Friday, March 26, 2010

Coyote captured in Tribeca yesterday was probably "our" coyote

Photo by Veryl Witmer -- the Central Park Coyote, Feb 2, 2010

Just yesterday I was reminiscing about happy coyote-watching days in Central Park.
Today reality set in with the news of a coyote capture in lower Manhattan. The young female animal that was finally caught after eluding great numbers of pursuers for more than 12 hours, was probably our Central Park coyote. Here's the story that appeared in this morning's AM New York, the free paper distributed to subway and bus riders throughout the city: [I'll post more news when I have it]

from AM NewYork

WEEKEND, March 26-28, 2010

Call of the wild in NYC

TriBeCa coyote just the latest animal to
make its way to city
By Emily Ngo

In the end, she just wasn’t wily enough. But the TriBeCa coyote nabbed by police Thursday is only the latest wild animal to stake a claim on Manhattan real estate.

New Yorkers had better get used to the idea of their city becoming a literal concrete jungle.

In recent years, Gotham has welcomed the peregrine falcon, the red-tailed hawk, the white-tailed deer and even the long-gone beaver, emblazoned on the city seal and a key part of its early economy.

“People are very moved by it,” said Marie Winn, author of “Central Park in the Dark: More Mysteries of Urban Wildlife.” “Wildlife in the concrete jungle reminds us that we are a part of nature.”

The resurgence is helped by environmental laws, bans on pesticides, rehabbed parks and the lure of city trash, experts said.

In the most recent case, the year-old female coyote led police on a two-day chase through TriBeCa but was captured Thursday in a parking lot.

She was shot with a tranquilizer dart and taken to animal control in East Harlem, police said.

Where she goes next is unknown, but this week’s episode marks one of several coyote sightings this year.

“I take heart when I hear that coyotes are surviving,” said Scott Silver,
director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Queens Zoo.

With their numbers expanding in the suburbs, some of the four-legged furballs are moving south.

“Coyotes are like people. You’re born, you live with your parents, and when you’re grown, you move away,” said Stephen Zawistowski, executive
vice president of the ASPCA.

Centuries ago, when New York’s landscape was covered with trees rather than skyscrapers, a diverse cross section of animals called Gotham home.

The city was stomping grounds for wolves, mountain lions, bears and wild turkeys.

New York’s unique geographic position between northern and southern climates and under the Atlantic Flyway bird route invites a range of critters, said Margaret Mittelbach, of the Secret Science Club lecture series.

But while some wildlife has rebounded, the city will hardly be the dense forest of yore.

“For every species that is more abundant today than it was 30 years ago, there are two that are in declining numbers,” said Glenn Phillips, executive director of the Audubon Society’s New York City chapter. “That’s the sad news.”

So just how do coyotes get here?

The coyotes who visit Manhattan likely come from Westchester, and while they’re not taking Metro-North, they follow train tracks on their commute. Here’s a step-by-step
route possibly taken by the TriBeCa coyote:
1. Westchester County
The county is teeming with coyotes, and the dogs look
south toward Gotham for more space.

2. The Bronx
Coyotes saunter into the Bronx, which has plenty of
appealing wilderness left.

3. Manhattan
They enter Manhattan by following rail tracks from
the Bronx.

Wildlife in the city

Wildlife sightings in the city:
  1. Earlier this month, a dolphin went swimmingin the polluted Newtown Creek.
  2. Seals have been seen frolicking recently off upper Manhattan and Staten Island.
  3. Jose the beaver settled into the Bronx River in2007.