Monday, February 14, 2011

Coyotes get big

whenever I get the chance I like to spend time with my parents in upstate New York. My brother has a farm out there and we like to get out and walk the land when we have the opportunity.

A new thing that we need to consider now - crossbreeds.

Bigger than coyotes but smaller than wolves, their howl is high-pitched and their diet includes deer and small rodents. They are "coywolves" (pronounced "coy," as in playful, "wolves"), and they are flourishing in the northeastern U.S., according to a study published today in Biology Letters.

Although coyote–wolf breeding has been reported in Ontario, where coyotes started migrating from the Great Plains in the 1920s, this study provides the first evidence of coywolves—also known as coydogs or eastern coyotes—in the Northeast. And even though they are more coyote (Canis latrans) than wolf (gray wolves are Canis lupus, and red wolves are Canis rufus), the expansion of these hybrids into western New York State marks the return of wolves to the Empire State.

"It's kind of interesting that we drove this species from the area and it sort of came back in another form," says Roland Kays, curator of mammals at the New York State Museum in Albany and first author on the study.

Read the rest here....

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