On Thursday night a coyote was spotted in upper Manhattan. It is the second time a coyote was seen roaming the streets and the third time a canid made its appearance public this week.
Ever since the 1990s coyote sightings have increased in Manhattan. Experts say that the animals become more comfortable as they adapt to parks and city streets. Coyote researcher at Siena College, Daniel Bogan, said that is going to be something usual because coyotes are going to show up constantly in downtown News York City.
Another coyote escaped the police on early Wednesday morning. It is not known for sure whether the one from Thursday is the same coyote. Several people reported that they saw the coyote 30 blocks away, near West 87th Street and afterwards in Riverside Park.
So far this year at least four coyotes have been seen in Manhattan. According to the director of the city’s Urban Park Rangers program, Sarah Aucoin, one of them was seen on the roof of a Queens bar, but it disappeared in the end and three of them were captured and afterwards released in Bronx parks which have established coyote populations.
The coyote which was found on Wednesday in Riverside Park was a real challenge for the police. A helicopter needed to be used and the animal managed to hide in a deep bush around Grant’s Tomb. According to wildlife biologist Chris Nagy the coyote population around Manhattan is probably in the teens. In Manhattan there is no firm count of coyotes or sightings, but Nagy is a co-founder of a study group called the Gotham Coyote Project. He is also the research director at the Mianus River Gorge in Bedford.
These creatures once belonged to the Southwester deserts and Midwestern plains. However, as a result of the predators decline such as cougars and wolves, their range has expended very much in the last two centuries. Coyotes were previously killed because they were considered a threat to livestock or they were hunted for sport, but now they can be found over extended areas. According to the state Department of Environmental Conservation coyotes were firstly discovered in New York in the 1930s and nowadays there are approximately 30.000 of them.
General curator of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Patrick Thomas, remarked:
“We’ll just have to adapt our behavior and accept the fact that they’re going to be around.”
Aucoin said that there have not been any reports about aggressive coyotes. In order to reduce the risk of coyote conflicts people are recommended to not feed them and also to secure pets and trash.
Image Source: National Geographic