Tonight is “Meet The Coywolf” 8PM on PBS

Meet The Coywolf on PBS Tonight at 8 PM.  Find out where all that howling at the moon on Cape Ann is coming from.

sixweekcoywolf

Six Week Old Coywolf.

The coywolf, a mixture of western coyote and eastern wolf, is a remarkable new hybrid carnivore that is taking over territories once roamed by wolves and slipping unnoticed into our cities. Its appearance is very recent — within the last 90 years — in evolutionary terms, a blip in time. Beginning in Canada but by no means ending there, the story of how it came to be is an extraordinary tale of how quickly adaptation and evolution can occur, especially when humans interfere. Tag along as scientists study this new top predator, tracking it from the wilderness of Ontario’s Algonquin Park, through parking lots, alleys and backyards in Toronto all the way to the streets of New York City. -PBS

In 56 minutes I doubt they will even scratch the surface of the interesting parts. If they say “evolution” more than twice, “mitochondrial DNA sequencing” even once, I will eat my lab coat. But it is the Nature show on PBS and they might be even handed about the subject and they might even spice it up with some real science from real scientists instead of “scientists say …”

[edit] Looking for coywolf cameltoe to toughen up this post and there is no Rubber Duck at all. She has locked herself in her room crying.

CryingRubberDuck

Weird?

About Paul Morrison & RD

Good Morning Gloucester reporter possessing the dangerous combination of a Press Pass and a Rubber Duck.
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10 Responses to Tonight is “Meet The Coywolf” 8PM on PBS

  1. Dave Moore says:

    Oh duickie looks like what that above me here adventure :-)

  2. Oh RD ~ I’m crying too ~ I missed it! ;(

  3. Missed this but hope to catch a repeat soon – very timely as apparently my son and neighbor saw 6 – 7 coywolves eating something in the path next to our house a few nights ago. We had all seen coyotes but only one at a time – to think there was a pack that large is very concerning and I wonder if they behave differently as a pack and might be more aggressive or confident.

  4. E.J. says:

    I really meant to watch it, but Sherlock Holmes was on at the same time on Channel 10, and I love Sherlock Holmes almost as much as Downton Abbey. Thanks for the link!

    • My synopsis: Short on the genetics but I expected that. The main overall point I think they hammered on is that humans aggravated the situation and now we have a coyote and wolf hybrid that is very adapted and not going anywhere. We wiped out the wolf leaving an empty space for a predator. Then outside Toronto they wipe out some wolves and this tipped the balance. The remaining wolves began mating with the coyotes moving east to fill the void. These coywolf hybrids under intense selective pressure ( the pressures being moving into new food sources, new terrain, new enemies, people killing them) sped up the natural evolutionary process. Two nature rules, nature abhors a vacuum and nature will adapt. These new adapted coywolf packs react to being killed in two ways. The alpha partners allow the pack to breed and the esterus cycle is sped up so they breed younger. Which means if you kill them they come back in greater numbers.

      A few things they pointed out. Don’t feed them. You feed them and you are directly creating a problem that probably requires them to be shot. The other thing is how they move around and get to new territory. Railroad tracks. They take the MBTA to Cape Ann!

      I think they may have cleaned out the fisher cat pair out on Halibut Point. If we have to have an apex predator in the neighborhood I vote for coywolfs. Fisher Cats are nasty.

      • Dave Moore says:

        Your assessment is spot on here for sure well said! :-)

      • Grouper says:

        Great synopsis until you got to the fisher part. What’s wrong with fishers? How are they “nasty”? They can kill porcupines by scooping out their guts (which is pretty bad-ass, granted), and are pretty adept at chasing squirrels through the treetops. Buuut, I don’t see a problem with either of those things. Could you expound on your statement?

        • You’re right, they aren’t nasty but they do seem a bit more badass. They appear so infrequently being nocturnal that anecdotal stories get amplified. My one anecdotal encounter was with Sue 20 years ago. The fisher did not mind that she had a shovel in her hand the fisher just kept on charging until she had run inside. When they do that the appear very mean and nasty but it might be just their way of saying hello this is my backyard now. Other anecdotal stories make them sound fearless. But they do an awesome job clearing out all the small animals in an area. We had no rabbits eating out of the garden when they were around.

          Around Halibut Point I only saw them once and they appeared like two fast moving wisps of smoke after dusk. Still, if I had a choice between sharing a trail with a fisher and a coywolf I would prefer the coywolf.

  5. Leslie Y. De Vaney says:

    It was a very interesting documentary. I was surprised at how little fear they showed towards humans (none actually) as they passed “right under our noses,” especially in urban areas. They mate for life, and are very protective of each other. They’re extremely intelligent, and pass on their knowledge to their offspring. And yes, they do migrate south from Canada by following railroad tracks! Who knew?

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