The Real Eastern Coyote

Chris Schadler

July 7, 2022  7pm

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Myths surround the coyote and cloud our understanding of it. Learn the true story of the eastern coyote – how and when it arrived in New England, how it lives among us but is rarely seen and how it contributes toward keeping our forests and fields healthy. Learn why it is a creature of our own making – an animal different from the western coyote in genetics and behavior but with the same superior resilience and adaptability. It is smart, beneficial and by its presence, gives “wild” back to our wild lands. This new wild also requires that livestock and pet owners step up and steward creatures with greater care.

Despite the ecological benefits the coyote brings, it is the most persecuted carnivore in North America. And despite human efforts to eradicate it, it survives and thrives among us.

Whether you farm, hike or garden, “understanding the mind and ecology of the coyote can keep us one step ahead of problems,” according to Chris, who, with 30 years of wolf and coyote research, sheep farming, and teaching, will demonstrate that “knowledge is power” when it comes to living with coyotes.

Bio:  Chris Schadler, M.S., Conservation Biology, is the NH and VT Representative for Project Coyote, a national organization promoting coexistence with coyotes. Chris co-founded the NH Wildlife Coalition, a wildlife advocacy group of scientists who also aim to broaden public input into wildlife decision-making. She is a member of the town Conservation Commission and Chairs the Select Board in Webster, NH.

Photo of Chris Schadler courtesy of Susan Lirakis

 

Event Report  The Eastern Coyote

Chris Schadler

July 7, 2022  7pm

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On a perfect evening at the park, Chris Schadler's stimulating presentation on the Eastern Coyote may just have outdone the weather and the beautiful setting as well.

 
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Some folks brought their grill to cook up a delicacy of their choice while others strolled the grounds enjoying the views.

 
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The view from the tower towards Martin Meadow pond was lovely.

 
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The view from the tower towards Mts. Garfield, Layfayette, Canon, etc. was pretty as well.

 
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Prior to the start of the program, this slide of coyotes at the Quabbin Reservoir had the audience eager for the program to begin.

 
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Chris opened her talk by contrasting the eastern coyote with its western ancestor.
As the western coyote moved eastward it interbred with eastern wolves - mainly the gray wolf in northern US and Canada. The eastern coyote not just physically but in behavior carries traits of the wolf. The eastern coyote is larger than the western. It also is less solitary and can operate in packs - even coordinate in attacks on larger prey.

 
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Chris' slides were clearly illustrated and a wealth of information. This one depicts the usual structure of a pack if left undisturbed. The pack is self regulating in that only the "Mom and Dad" will breed. When this balance is disrupted by, say, the Dad being killed, then yearlings are not constrained. Ironically, killing coyotes can then result in an increase in their population.

Chris' talk covered a wide range of topics that have impacted America's only native dog. She traced the evolution of the land, 1850-1950, from forest to farmland. She outlined the historical ranges of the gray wolf and how those have transitioned. She explored the eastward migrations of the coyote citing trapper's records - 1868 in Minnesota to Holderness, NH in 1944.  And, much more.

The striking conclusion is that this animal indeed merits the adjective "wily." Despite the fact that hunting coyotes at any time of year is allowed in 42 out of 49 states - this animal has done amazingly well.

 
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Chris' information is given on this slide.

Our event report, unfortunately, can not adequately cover the depth and the quality of Chris Schadler's presentation. Our large crowd of almost 100 people can attest to her knowledge and passion for this oftentimes maligned animal. If you ever have a chance to hear Chris, don't miss it.  She's an engaging and stimulating speaker. 


Thank you so much, Chris, for coming to Weeks State Park.