combination with genomic simulations, to test hypotheses of hybrid origins of Canis types in eastern North America. 

A principal components analysis revealed no evidence to support eastern wolves, or any other Canis type, as the product of grey wolf western coyote hybridization. In contrast, simulations that included eastern wolves as a distinct taxon clarified the hybrid origins of Great Lakesboreal wolves and eastern coyotes. 

Our results support the eastern wolf as a distinct genomic cluster in North America and help resolve hybrid origins of Great Lakes wolves and eastern coyotes. The data provide timely information that will shed new light on the debate over wolf conservation
in Eastern North America.  

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