The coyote (Canis latrans) has greatly expanded its range in North America over the last century, and it is now found in every state except Hawaii and every Canadian province. Long Island is now one of the few large land masses in the continental U.S. without a breeding population of coyotes. But wildlife biologists think that will change soon. A breeding population of coyotes has been established in the Bronx near Long Island’s western end and on Fishers Island (technically the Town of Southold, Suffolk County), near Long Island’s eastern end, for some years. Individual coyotes have been residing in Queens since 2009, and on the south fork of Suffolk County since 2013. Assuming that Long Island will have a breeding population of coyotes in the near future, this presents a unique opportunity. This presentation will discuss the goals of the Long Island Coyote Study Group, as well as some interesting facts about the extremely adaptable creature.
Mike Bottini is a veteran naturalist, outdoor educator, and environmental consultant. After completing graduate studies in wildlife ecology at the University of British Columbia, Mike worked for fourteen years at the Group for the South Fork, a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. He has taught field ecology, environmental science, and natural history courses at St. Lawrence University, Southampton College, and CUNY, has published three books, and is an award-winning columnist. Mike's wildlife research studies have included elk, spotted and tiger salamanders, spotted turtles, piping plovers, and river otters. At St. Lawrence, he designed and taught Winter Field Ecology, and has slept in igloos and snow caves in the mountains of New England, Colorado, Scotland, Labrador and Baffin Island. He continues to introduce people to the outdoors through his field naturalist classes, nature walks, and paddling trips.