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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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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

As you Blog readers might recall, Long Island, NY is the last bastion in the Americas where there(to our knowledge) is not a breeding colony of Coyotes........Our "Songdogs" are found in every state, except Hawaii, every Canadian province, and every Central American country except Panama............And we were on the verge of this changing last Summer when a breeding pair(likely emigrating out of the Bronx or Westchester County, NY) took up residence in Queens at the Laguardia Airport..............Of course, Airport Officials went right ahead and killed the breeding pair, their 8 pups and a non breeding adult as if they were vermin----NOT!.................Back in 2011, a lone Coyote was photographed(picture below) on the South Fork of Long Island and it is believed that this "lone wolf" is still making a living as a bachelor(bachelorette) out that way-----Seen this past Summer outside of Southhampton!............There will be more attempts made by the 4 breeding Coyote pairs in the Bronx to make it to the Long Island............The majority of the pups of the year leave their natal territories in the Fall seeking out mates and territories of their own to fill............Like New Jersey(3000 Coyotes during Sumer months, 1500 in Winter), suburban Long Island offers Coyotes a smorgasboard of eateries--rabbits, squirrels,raccoons, rodents of all kinds, Canadian Geese eggs, et al...........Stay tuned for the next Coyote "mad dash" to the Island

Sep 11, 2017 Publication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press
Mike Bottoni

Long Island Coyote Update

Last year marked the first time that a pair of coyotes successfully bred on Long Island, producing a litter of eight pups in a den near LaGuardia Airport in Queens.Although coyotes can live as long as 14 years in the wild, their average life expectancy is six to eight years. The Queens crew did not last nearly that long. Airport officials decided that the coyotes posed a threat to their employees, and ordered all eight pups, the breeding pair and a sub-adult “helper” coyote—11 animals in all—trapped and killed. According to Chris Nagy of the Gotham Coyote Project (, 10 were disposed and one managed to elude capture.

The lone Coyote on the South Fork of Long Island(2011 photo)
Dell Cullum was able to shoot the elusive coyote on the farm that lines the corner of Scuttle Hole Road and Day Lily Lane in Bridgehampton. DELL CULLUM

This was longtime coyote advocate and founder of the Wild Dog Foundation Frank Vincenti’s worst nightmare. Frank has been working hard to educate the general public, and public officials, on how to co-exist safely with coyotes, and he spent many nights observing the Queens pups over the summer and fall of 2016. Vincenti noted that there were no incidents that justified destroying the animals.

Today, the coyote (Canis latrans) is widely distributed throughout North and Central America. It is found in every state, except Hawaii, every Canadian province, and every Central American country except Panama.

Long Island is the largest island in the United States outside of Hawaii and Alaska, and remains the only major island in the coyote’s current range that has not been completely colonized by breeding pairs.

Coyote family in the Bronx

Coyotes have resided in the Bronx since 1994, and today there are four breeding pairs documented by wildlife researchers in that borough of the Big Apple. Making their way from the Bronx, which is situated on the mainland adjacent to some significant greenbelts in Westchester County, and across the Harlem and East Rivers to Manhattan Island and Long Island is a bit more challenging. But neither is an insurmountable obstacle for this wily and adaptable creature.

Off the tip of the other end of Long Island lies Fishers Island, another home to coyotes including at least one breeding pair. This small island, although situated much closer to (within two miles of) the Connecticut and Rhode Island mainland, is a portion the Town of Southold and Suffolk County. Fishers Island’s closest point on Long Island is Orient, 11 miles away. That route includes an archipelago of small islands with a maximum open water span of 4.6 miles and strong currents at “The Race” and “Plum Gut.” Even utilizing the archipelago of islands as resting and feeding stops, it is a formidable swim for a coyote.

Out here on the South Fork, an apparently solo coyote was first sighted in 2011 by Scott McMahon north of Water Mill and photographed by Rick Wesnofske two years later in 2013. It has been photographed and videoed several times since between there and Wainscott, including a video shot this year just north of Southampton Village.

Is this a single individual, or has another coyote made a home on the East End? Dell Cullum, a professional photographer who is very knowledgeable and experienced in wildlife matters, and one of the few people who had photographed the South Fork coyote, surmises that the photos are of the same individual. Depending on how old the coyote was when it reached the South Fork, it is at least seven years old. Will it hang on until a mate arrives?

It is simply a matter of time before this wily and adaptable creature thrives here on Long Island, where a huge banquet of deer, geese, feral cats, raccoons and rodents awaits. This raises some interesting questions that a group of wildlife biologists from the American Museum of Natural History, Hofstra University, and Brookhaven National Laboratory hope to answer by establishing some ecological monitoring stations throughout the island.

The Coyote family killed by Laguardia Airport Officials
(Truly hypocritical that we demonize the killing of
African Lions, while allowing killing of our wildlife)
Image result for coyotes trapped and killed at laguardia airport

What types of habitats will the coyotes initially utilize on Long Island? What impacts will they have on our deer population, and what will be the cascade impact on the vegetation deer browse and the ticks that use deer as a host? Will our red fox population decline, will it cease its wild fluctuation cycles, and will we continue to witness the dramatic cases of mange among our red foxes? Will our feral cat colonies disappear? Will the coyote hinder ground nesting birds and shorebirds through predation, or will they help these species by reducing fox, feral cat and raccoon predators?

And how will Long Islanders deal with this new species? One of the biggest challenges the “trickster” faces here are the folks who feel that wildlife need handouts. Feeding coyotes can result in some serious problems. As with all our non-domesticated fauna, keep the “wild” in wildlife and please refrain from feeding them.

Why Coyotes Are Flourishing in New York City

Jen Kirby; May 2015

 Where Are They?
Motion-detecting coyote cams installed by Nagy and Weckel have established that they live in four parks: Van Cortlandt, Pelham Bay, Ferry Point (all in the Bronx), and Railroad Park (in Queens). Human observers have seen them in Central and Riverside parks as well as Battery Park City, La Guardia Airport, Co-op City, and even Stuy Town
 Human observers have seen them in Central and Riverside parks as well as Battery Park City, La Guardia Airport, Co-op City, and even Stuy Town. In 2010, one was spotted by the Holland Tunnel and captured after a wacky chase through Tribeca.

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