The Wildlife News blog gets a disproportionate amount of comments when wolf related topics appear on a thread compared to other stories. Clearly, this illustrates society’s polarization with the wolf whereby some people love them, while others hate them – or at least seemingly so. However, for those that love them – and there are many – there is a very interesting national trend to, for the large part, ignore how a very closely related cousin – the coyote – is treated. Coyotes and wolves are both in the same family (Canidae) and genus (Canis), so are very closely related. However, the national protests against wolf hunting in the northern Rocky Mountains and the Great Lakes area has seemingly more to do with ethics and humaneness than it has to do with biological recovery, which seems assured. Yet even scientists disagree about how many wolves should constitute a recovered population, what their effects on the ecosystem are, and if we should be killing wolves just to kill them or reduce their population. Much of the controversy, I believe, that is associated with wolves are the unpopular hunting techniques used (such as baiting and trapping) and the apparent lack of input from a diverse constituency that clearly care about wolves (and carnivores in general) but have no input in a system (i.e., wildlife management) where the interests of hunters and ranchers are clearly catered to.

However, lost in this debate is the overall treatment of all native wildlife, including coyotes. As a person that has long studied a coyote x wolf hybrid (the eastern coyote or coywolf) I find it curious that when wolves are slaughtered (defined as killed in unlimited numbers) there is national news and protests, yet most states allow a legal, seemingly unethical slaughter of “coyotes” whereby traps, bait, poisons (in some instances), guns, snares, and dogs have been used to kill, “harvest”, and even torture coyotes – with little fanfare and certainly no regulations against the practice. So, I recently decided to sit down and write about this and the following link (below) from the magazine International Wolf is the result of those efforts:

Love Wolves and Hate Coyotes?
{ A Conundrum for Canid Enthusiasts }

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About The Author

Jon Way

Jonathan Way is the author of Suburban Howls, an account of his experiences studying eastern coyotes/coywolves in eastern Massachusetts. He also has a business Eastern Coyote Research (www.EasternCoyoteResearch.com) and is currently seeking an institution that will support him and his research. He currently works seasonally for Cape Cod National Seashore, is a part time post-doctoral researcher with the Yellowstone Ecological Research Center, and is a frequent traveler to the Yellowstone area. He is currently seeking a publisher for 2 different book projects: “My Yellowstone Experience” and “Coywolf”, both of which are nearly completed including with pictures.

65 Responses to Love Wolves and Hate Coyotes

  1. avatar Kristi says:

    Almost two weeks ago, there was a gunshop owner in NM who was going to hold a coyote killing contest. The winner, who killed the most coyotes over the weekend, would receive a new rifle. Shortly after this was announced there was a huge outcry from many people including local citizens and wildlife advocates, including those who advocate for wolves. I recognized many other wolf advocates’ names in articles and threads on Facebook that were against this contest. This contest did not go as planned, a county or state representative said this hunt couldn’t be allowed on state or public lands. Public land use is another issue that does unite wolf and coyote advocates. Wolf and coyote advocates also share disdain for Wildlife Services. I think since it seems that coyotes have always been, ahem, “hunted” it’s easier to accept in general society. Wolves have not always been “hunted” or shot on sight like the coyote…wolf “hunts” have been legal for only two years now, even shorter than that in WY where wolves will share the shoot on sight policy along with coyotes. Hunters and wildlife agencies say that hunting wolves will bring tolerance of them. Have coyotes received tolerance? No, and it won’t work for wolves either. I share in your concern about coyotes as do many other wolf advocates. In NC, 4 red wolves which are highly endangered, have been killed by hunters killing coyotes at night with spotlights. Many people cannot tell the difference between coyotes and red wolves even in the day time. These wolves were mistaken for coyotes and the Red Wolf Coalition got an injunction to stop the night hunting of coyotes. True, this was done more for the sake of the wolves, but coyotes will also enjoy some protection from this. I hope attitudes regarding coyotes do change and that coyotes receive the respect and admiration they deserve.

    • avatar Mark L says:

      I question the term ‘mistaken’ when describing how the red wolves were shot in NC. I see no mistake…(mis-take) at all. I see a take.

  2. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Jon,

    I read this when the IWC ran the article in it’s magazine. Congrats. I agree with the main premise of your piece. When one thinks the wolf has been vilified, it’s unbelievable what coyotes have had to endure. Speaking of coyotes, saw one running out of town today, unfortunately looked as though it had mange as tail was not furred at all.

  3. avatar Sam Parks says:

    I completely agree with this posting. Following the Jamie Olson nightmare, I tried to get several editors of Wyoming newspapers to cover the story. To my knowledge, none have. I think if people really knew how Wildlife Services treats coyotes and how much they spend doing it, there would be a large scale public movement to defund the agency. I am surprised that more groups don’t really address these issues in depth. Wildearth guardians is one of the few that have. They seem to have taken the lead on opposing the ineffective and probably counterproductive coyote “control” programs.

  4. avatar Rita K. Sharpe says:

    Wonderful piece,Jon.

  5. avatar mikepost says:

    Jon, while I share many of your thoughts lets not confuse the coyote situation with the wolf. Coyotes are in no need of rescue or support, the numbers and range increase every year. If anything, they are bad press for wild canines. Coyotes have attacked hundreds of humans in the last 3 decades (mostly in urban/wilderness interfaces) and killed 2. I dont vilify them, but they are a different dog than the wolf. I would sooner face a pack of wolves (as I just did in the Ontario bush this month with no threats presented) then a pack of your eastern coyotes/coywolves.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      mikepost

      I’ve lived around coyotes my entire life, and like Jon have felt quite safe around them. I wish I’d see more of them. I walk every night late, often around midnight, and occasionally I am fortunate enough to see one or two quite large coyotes or coywolves as I am told they are more accurately described. I am not fearful for my dog or myself but feel fortunate to see them. They are very shy even the large animals, and don’t stick around long which makes me happy. I like to think they run every time they see humans as people do terrible things to coyotes for no good reason. I think you are the victim, like many others, of the perpetual predator danger myth.

      you say you’d rather face a pack of wolves then coyotes, why? and its probably really unlikely you’d ever see more then 1 or 2 together. They are horribly persecuted, even more so then wolves, and just as beautiful and valuable.

  6. avatar Jon Way says:

    MikePost,
    coyotes average about 5 bites on people per year in the US while dogs kill about 20 per year and there are almost 5 million bites – so the numbers are statistically nothing when you think about the relative danger of coyotes given they live everywhere. The point of my post wasn’t that coyotes aren’t more successful than wolves, which they clearly are – it is the awful and unsporting and unethical ways that a social, intelligent and sentient species (all also characteristics of wolves) is treated by state game agencies that I believe should not be in charge of managing a species. As per your last comment, I have repeatedly been surrounded by coywolves. To say I haven’t felt a threat from them would be an understatement – even when my 4-5 year old is with me…

    • avatar Jon Way says:

      sorry that should say: should not be in charge of managing a species that is clearly in contrast to their agendas.

      • avatar Robert R says:

        Jon are you saying you want the coyote to be protected without any management and to eliminate the hunting and trapping of coyotes all together?
        There are a lot of what if’s!

        If so, how do you propose to manage there numbers and with what method because I have not herd of a solid plan yet.
        Once hunting and trapping is stops then you have the government taking control, which means no control over what or how they manage the coyote.

        • avatar JB says:

          Robert:

          I can’t help but point out that every effort to manage coyote numbers essentially fails long term. So one has to ask: would coyote populations be any different were hunting and trapping reduced or eliminated?

          Note: The above comment deals only with coyote POPULATIONS. There is evidence that removal of “problem” coyotes is useful for controlling coyote-human conflicts. I believe that is an entirely separate issue.

          • avatar Nancy says:

            “So one has to ask: would coyote populations be any different were hunting and trapping reduced or eliminated?”

            Good question JB. Another one would be – if ranchers were more vigilant about protecting their livestock, especially during calving or lambing season, would there be a need for this annual, incredibly expensive war on coyotes?

            • avatar Jon Way says:

              Robert, sorry been off-line for past 12 hours +. JB essentially answered how I would’ve. Any type of protection would be line for other species meaning that there would be regulation, bag limits, etc. Treating native animals with respect. But yes, there is no evidence that the current system works for populations (that is allowing them to be slaughtered). There is much more evidence that “controlling” individuals may be a more effective technique and allowing non-problem causing animals (which in itself is a subjective definition) to remain on the landscape. In fact, many states already recognize this and allow liberal killing (hunting/trapping, etc) seasons not to accomplish anything other than to satisfy hunters by giving them additional recreational opportunity (I have heard those very words…).

              • avatar Mark L says:

                Oh, you mean like saying the non-offending individual animals are ‘innocent until proven guilty”, kind of like our legal system assumes with people? I like it.

    • avatar mikepost says:

      Jon, I have records of years in just S. California where coyote attacks numbered in the dozens each year so I am not sure where your data comes from. Admittedly these are mostly a result of urban food habituation but the numbers are there. Mostly not life threatening but puncture wounds and blood drawn. I have the autopsy report for the 2 year old killed in Glendale CA. You might want to rethink where you take your 4 year old regardless of your experience and expertise.

      My point was that coyotes do have a track record much worse than wolves and so the average Joe has little sympathy for their fate at the hands of wildlife services. As for domestic dogs…different subject, different politics, but I agree with your statement.

      • avatar Mark L says:

        Just to split hairs….are you saying a 2 yr old that was killed by coyotes or 1 than was fed upon by coyotes post mortem?

        • avatar mikepost says:

          Snatched of her walkway in front of the house while her mother and siblings watched…one quick shake and it was over. House was in a wilderness interface and the neighborhood had a history of wildlife feeding.

          Believe it or not, some “coyote activists” actually accused the parents of covering up child abuse by throwing the child to coyotes. The BS can get quit thick when peoples images of nature are so compellingly negated.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            Nothing can match our own human gun violence though. The neighborhood I mentioned in my post below is the location of a quadruple murder, there’s a trial going on right now, one victim was a two-year old child, and a fifth victim was left paralyzed. All gun and drug related. Every day somewhere someone is killed with a gun. So I have to wonder about all this zeal about coyotes and wolves. There are going to be conflicts with wildlife with our ever increasing expansion into more and more wildlife habitat. Southern California sprawl is legendary.

      • avatar Jon Way says:

        White, L.A., and S.D. Gehrt. 2009. Coyote attacks on humans in the United States and Canada. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 14:419-432.

        From this peer reviewed article: from 1960-2006 they found 142 reported attacks from 159 victims. About half did occur in CA but that still equates to only 3 per year in all of the US and Canada. A coyote attack was defined as an incident between a coyote and a person that results in a bite to the victim. The incident you refer to was a 3 year old in CA in the 1980s. The only other coyote-caused death is the well publicized one in Nova Scotia in 2009 (or 2010).
        I would hardly call these stats a track record given that they live throughout the US and wolves don’t…Furthermore, just last year 2 ppl died in Central Park from tree limbs falling on them. When numbers are so low, it doesn’t even really qualify as a statistical chance in the grand scheme of things.

  7. avatar Mark L says:

    Great article Jon, with lots to contemplate. I will bring exception to the definition of ‘successful’ used when comparing wolves and coyotes. If a coywolf is successful, it is by definition a success to both ‘sides’ however we fraction it out. It’s not a duality. Heck, some phenotypic coyotes may have a good deal of wolf in them. Since many regions rarely test them, how will we ever know?

    • avatar Jon Way says:

      Good points Mark L. I am always amazed how similar eastern “coyotes” look like red wolves for instance. And that isn’t by accident. Eastern coyotes (and why I like to call them coywolves) have a lot of “native” eastern wolf in them. And eastern wolves and red wolves are now being recognized as different species with both more closely related to coyotes than to gray wolves (and hence why hybridization happens). There is absolutely no doubt that there is a huge political reason for states in the east to NOT call these animals coywolves – and I think it mainly has to do with protection (or lack thereof) issues. If they recognize that there is a hybrid here in the NE then they would almost be implicit in their lack of doing anything to protect recolonizing wolves to the landscape whether they are eastern wolves or eastern/gray wolf hybrids (like which like in the Great Lakes area).

  8. avatar ramses09 says:

    Wolves, coyotes, & our family dogs are all one.
    That is why it confuses me when these “so called hunters”
    go & kill both species with glee.
    It’s a sickness – killing the way these “so called hunters”
    kill.

  9. avatar Joe Paterno says:

    Mikepost comments are the very reason why this article was needed to be written, coyotes and wolves are different? In fact genetically they are the same practically, and I rarely see wolf advocates sticking up for coyotes, in fact many of them endorse coyote control in the form of wolf predation, though they do wolves no service because the wolf’s enemies make the same claims of the wolf, true coyotes are not endangered but this nonsense and wolf elitism believing that coyotes are more of a danger where wolves are not? Shows Mikeposts ignorance. Wolves have killed two people in North America in the last 5 years, one in Saskatchewan and one in Alaska, do your research. Coyotes are not deliberately stalking people, in fact every incident (as with the wolves, as they have increasingly bit people)if it did not have to do with a rare case of rabies,has to do with food habituation, preventing food habituation resolves conflict with both species, coyotes are NOT more aggressive then wolves, they are just more common.

    • avatar mikepost says:

      Joe, in spite of my “ignorance”, I do know that coyote and wolf BEHAVIOR is unique to each species regardless of how close they may be genetically. You are correct about food habituation but the related issue is the coyotes ability and often preference to co-exist in urban areas where food-human association is often created even without any deliberate wildlife feeding.

      Next time you see a wolf denning up in a vacant lot in town or eating out of someones bird feeder, let us know…

      • avatar Joe Paterno says:

        Mike , wolves have denned right outside of Minneappolis/St. Paul, and they certainly reside just outside of rural towns in Alaska, Canada and Minnesota, so , their adaptiveness at denning in urban areas is true, European wolves are highly adaptive and live outside or even within parts of Rome,Italy, parts of Romania and other countries in Eastern Europe, as far as feeding out of bird feeders , I’m sure you will agree wolves are more carnivorous, you certainly are knowledgable , but I do not agree coyotes are more predisposed to attack people then wolves, all the old stories from Europe about wolves could be attributed to food habituation and the wolf adapting to the urban sprawl of 17th -19th century Europe, aside from cases of rabies, the cases you speak of in regards to conflicts in California , most are just sightings being reported as conflict, with NO physical confrontation , plus, while I am an advocate for both wolves and coyotes, people who make your arguement neglect the fact that a pack of wolves were preying on children in India 10 years ago, this is not being anti-wolf, this is stating the facts and the reason this article was written, that there are misinformed wolf advocates out there that only advocate for aesthetics while villifying coyotes

  10. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    The coyotes I have seen are usually lone. If I hear them it has been a single voice at a time. I remember one trotting through my yard who had absolutely zero interest in me. I think people are starting to realize their value in keeping rodent populations in check. :) Foxes seem to get a bad rap also, again, I have seen pairs and heard them at night(at least I think so) but they usually run from people or seem not to be interested in what people are doing. I am not worried about encountering either one. It’s deer season here now and I have already heard gunshots. Ugh.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Ida – we hear foxes all the time, you’d know it if you were hearing them. At night they screech its an ungodly sound. My dog usually hears it first, his ears perk up, he sticks his nose in the air and starts the growling and barking that can last for a long time. We live near the beach and its real deserted. The foxes, when they are about roam back and forth on the beach or on the dirt roads. AS they travel we can hear the calls fade in and out sometimes for hours on end. It used to frighten me when I was little as it sounds like something is being killed. They are very vocal….

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        Ha! It is a screech – I thought it was a bird at first, or animals fighting. They are quite beautiful – this pair one was missing their tail. I don’t mind it now either. :)

  11. avatar Mtn Mamma says:

    Jon, Great article, thank you for posting. You bring up some good points. However, I will reassure you that Coyotes do have advocates. I do a lot of volunteer work for Colorado Parks & Wildlife, & City of Louisville (CO) Open Space regarding coyote & education and monitoring. I am also a citizen scientist for a large study on Urban coyotes. I also frequently talk w dog owners in my neighborhood regarding their dogs behavior/interaction w local coyotes. I do love wolves, and coyotes!

    • avatar Jon Way says:

      Thanks for the comments Mtn Mamma,
      of course my article was a generalization… but that is great that there are folks like you advocating for local, common species like coyotes.
      The next step is to get state game agencies to incorporate this popularity into their state mgmt plans by establishing respectable seasons, bag limits, etc, just like for all species – especially one that is social and family oriented – like wolves….

  12. avatar Connie says:

    Although I am told coyotes have been in SC for many years, we are just starting to see them in my area. Their appearance is very different from those I see in Yellowstone. Size-wise they compare to a german shepard dog and even have some dark coloration. Occasionally, I hear them in the 750 wooded acres that surround our subdivision. Sounds like a half dozen or more. With the growing feral cat population, they have a ready food source. They are very beautiful creatures that deserve our respect.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Connie – is it possible you have a population of red wolves in your area?

      http://ecos.fws.gov/speciesProfile/profile/speciesProfile.action?spcode=A00F

      • avatar Jon Way says:

        My guess would be a coyote with red wolf genes. Similar to the coywolves in the Northeast. There just hasn’t been a lot of genetic work in your area to figure out what they are but my guess is that they no doubt have “native” wolf genes that historically existed in the area.

        • avatar Connie says:

          Thanks for the link, Nancy. The description of the red wolf certainly fits what I and several neighbors have seen. Think I’ll ask for a wildlife cam for Christmas and try to document. If I film them, Jon, could you identify? These are large (big bone structure), secretive animals who are lucky to be alive with the “shoot anything that moves” mentality in this area. There’s an estimated 3000 plus acres, undeveloped, bordering the Edisto River that *could* support them.

      • avatar Connie says:

        A fascinating possibility . . .

  13. avatar Linda Horn says:

    Humans are killing too many top-tier predators, throwing “the balance of nature” out of whack. No matter how much we put into research, Ma Nature still does it best. My solution for areas where coyotes (and even wolves) are a PROVEN problem (not just an inconvenience!) or at-risk of losing their lives due to human ignorance is “trap, treat, and release”. TT&R has helped reduce the number of feral cats in the community where I live. I wish I could say the same about feral dogs,

    BTW, I live in far Northwest New Mexico, but have lived in Houston, other cities in Texas, and Albuquerque. One thing these cities have in common is a growing coyote population. I’m originally from Rockport, Massachusetts, where people began to spot coyotes about 10 years ago.

    They may be hybrids, because they’re absolutely gorgeous. Big and healthy, with grey coats that blend with Cape Ann’s granite. One frequently makes its way across my parents’ backyard. I first spotted it well before dawn when a boulder “moved” and came trotting out of the fog. Unfortunately, small pets have gone missing all over the area. Fewer domestic and feral cats have meant more small rodents, and even Norway Rats – wharf cats are tough!

    Unless the coyotes can book passage across the Atlantic, the coast is as far as they can go. I talked with several people about the growing population and various options for control. Most residents of Eastern Massachusetts are very pro animals and animal welfare, so they were predictably in a quandary over what to do. I recommended they find solutions NOW. If they don’t, they won’t like what they and the coyotes will face down the road.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      I should add that I love coyotes, love to hear them sing, and I love wolves, and everything livng that we are so lucky to share our existence with. :)

  14. avatar Jon Way says:

    Just as I log-in for this conversation I receive this article in my inbox almost summarizing why I wrote this article (although these folks would obviously not be fond of wolves either).

    http://lubbockonline.com/filed-online/2012-11-22/wyoming-officials-launch-coyote-bounty-program-20-set-ears#.ULeB8mf4JpR

    Read these quotes. I am glad my son doesn’t have to do this on a Sunday:

    “We always shoot coyotes,” Michelle Dye said after her husband and three kids handed over their set of coyote ears Saturday.

    “It’s kind of like a family deal,” Dye said. “When we’re bored, we get in the truck and we go drive in the meadows and shoot coyotes.”

    Or this:

    “It’s a total redneck thing,” Erdman said as he opened the hatch of his truck. He kept the dogs’ bodies because hunters “have a bad name anyway,” he said, and leaving dead coyotes to rot on the side of the road does not help with that reputation.

    The two little bodies — sans ears, of course — lay facing each other, wine-colored blood pooling near one dog’s midriff, dark against the light wood of the pallet.

    Is my calendar is showing that it is 1912, not 2012??? By WY time, yes.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Well, at least they were straightforward and not using the livestock or deer excuse. What a scourge on the planet (the humans, that is). So violent and primitive it is scary. :(

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Jon,
      I saw this too and was about to post it. Its hard to read about parents teaching their kids to do things like this. A big reason for laws to protect carnivores. How can you expect people to learn to appreciate wildlife when they are caught in a vicious cycle of ignorance and cruelty while there are no laws that prevent society from engaging in behaviors that are medievally atrocious. This kind of behaviour is learned and handed down from one generation to the next. Shocking to think anyone can do these things worse yet to know they take their children.

  15. avatar Mtn Mamma says:

    In contrast to the story on the family that kills wildlife for fun, I thought I would share my daughter’s story. We spend a lot of time walking/hiking openspace & wilderness. One particular walk my daughter who was only 2 at the time, was trailing behind. She shouted “Wait Mommy I am scared!”. I asked “What are you afraid of? You aren’t afraid of the coyotes are you?”. She replied “No Mommy. I am afraid of humans.” Out of the mouths of babes….

  16. avatar Brad Loree says:

    I see this trend too. It’s very depressing how little respect coyotes are given. At this point I think they are demonized more than wolves. Just look at most news stories about coyotes as opposed to almost any other animal. Quite often the file photos used make them appear menacing, when really a picture like this is more accurate; http://www.dailycoyote.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/eyeballshakew.jpg

    A group I like to support is http://www.projectcoyote.org/ whose main goal is educating people about coyotes and changing public opinion.

    • avatar Jon Way says:

      Yes, Project Coyote is doing a great job on this and I see them making a big difference 5-10 years down the road since the org is just a couple of years old right now…

    • avatar Mark L says:

      “Boston School Department spokesman Lee McGuire said the school had been placed in “safe mode” out of an abundance of caution.”
      That’s an odd phrase….abundance of caution.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      It struck me as ironic at the time and a little bit of an overreaction, because I would also suggest that depending upon where this poor animal was found in this neighborhood, that it would have more to fear from the humans than vice versa. I’m glad they got the coyote to safety. Suffice it to say that a school going into lockdown isn’t only because of coyotes.

  17. avatar Rita K. Sharpe says:

    It seems,at least to me,canids are more hated than the feline family,such as the lion,puma,etc.Some people try to put some kind of judgement on how the prey is taken down by the predator,especially when it is not executed in away we want to see,fast and clean.Whether on this continent or over in Africa,predators compete for food.The painted dogs in Africa when at the kill,if they don’t eat it fast, they risk losing it to hyenas or even lions.Wolves and coyotes have been on the planet for along time. Confrontation are to be expected when searching for food,defending the food and territory.Doesn’t the fox suffer when the coyotes are around?However,put man in the picture,it is another thing.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Yes, I so agree. But yet, we exempt ourselves and we are guilty of some of the most heinous cruelty ever perpetrated against living things, including ourselves. It’s strange to me.

    • avatar Joe Paterno says:

      You are so right Rita

      • avatar Joe Paterno says:

        I mean about how canids are more demonized then cats, as far as fox and coyote go, there is a heirarchy but if enough resources are there foxes can exist amongst coyotes

    • avatar Joe Paterno says:

      Painted dogs are one of the few mammals who take care of their sick and elderly and allow the young to feed first until the years new litter is born, great animals

  18. avatar Snaildarter says:

    In Atlanta we now have a very heathy coyote population. they eat a lot neighborhood cats which is the main source of anger toward them. Wildlife removal folks make a lot of money trapping them but we still have them around. Hunting is way down in Georgia here and the deer population keeps growing. the coyotes seem to take a lot of fawns which is a good thing. I like them but I bring my cat in at dusk. My rule is never kill anything you don’t plan to eat and never eat anything that requires a lot of wildlife control to produce. Sorry Mr rancher no beef for me.

  19. avatar ma'iingan says:

    Three years into this study, the data is suggesting that under certain conditions coyotes are the primary predator of whitetail fawns, even on landscapes that they share with wolves.

    http://www.mlive.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2012/04/experts_surprised_by_which_pre.html

  20. avatar Editor Alex says:

    I could not agree more. Great article and premise. I have long been defending coyotes in my own small ways (letters to the editor, emailing news stations after airing error-filled pieces, spreading correct information, etc.). It amazes me how much folks are willing to now vilify coyotes. As a Chicagoan, they’ve made a huge comeback here–and the result is an outcry of fear from the general public. I’ll never understand it.

    • avatar Mark L says:

      Editor Alex,
      Do you think it’s the population in general showing fear, or the media looking for a story to sell in the papers/on TV? Remember, there’s media money in fear, not in courage. Scrawny, shy coyotes don’t sell papers.

  21. avatar Shah says:

    What I find ironic is that any canid labeled “wolf”, regardless of its genetic relationships, automatically becomes popular.

    Take the so-called Ethiopian “wolf”. Lindblad-Toh et al (2005) demonstrated that the coyote and golden jackal are actually more closely related to the gray wolf than the Ethiopian wolf is. Yet why is it that wolf-centred organizations or fansites exclude these two species? What criteria are used to include the Ethiopian wolf, and not the coyote and golden jackal? It certainly can’t be genetics. After all, the two New World wolf species (lycaon and rufus) are more closely related to coyotes than to gray wolves.

    Seems to me, “wolf” is just a label environmentalists slap onto newly found endangered canids, in order to kickstart their PR. Why not just give them an Anglicized variant of an indigenous name? That’s how the coyote was named, and it was once common to call Ethiopian wolves “cuberows”.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey