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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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Friday, September 2, 2016

The last outpost for Coyotes to colonize in the lower 48 states is Long Island, NY, abutting the New York City boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn...........While a lone Coyote was spotted a couple years back on "the island", it is not yet thought that a breeding colony exists there...............Now, our friend Frank Vicenti who heads up THE WILD DOG FOUNDATION out of Mineola(L.I.) NY is keeping tabs on the Coyote family of 8 that has moved into Astoria, Queens.................As Russell L. Burke who heads up Hofstra University's biology department notes--------“Multiple individuals will be dispersing(hopefully some of these Astoria pups) and looking for new territory"........'The coyotes may travel along Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road rail lines(to reach Nassau and Suffolk Counties on the Island)"..................."Alternatively, they may swim the East River or simply walk over a bridge"............... “Eventually, all the spaces on Long Island that can take coyotes will be filled".............. "That might take 50 years, but by then we’ll all be used to it"

Coyotes born in Queens will multiply, spread to LI, say experts

A coyote litter has been spotted living in
 an Astoria, Queens, industrial park —
 a first for the borough and a harbinger
 of more to come on Long Island and
 New York City, experts say.
Image result for coyote family in astoria ny
Workers in the industrial park, near
 LaGuardia Airport, spotted three
 adults and eight pups earlier this
summer. A recent sighting showed
 that five pups remain.
“Multiple individuals will be
dispersing and looking for new
 territory,” said Russell L. Burke,
chairman of Hofstra University’s
biology department. “Eventually,
all the spaces on Long Island that
 can take coyotes will be filled.
That might take 50 years, but by
 then we’ll all be used to it.”
The eastern coyote — adults are
 4 to 5 feet long, nose to tail, and
 weigh 35 to 45 pounds — is
already present in most major
 cities in the northeast United States,
 Burke said. Coyotes have been
spotted on eastern Long Island
before and as many as 50 may live
in New York City, but Burke and
colleagues argued in a 2015
paper that colonization was only
 a matter of time.
The coyotes may travel along
 Metro-North and Long Island
 Rail Road rail lines, Burke said.
 To reach Long Island, they may
 have swum the East River or
simply walked over a bridge.
Their Long Island diet may
consist of scavenged garbage,
 even crabs on the beach, he said
Coyotes may kill cats and small
 dogs. In rare cases, they may
even attack humans, though the
 New York Department of
 Environmental Conservation
suggests on its website that
 people view this possibility in
 perspective: on average, 650
 New Yorkers are hospitalized
 each year after dog attacks, but
 there are only a handful of coyote
 attacks annually in the entire nation.
“People should not let their cats
 outside at all anyway, and small
 dogs should not be unattended,”
Burke wrote in an email.

Tracking Queens’ First Coyote Family

Staff Writer
Frank Vincenti, the founder of the Wild Dog Foundation
of Mineola, was initially uneasy about my request to go
out and see, firsthand, the coyote family that has been
 documented near the Rikers Island parking lot on Hazen
 Street in Astoria. Since the story of the coyotes began
 circulating this week in major news outlets like the
Daily News, Vincenti has been concerned that the
attention might bring fanfare that could disturb the
 animals, or lead to bad interactions between the
 coyotes and nearby residents or their pets that may
 spur a backlash.
Photo by James Farrell.
One of the Queens coyotes, which Vincenti calls
 because of his characteristic ears.

However, he also wants people to learn more about the
 coyotes and understand the historic nature of this particular
 Queens family, as well as to dispel negative preconceptions.
While coyotes are somewhat common in the Bronx and a
few lone coyotes have been spotted in Queens, this is the
first verified litter of coyotes ever born on Long Island,
 Vincenti said. As such, he let me tag along for an educational
 excursion, and we drove in slow circles around the Rikers
 Island parking lot Saturday night, scanning the neighboring
 woods for any sign of movement.
His hope is that the coyotes will be able to coexist with the
 surrounding community, at least until the pups grow up
and move on, as they often do.
“They’ve chosen this, and they’ve adapted to this,” Vincenti
 said of the coyotes’ Queens habitat. “If animals find this
suitable, who are we to say it’s inappropriate?”
As we waited, Vincenti gave a crash course on coyotes.
 He’s not a biologist, but he’s been a passionate advocate
of wildlife his whole life, and his organization, which he
 runs by himself, is his passion project. He has given talks
 around New York about co-existing with wild dogs. And
 now he visits the Queens coyotes nearly every day to
 ensure their safety. A police sergeant from Rikers Island
 recognized his car and waved to him.

Photo by James Farrell. One of the coyote adults scurries around the Rikers Island parking lot. 

Coyotes are monogamous – they pair up for life. And
 this particular family has a third adult in the mix, who
 acts as a “helper,” Vincenti said. The litter originally
 had eight puppies, but Vincenti guesses that only five
 have survived.
Coyote incidents are rare, Vincenti says, and common-
sense precautions can prevent them—not leaving pets
 out alone, for instance, or not disturbing coyotes.
They can be territorial animals, but they are also
easily spooked. Vincenti said that he has even
approached them on foot, only to have them
 scatter into the woods.
After a while, we noticed some rustling in the
 bushes by a fence in the back of the lot. The
pups appeared, picking at the ground behind
the fence and occasionally scurrying out from
behind a hole to explore in between the cars in
 the lot. They were skittish and barely knee-high.
The slightest motion from inside Vincenti’s car
 sent them darting, cautiously returning a few
 minutes later. One of the pups has big, floppy
 ears – Vincenti calls him Dumbo. Another has
 a dark-brown coloration, from his father’s side,
 Vincenti says. Vincenti believes the father has
some dog in him, giving him a patchier, rugged
look compared to his sleek gray family. “He’s
 a real Queens boy,” Vincenti says.
Eventually the mother appeared, just as skittish
 as the pups, but keeping her eyes fixed in their
direction. When the father darted out of nowhere
 across the parking lot and into the hole, the pups
 ran up to greet him, playfully attacking him as
 the whole family disappeared into the brush. In
 all, we saw four of the five pups and all three
A Jeep then flew alongside our car.
“This is what I’m scared of,” Vincenti said.
 “Somebody like that winds up clipping one of
It would be a tragedy only made worse by its
 historical significance.
“History was made—the first litter born here,
” Vincenti said. “But they might be a failure.”

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