Meet the Coywolf: A New Hybrid Carnivore Roams the City

January 15, 2014 at 4:03 pm

PBS Nature presents “Meet the Coywolf,” a documentary about a remarkable new hybrid carnivore that is slipping unnoticed into our cities.  A mixture of western coyote and eastern wolf, the coywolf’s appearance is very recent — within the last 90 years — in evolutionary terms.

“Meet the Coywolf” traces the coywolf, also known as the Eastern Coyote, from its origins in Eastern Canada to the parks of New York City.  The documentary reveals how quickly adaptation and evolution can occur, especially when humans interfere.

“The arrival of coyotes into New York City is a wonderful, fantastic phenomenon,” Mark Weckel told MetroFocus’ Rafael Pi Roman.  Weckel, a postdoctoral researcher at the American Museum of Natural History‘s Center for Biodiversity & Conservation, and Christopher Nagy, Director of Research at the Mianus River Gorge, were featured in the documentary for their efforts to track and study coywolves in the New York metropolitan area.  In 2006, Weckel and Nagy created the Gotham Coyote Project in an attempt to better understand and educate the public about urban coyotes.

“I think in conservation you hear about all the sad stories, and coyotes are really kind of a success story,” Nagy added.

Rafael Pi Roman talks to Mark Weckel and Christopher Nagy of the Gotham Coyote Project about the elusive coywolf.

Nature: Meet The Coywolf” premieres at 8 pm, January 22 on PBS stations.