Flora & Fauna: Coyotes

If you thought an urban landscape couldn’t support these wild canines, think again.

Coyotes (Canis latrans) are above all, intelligent – after all, they’ve long had to share habitats with predators bigger and more powerful than them,

If you haven’t seen Coyotes in your neighborhood it doesn’t mean they’re not there – it just means they’re staying one step ahead of you.

There have been recent sightings of this cunning canine in The Bronx, as well as Queens, but their urban appearances have not been limited to the outer-boroughs – according to the Village Voice, a coyote was spotted in Central Park back in 1999.

In an environment like a city, a Coyote’s ability to survive is determined by it’s ability to go undetected – they are also naturally afraid of humans.

Of you count yourself lucky enough to see one, keep your distance and remember it is likely more afraid of you than you are of it.

They are generally considered not to be dangerous to people, according to The New York City Parks Department, and only a handful of coyote bites are reported annually throughout the country.

Ecologist Ferdie Yau, who studies NYC Coyotes, explained to Strausmedia in an interview this past March, “Coyotes usually become problematic because people feed them intentionally or unintentionally — through garbage or food left out for stray cats, for example — and they become habituated to humans.”

The hope is that as the animals are left alone, we can continue to share our city with this majestic creature without conflict.

Yau, who works for The Gotham Coyote Project, also said in the interview, “We hope to teach New Yorkers how to safely live with and enjoy the amazing wildlife around us, because like it or not the city’s newest immigrant is here to stay.”

For more information on NYC’s local Coyotes you can visit The Gotham Coyote project.

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