A New Super Preadator

Coyotes are a big enough of a problem without adding to it, but it’s getting worse.

When the Eastern wolf starts breeding with domestic dogs and coyotes, the problem is getting bad. Introducing the coywolf.

With more than a million of these canines running freely in the Northeast, they’re quite noticeable throughout urban areas. This is because their DNA has domestic dog in the mix.

The Economist reports that in the relative absence of mountain lions and Eastern wolves, a new breed of canine, known as the coywolf (commonly called the Eastern coyote) has established itself as the apex predator of the Northeast. According to Coywolf.org, biologists believe this new creature first appeared 50 to 70 years ago. The species is the result of Eastern wolves (a smaller species of wolf more closely related to coyotes than to the timber wolves of western North America) interbreeding with coyotes and large domestic dogs. Roland Kays of North Carolina State University believes that there are now more than a million of the adaptive, urban-savvy canids in the Northeast. “[This is an] amazing contemporary evolution story that’s happening right underneath our nose,” said Dr. Kays… [continued]

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Forest Wander

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