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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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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

We have a new USA resident living in the Chiricahua Mountains of Arizona, 50 miles north of the Mexican border----The Jaguar(named Sombra) that was spotted last November in the Dos Cabezas Mountains in the southern part of the state has seemingly found Arizona to his liking and can be seen on video cam by clicking on the link below.............."Within just the past few years, three different jaguars have been spotted in Arizona, including a famous big male named El Jefe – photographed over one hundred times in the Santa Rita Mountains – and a younger male named Yo'oko, who seems to have staked a claim to territory on the Fort Huachuca military reservation"......... "The jaguars are crossing the southern US border from imperilled populations in Mexico, re-taking some of their former home range".............If Sombra turns out to be a female, she would be the first documented female Jaguar in the USA in over 50 years, providing hope that this species might jump-start their recovery in our Country............Of course, the question of wildlife crossings necessary to facilitate continued migration of Jaguars back and forth into Mexico continues to be debated in light of the proposed border wall to stop people from illegally entering the USA


New video shows Arizona's wild jaguar 'Sombra' has settled in

 SEPTEMBER 15 2017; David Moscato

In November of 2016, a remote camera in the Dos Cabezas Mountains of southeast Arizona caught a shot of a rare animal: a jaguar. This summer, video footage from a different camera in the Chiricahua Mountains of the same state revealed a familiar set of spots – the same jaguar, several months later, and looking quite at home in its new United States stomping grounds.

The same jaguar was photographed in the Dos Cabezas Mountains late last year. Image: Bureau of Land Management

"This beautiful cat has now appeared in images taken seven months apart," said Randy Serraglio of the Center for Biological Diversity in a press release. "It seems that it's established residence in excellent habitat more than 50 miles north of the [Mexican] border, which is great news for jaguar recovery.
The new video has now been publicly released by the Center, along with the big cat's affectionate name, Sombra. The moniker, chosen by students at Paulo Freire Freedom School in Tucson, is Spanish for "shadow", and cements the predator's place as part of the local Arizona community, something that conservationists are very excited about.

Chiricahua Mtns-lower right near the New Mexico Border with Arizona

Though we think of them as Central and South American animals, jaguars were once common in the southwest United States, ranging from California to the Grand Canyon to Louisiana. But a long history of being targeted by hunters and government programmes (mainly in the name of protecting livestock), as well as losing the habitat it needed to survive, left the species virtually extinct in the region. In 2009, what was thought to be the last wild jaguar in the country was euthanised.
But the situation may be changing. Within just the past few years, three different jaguars have been spotted in Arizona, including a famous big male named El Jefe – photographed over one hundred times in the Santa Rita Mountains – and a younger male named Yo'oko, who seems to have staked a claim to territory on the Fort Huachuca military reservation (both of these cats were also named by local students). The jaguars are crossing the southern US border from imperilled populations in Mexico, re-taking some of their former home range.
Another jaguar was photographed by a trail camera in the Huachuca Mountains of Arizona late last year. Image: Cochise District - BSA

The Center for Biological Diversity has spent several years fighting to create safe habitat space for these animals, which are, as the Center website states, the largest cat species in the entire western hemisphere.
Since 2007, the organisation has been working to oppose the construction of a copper mine in Arizona that threatens to erase thousands of acres of pristine jaguar habitat. And in 2014, it helped spur United States Fish and Wildlife to designate over 760,000 acres of federally protected land, specifically set aside as a region of safety for jaguars.
According to the Center's representatives, there are millions of additional acres of suitable environment for the spotted cats, and indeed Sombra has appeared outside the protected range. Conservationists hope to secure more of that land, but at the moment, there is another major obstacle – a literal wall – threatening to halt the jaguars' future success.

The Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona offers
wonderfully rugged habitat for Jaguars

"One of the greatest single threats to jaguar recovery in the United Sates is the proposed expansion of the US-Mexico border wall, which would destroy the big cats' ancient migration paths," the Center explained onFacebook.
"These cats must be able to move back and forth across the border as they travel long distances to find mates and establish new territories," Serraglio added.
Jaguars aren't the only animals that would be negatively affected by the border-wall project promised by US President Donald Trump; for months, conservationists have raised concerns about the potentially extensive impacts on local wildlife.
The new footage of Sombra, meanwhile, is especially exciting because we don't yet know if the jaguar is male or female. "The possibility that it may be a female gives us a lot of hope that jaguars might jump-start their recovery in a region they've called home for thousands of years," said Serraglio. If this turns out to be the case, Sombra would become the first female documented in the US since the last one was shot in Arizona more than fifty years ago.
"Jaguars are clearly trying hard to re-establish a population in the United States," said Serraglio, "They've now travelled here through every large mountain range connecting Arizona and Sonora."

Monday, September 18, 2017


What happens to wild animals in a hurricane - and which species do surprisingly well?

Helena Horton; Sept. 11, 2017

Sunday, September 17, 2017

While it would seem to me that common sense would lead one to conclude that wild Wolves would be more highly advanced than domestic dogs in seeking out food without needing human cues, it has taken a recent University of Vienna study to verify it----"During the study, both dogs and wolves were able to follow communicative cues to find hidden food"............ "However, without direct eye-contact, neither the dogs nor the wolves chose the correct object"..................... "In the absence of a human to show them where the food was located, only the wolves were able to make causal inferences"............""The results of our study suggest that domestication has affected the causal understanding of our dogs".............. "It cannot be excluded however, that the differences can be explained by the fact that wolves are more persistent to explore objects than dogs"............. "Dogs are conditioned to receive food from us, whereas wolves have to find food themselves in nature".............As most of us would agree, if you are constantly given food, clothing and shelter without needing to work for it, you are likely to lose the ability and drive to go about acquiring these things using your own initiative..........Bottom line common sense and reinforced in nature is the fact that the animals(non-human and human) that have to problem solve and go out and make a living on their own without help from others will be able to be more successful acquiring that "living"" than those relying on a handout from someone

Wolves understand cause and effect better than dogs

September 15, 2017

Domestic dogs may have lost some of their innate animal skill when they came in from the wild, according to new research conducted at the Wolf Science Center in Austria.
Wolves understand cause and effect better than dogs

n a study comparing  and dogs living in near-identical environments, wolves were better at working some things out, particularly at grasping the notion of cause and effect.
The research, by an international team in Austria, the Netherlands, Germany and England, is published in Scientific Reports.
Recently graduated lead author Michelle Lampe, of the Radboud University, in the Netherlands, said: "Children learn the principle of cause and effect early on, that if you touch a hot stove you will get burned, for example. Our study has shown the wolf also understands such connections, but our four-legged domesticated companions don't.
"It seems wolves are better at working some things out than dogs, which suggests domestication has changed dogs' cognitive abilities.
"It can't be ruled out that the differences could be due to wolves being more persistent in exploring than dogs. Dogs are conditioned to receive food from us, whereas wolves have to find food themselves in nature."
Michelle Lampe, Dr Zsófia Virányi, of the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Dr Juliane Bräuer, of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Germany, and Dr Juliane Kaminski, of the University of Portsmouth, UK, investigated the reasoning abilities of 14 dogs and 12 human-socialised wolves.
Wolves understand cause and effect better than dogs
The tests included the animals having to choose between two objects, one containing hidden food and the other empty to see whether the animals could make use of communicative cues, such as direct eye-contact and pointing gestures to choose the correct container.
Both dogs and wolves were able to follow communicative cues to find hidden food. However, in the absence of a human to show them where the  was, only the wolves were able to make causal inferences.
Dr Kaminski said: "In this experiment, the wolves showed a high understanding of cause and effect, which the dogs lacked.
"The wolves' use of cues connected to eye-contact was particularly interesting because it may help science better understand the process by which wild animals became our four-legged companions."
Dr Bräuer said: "The wolves' ability to understand human communicative cues after being socialised with humans, may have made it possible to become domesticated."
The authors say the results are compelling because in addition to comparing dogs and wolves living under identical conditions, with the same history and training regime, they also compared  living in packs to pets living with their human families.
Fourth author, Dr Virányi, said: "We were able to tease apart the influence of domestication from raising and living conditions. Few studies have achieved such strong, clear comparisons, though we must caution, too, that the wolves we studied are used to humans, which needs to be taken into account."

Wolves understand cause and effect better than dogs

September 15, 2017
University of Veterinary Medicine -- Vienna
A rattle will only make noise if you shake it. Animals like the wolf also understand such connections and are better at this than their domesticated descendants. Researchers say that wolves have a better causal understanding than dogs and that they follow human-given communicative cues equally well. The study provides insight that the process of domestication can also affect an animal's causal understanding.

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.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

This one comes under the headline of RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT---A woman driving to Calgary(Canada) from her home in Airdrie going highway speeds, slams into a Coyote crossing the road,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,The woman assumes the Coyote is dead and keeps driving...................100km(62 miles) later as she gets out of the car in Calgary, what does she see stuck inside the grill in front of the car?..................The Coyote, embedded inside the metal grill but awake and seemingly uninjured.................And sure enough, after the Wildlife biologists and Emergency Crews freed him, the Coyote was pronounced "fit as a fiddle",,,,,,,Returned to one of the open spaces in the Provincial Parks outside the City.................."In many Native American origen stories, the Coyote is known for his crafty intelligence, stealth and voracious appetitite, a "comic trickster whose sometimes risk taking behaviour gets him into trouble while ultimately his cleverness gets him back out"...................I would say this episode of surviving a direct car hit reinforces all of these characteristics that Indians saw in our SONG DOG-THE COYOTE

Miracle coyote hit by car on Alberta highway, safely travels 30 km in car’s grill

Josh Duncan Sept 11, 2017

Coyotes may not be part of the feline family, but one of them certainly has nine lives.
Georgie Knox was travelling from Airdrie to Calgary for work recently when she hit that particular coyote with her car.

Airdrie is North of Calgary on the map below
Image result for airdrie and calgary on the map
“Last week, on my way to work in the early morning, a coyote darted in front of my car and I hit it,” Knox explained on a Facebook post about the incident. “I heard a crunch and believed I ran over and killed it.”
<who>Photo Credit: Georgie Knox on Facebook
When she arrived in Calgary, however, a
 construction worker 
pointed out to Knox that she had a hitchhiker.
“Upon stopping at a traffic light by my work, 
a construction woman
 notified me that there was in fact a coyote 
still embedded in my 
car,” said Knox. “When I got out to look,
 this poor little guy was
 looking up and blinking at me.”
The poor animal was stuck in the grill of Knox’s
 vehicle and
 despite the crazy nature of the incident, didn’t 
appear to be 
too badly injured.
<who>Photo Credit: Georgie Knox on Facebook
Photo Credit: Georgie Knox on Facebook

Knox called Alberta Fish and Wildlife
who sent an officer to check out and
deal with the
“Miraculously, he was freed and had
 minimal injuries
 despite having hitched a ride from
Airdrie to Calgary
 at highway speeds,” Knox’s
Facebook post said. 
“Their biologist checked him
over and gave him
 the good to go.”
The coyote was released in
 Kananaskis, which is
 just over 100 km away from
Airdrie and right on
 the edge of multiple provincial
Knox called Alberta Fish and
 Wildlife Enforcement,
 who sent an officer to check
out and deal with 
the coyote.
“Miraculously, he was freed
 and had minimal 
injuries despite having hitched a
 ride from
 Airdrie to Calgary at highway
speeds,” Knox’s 
Facebook post said. “Their biologist
 him over and gave him the good
to go.”
The coyote was released in
 Kananaskis, which
 is just over 100 km away from
Airdrie and 
right on the edge of multiple
 provincial parks.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Are you a person who feels the impact of both the place that you reside in and the season of the year?..............As an October baby, I know that I am a "PLACE AND SEASON PERSON" for sure, reacting to the smells, sounds, landscape, people and wildlife around me with primal intensity as one season passes to the next................As NORTHERN WOODLANDS MAGAZINE Editor Dave Mance states so knowingly- "Some months, like some people, have a very strong sense of who and what they are".........Read his column below and see if you agree with his description of you based on birthday and "place"

On September
Some months, like some people, have a very strong sense of who and what they are. May is spring. July and August are summer. October is fall. January, February are winter. If these months had a hair style it would be a crewcut. If they had a political philosophy it would be conservative. There’s a roadmap to life, and by jingles they’re going to follow it.
On the flip side are months like April and November, who feel constrained by labels and seek over and over again to redefine themselves. Might be 70 and sunny, or there might be a foot of snow. These months wouldn’t have one hair style or even one hair color.
Some months are demure middle children who can’t get out of their older sibling’s shadow. March is pre-April. June is pre-July. December is pre-January. Yes, they sometimes rebel but it’s usually muted and kind of cute. They don’t demand attention like their louder siblings.
Which leaves us with September. You might say 
that it’s a kind of pre-October, but where I live, anyway, its average daytime high (70 degrees) is much closer to August (78 degrees) than it is to October (59 degrees). It’s hard to call 70 degrees fall, and yet September is clearly not a summer month, that clarity based not so much on what you feel on your skin but by what you sense. There are more mice, and chipmunks, and squirrels than there used to be. Fewer birds. More traffic on the roads but fewer children in town during the day. Things are quieter.
The back, unmowed meadow is obscene: waves of goldenrods and ragweed and milkweed and vetches breaking into brambles and young sumac spears and squat dogwood sprawls, the edges full of vines that smother whatever they’re growing on; you don’t even want to walk into it – it looks like you’d never emerge again; plus the riotous smells, the pollen perfumes and pleasant herbal aromas cut with something dank and musty, in places hints of vinegar and other acidic tangs. And yet with this jungle as a backdrop you notice, in the mowed section of the lawn, that the texture of the grass is different. In the shady sections it’s not growing anymore. The shadows are longer. Mist pools in the valleys on the cool mornings now. If you’ve lived through an autumn in the Northeast before you’d recognize the purples in the Virginia creeper foliage, the first reds in the swamp maple foliage, and see them as a harbinger of what’s about to unfold. But even if you didn’t know this, you’d sense something was afoot.
I guess in human terms September is the intelligently quiet guy or gal in the corner. They don’t say a lot, but when they do speak you lean in because whatever they say will be worth hearing.