Michael Smith shared this coywolf infographic with me on Google plus. The coywolf is a remarkable new hybrid mix of western coyote and eastern wolf. The coywolf’s range is growing and they are thriving in urban and suburban areas. It’s thought this new hybrid species first appeared early in the last century in Ontario, Canada’s Algonquin Provincial Park. We may have a coywolf (almost certainly a coyote) living quite nearby in our little town here in Southeastern Pennsylvania, there’s an ideal patch of habitat and I know people have seen a creature there that meets the description.
What I find remarkable (and inspiring) in this story nature adapting to the changing environments. There’s a remarkable number and diversity of animals living in my suburban neighborhood; I’ve identified foxes, possums, rabbits (lots and lots of rabbits!), groundhogs, squirrels (lots of squirrels!), raccoons, skunks, and dozens of species of birds (the number and diversity of raptors around here is pretty amazing) in and around our tiny urban back yard. A short walk away is a creek bludgeoning with reptiles and amphibians.
The PBS series Nature has featured a couple of programs recently that document these fascinating adaptations in the coywolf and in urban raccoons: