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What is this thing?

Old 03-05-2007, 05:03 AM
  #11  
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Default RE: What is this thing?

Looks like a big 'ol eastern coyote to me...
That's what it is! It is an eastern coyote! They are a coyote crossed with a timber wolve. This one is estimated to be 3 & 1/2 years old and measures 6 feet from the tip of it's tail to it's nose. It wieghed 78 lbs., and he had caught another one 2 weeks ago but it was half eatened by other coyotes when he got there. If you saw this chasing or attacking a deer or a moosewhat would your first thoughts be?
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Old 03-05-2007, 05:45 AM
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Looks like he snared the critter..You can see the wire mark around it's neck...
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:53 AM
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Default RE: What is this thing?

It might be eather a really big coyote or maybe a smal wolf.
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Old 03-05-2007, 11:22 AM
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Looks like he snared the critter..You can see the wire mark around it's neck...
Yes it was caught by snare, across the river from here it is legal there. He had caught this roughly 15 miles from here.

It might be eather a really big coyote or maybe a smal wolf

yeah it was about the same size as the wolves that put the moose down on a post earlier on here. Also welcome to the forums Jome.
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Old 03-05-2007, 12:27 PM
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Plain old Coyote[:-]
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Old 03-05-2007, 03:17 PM
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Phil.. I vividly remember you saying some guy caught a 78 pound coyote. Now just by what you've said and the picture of that thing it isnt a coyote.At best its half coyote, half wolf. So tell me, where are these Maine COYOTES that get up to 80 pounds??
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Old 03-05-2007, 05:12 PM
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Default RE: What is this thing?

Looks like a german shepard to me.

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Old 03-06-2007, 04:37 AM
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Phil.. I vividly remember you saying some guy caught a 78 pound coyote. Now just by what you've said and the picture of that thing it isnt a coyote.At best its half coyote, half wolf. So tell me, where are these Maine COYOTES that get up to 80 pounds??
You are correct and this is one of them, you should also remember me saying the Eastern Coyote? The coyotes here in Maine as well as most northeastern states are made up of the Eastern Timber Wolve and the Coyote. That is exactly where the nameEastern was drawn from. They are in fact a hybred coyote. The state officals believe they made that cross when traveling here from out west. Most coyotes caught or shot here are the younger ones, andthis one is an adult one. Most all coyotes here are larger than the western ones. They also come in different color phases as well, some will look like a giant red fox, some silver, some black, some blondish,and some just like this one.
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Old 03-06-2007, 07:26 AM
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Uhh, yeah I know eastern coyotews are bigger. But even eastern COYOTES max out at around 50 pounds.. Eastern Coyotes are not given the name eastern coyote because they bread with timber wolves. That is bogus information.
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Old 03-06-2007, 08:47 AM
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Uhh, yeah I know eastern coyotews are bigger. But even eastern COYOTES max out at around 50 pounds.. Eastern Coyotes are not given the name eastern coyote because they bread with timber wolves. That is bogus information.
perhaps i am wrong on how the name arrived as it was not the eastern wolve at all but read on Maine had already done this study back in the s 1970s. It appears all of Maines coyotes fit into this group.

Biological Investigators Discover Wolf Ancestry[/align]

Eastern Coyotes Are Becoming Coywolves[/align]

By DAVID ZIMMERMAN, News Correspondent[/align]Saturday July 2, 2005 [/align]















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A handsome, stuffed, wild canine presides over the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife's conference room on Portland Street in St. Johnsbury.

Shot in Glover in 1998 by Eric Potter, the animal, a male, is a puzzler. With its gray, tan, black, and beige pelage, it looks like a coyote. But, as Fish and Wildlife biologist Thomas Decker points out, it weighed 72 pounds at death, and it's built like a wolf.

"It's smaller than a wolf, and larger than a coyote," Decker said. "It's a hybrid" - a cross - "between a large, eastern coyote and a wolf."

He said the animal's ancestry was confirmed by genetic testing. What it is not, he said, is a cross with a domestic dog. In fact, none of the coyotes tested in New England in recent years have turned out to carry dog genes, Decker said.

In New Hampshire, Eric Orf, a biologist with the state Fish and Game Department, agrees with Decker, saying it is "wrong" to call the animals "coydogs," because they have no dog DNA.

The "coywolf" is thus becoming a poster animal for issues that biologists, farmers, and sportsmen are trying to sort out: What are the "coyotes" now seen or killed in the Kingdom? And where do they come from?

For answers, researchers are turning more and more to genetic studies, called DNA profiles. The answers that geneticists come up with will help shape wildlife management plans - and may be decisive in the question as to whether wolves should be reintroduced in New England.

In point of fact, as hybrids, wolves already are here.

Several years ago, for example, Donald "Rocky" Larocque of Lyndonville, who is a mechanic for the St. Johnsbury highway department, was hunting deer in East Barnet. It was late in the season - Thanksgiving, he recalled in a phone interview - and late in the day he encountered a large "coyote" and shot it.

The animal, a female, weighed about 60 pounds, and appeared heavyset, more like a wolf than a coyote. Larocque said he showed it to Rodney Zwick, a professor at Lyndon State College, who was impressed enough to send the animal to a biologist in Kansas. Its DNA was tested, and it was "part wolf," Larocque said.

Based on DNA tests, a picture is emerging on the relationship of coyotes and other wild canines in the Northeast, although the history is still quite fuzzy.

In the Colonial era, there were few if any coyotes in New England. Wolves were here. But, strangely, because there are so few ancient wolf specimens still around in museums, DNA research to determine what kind of wolves they were cannot be done, according to a pair of biologists, Paul J. Wilson, a DNA profiler at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, and Walter J. Jakubas, a biologist with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

The scant evidence, according to Jakubas, suggests they were not "timber wolves," or gray wolves (Canis lupus), as northern and western wolves now are called. Rather, he said they appear to have been similar to the red wolves (Canis rufus) found in Canada's Algonquin Provincial Park north of Toronto. Red wolves are also in the southeastern U.S., where a captive breeding project has been started to save them from extinction.

The settlement of New England destroyed or drove off the resident wolves, according to the scenario developed by Jakubas and Wilson. In the last century, they speculate, coyotes replaced wolves, filling their empty biological niche. The researchers said coyotes appear much abler than wolves to live among people.

What is unclear, is where the coyotes came from. "We don't know," Decker said.

Eastern coyotes are larger and heavier at 32 to 38 pounds than western coyotes at 22 to 30 pounds.

The diet of eastern coyotes includes white-tailed deer, while western coyotes feed mostly on rabbits and small game. The coyote in the Fish and Wildlife conference room had four pounds of deer meat in his belly when he died. But, aside from diet, part of the reason for the eastern coyotes' larger size may be hybridization with wolves.

The Fish and Wildlife specimen and Rocky Larocque's animal certainly have wolf genes. More tellingly, a study by Wilson and Jakubas shows that of 100 coyotes collected in Maine, 22 had half or more wolf ancestry - and one was 89 percent wolf. Over half of the specimens had eastern coyote ancestry, but only 4 percent were mostly descended from western coyotes (Canis latrans).

"The [introduction] of eastern Canadian wolf genes into eastwardly expanding coyotes could have provided a composite genome [Canis latrans X lycaon] that facilitated selection of animals with a larger body size ... that may be more adept at preying on deer than smaller western coyotes," Wilson and Jakubas report in their study. The study, co-written with Shevenell Mullen of the University of Maine, is awaiting publication.

In plain language, Wilson said his work suggests the large, eastern coyotes in Canada are hybrids of the smaller western coyotes and wolves that met and mated decades ago as the coyotes moved toward New England from their earlier western ranges. The animals, he said, may become amplified in size by further crossings between the now-larger eastern coyotes and Canadian wolves.

Vermont's Tom Decker said he wants to see more evidence published to support that view. However, he said, collecting evidence is difficult since no systematic genetic sampling of the state's coyotes has been done.

The gaps may soon be filled. Biologist Roland Kays, who is curator of the New York State Museum in Albany, said he and his associates are planning a major investigation to supplement the study by Wilson and Jakubas of coyotes from Maine. Their work "opens up a lot of new questions," Kays said.

Between 100 and 1,000 animals from throughout New York and New England will need to be studied to sort out their backgrounds, he said. Kays and his associates would like to get samples, particularly whole animals, along with information on where they were from. He can be reached for further information at 518-486-2005.

The outcome of further studies could discourage wildlife officials and conservationists who have talked about reintroducing wolves to the Northeast, Decker said. The usual goal of reintroduction efforts is to preserve true species, not create more hybrids.

The other side of the reintroduction coin is that hybrids may be better suited than purebred wolves to survive in 21st century New England.

"Once you get that coyote-and-wolf hybrid," Paul Wilson said, "it is a very adaptable animal."
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