Coyotes (Canis latrans) have increased their range dramatically over the past century. Formerly restricted to western North America, they now roam across the continent, in many habitats including large cities.
Even New York City (NYC), one of the largest and most densely populated urban centers in the world, has been colonized by coyotes. And now the last hold out, Long Island, N has a few coyotes too. Given the history of coyote success, it’s expected that coyotes will establish a growing population there in the near future.
There is no evidence from prehistory or recent history that coyotes ever populated Long Island, so this appears to be truly a novel colonization. However, they do fulfill an important ecological role, similar to the role of other carnivores humans have exterminated from the eastern US.
In a new paper, scientists summarize all verified accounts of coyotes on Long Island, including the first record of breeding.