It hasn’t been all that many decades since the top of the food chain in New York State was pretty much unpopulated except by Homo sapiens. Remember the first time that you spotted a coyote wandering around in the Hudson Valley? Probably thought that it was an unusually mangy dog, or a grey fox whose legs were a tad too long. But there’s no mistaking that high lonesome howl in the distance.
The Eastern coyote has made such a strong comeback that our housecats might get eaten by one if allowed to roam at night. A successful hybrid sometimes referred to as the coywolf (genetically, roughly 64 percent Western coyote, 26 percent wolf and ten percent domestic dog), the Eastern coyote’s population now numbers in the millions.
Dan Bogan, a wildlife expert who studied Eastern coyote ecology and management at Cornell University, will introduce the history of Eastern coyotes, their behaviors, habitats and evolving ecology at a public event on Thursday evening, July 28, sponsored by the Woodstock Land Conservancy. Dr. Bogan is a lecturer in Environmental Studies at Siena College and a wildlife technician (research) with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in Albany.
According to Bogan, “Learning more about the natural history of coyotes can help people understand their ecological role and the likely outcome of encounters with them.” His talk will outline recommended steps that help keep people and pets safe and reduce the likelihood of coyote/human conflicts.
The discussion will be held on Thursday, July 28 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Woodstock Community Center, located at 56 Rock City Road in Woodstock. A question-and-answer session will follow, and then light refreshments will be served. Admission is free. For more info, call the Woodstock Land Conservancy at (646) 271-0821.