Posted tagged ‘NYC coyote’

Coyote Captured on Upper West Side

January 11, 2015
Photo by Christopher Sadowski as seen in The New York Post

Photo by Christopher Sadowski. Visit The New York Post for more of Mr. Sadowski’s photos.

Last night in Manhattan’s Riverside Park, a coyote was captured by the police. As far as I can tell, this is the first coyote sighting in Manhattan since March 2010 when a beautiful young coyote spent about a month in the city. She quickly found her way to Central Park’s Hallett Nature Sanctuary and made her base in that protected acre in the shadow of the Plaza Hotel before being captured down in Tribeca. In 2012, coyote tracks were found in Fort Tryon Park in Washington Heights in northern Manhattan, but I can find no report of a sighting.

Coyotes have been resident in the Bronx for some time now. More recently, they seem to have taken up residence in Queens, and in 2012, a coyote was spotted in Staten Island. Manhattan’s coyotes probably come down from the Bronx over one of the bridges at the northern tip of the island or, possibly, by swimming.

Wildlife biologists at the Gotham Coyote Project are currently studying our coyote population, using camera traps to answer the question: “Where in NYC and its surrounding suburbs can you find coyotes?” The Munshi-South Lab is also involved with monitoring the establishment and dispersal of coyotes in NYC. A camera trap captured this gorgeous image.

Camera Trap image from the Munshi-South Lab website.

Camera Trap image of coyote and pups from the Munshi-South Lab website.

Last night’s coyote, a female, resisted arrest, as one hopes any healthy wild animal would do, and led the police on a chase through Riverside Park before being tranquilized and captured in a basketball court. According to the Twitter account of the 24th Precinct, the police had the coyote “corralled inside fenced-in BB court, but so cold out, the tranquilizer in the darts kept freezing!” They had to wait for a second Emergency Services Truck to arrive with “warm darts” as they “wanted to stun it as humanely as possble.”

Police report the animal was unharmed and was taken to Animal Care and Control where it will be examined before being released somewhere outside the city.

NYC Coyote News: Trapped in Tribeca

March 25, 2010

The wildlife news just keeps on coming.

A coyote was caught in Tribeca this morning, where she has apparently been eluding capture, since first being sighted in the area yesterday. Police shot her with a tranquilizer dart, placed her in a large animal carrier and took her away. Yes, her. The adventurous coyote is a girl.

Are the Tribeca coyote and the Central Park coyote one and the same?  Are there other coyotes in Manhattan? For the moment, these are open questions, pending further sightings.

AnimalTourism.com reports that the coyote may be quarantined for ten days to be sure it has not contracted rabies from our resident mad raccoons, after which it may be released into the Bronx. Coyotes are well established in the Bronx. Note “may be quarantined” and “may be released”; nothing is yet confirmed.

For video of the coyote in Tribeca, click here and here.  To read about the capture, visit the New York Times City Room.

We wish the coyote the best. May she be healthy and rabies-free, and may the Bronx coyotes accept her into their territory. The Central Park coyote has been living with us for almost two months. If the captured coyote is the Central Park coyote, what a run she’s had!

I See the Central Park Coyote: Joy!

March 2, 2010

Yesterday I managed to get down just after sunset to the Pond at the southeastern end of Central Park to watch for the coyote. Photographer Bruce Yolton was already on the bridge with his big camera set up.  He said the coyote had been out on the ice about ten minutes before, but had left. We waited.

I walked a slow loop around the Hallett Nature Center and the pond, staring into the dusk, hoping to see the coyote on the other side. No luck. I rejoined Bruce on the bridge, and we waited some more in the gathering dark.

Two pitch-black shapes flew past us, low and swift. “Ducks,” Bruce said. They joined their tribe in the water under the bridge.

And then I caught a slim shape moving along the little spit of land that juts out onto the ice. The coyote!

Photo by D. Bruce Yolton/UrbanHawks.com

It disappeared around the far side, so we moved around the path after it. We were able to watch it for quite a while. It came out onto the ice many times, trotting and occasionally breaking into a lope. Its trot is remarkably quick and its movements efficient. Once it made a grand, pouncing leap from the bank back to the ice.

Wary and shy, it slipped back into the sanctuary at the sound of loud voices. It seemed to be trying to find a quiet space through which it could move on out of its Hallett-Pond territory, but was constantly deterred by people walking their dogs, loud ice skating music on the nearby rink and other evening park activity.

How different it must be in the wee hours of the night, when the park is empty of humans and dogs, and the coyote has free run. I’d like to see that.

See more photos and a short video of last night’s coyote sighting at Urban Hawks.

NYC Snow Day Brings News of Central Park Raccoons and Coyotes

February 27, 2010

The Parks Department declares Saturday an official Snow Day, and is providing free sleds and hot cocoa at several parks, including Riverside at 103rd.

Snow Day!

Esay trees a squirrel

Esau and I went by to check it out.

We ran into Sunny and Sheriden, our Urban Park Ranger friends, who were supervising the happy sledders from the bottom of the hill.

As always, I was delighted to see them and, of course, pumped them for the latest on Central Park’s rabid raccoons and visiting coyotes.

Raccoon Update

In a little over a week, USDA biologists have already trapped, vaccinated, tagged and released around seventy raccoons in Central Park. Seventy!  Add in the sixty rabid raccoons collected since December 2009, and it’s pretty clear that the total Central Park raccoon population must be well into the hundreds. This extraordinary population density has undoubtedly contributed to the rapidity with which the disease has spread.

One raccoon, already tagged and vaccinated, found its way into a trap for a second time. Since it was injured (not related to the trapping, as far as I know), researchers euthanized it. Tests revealed that it was rabid. This doesn’t mean the inoculation failed, but rather that the raccoon had been infected prior to being vaccinated. Since rabies shows no symptoms until it reaches the brain (at which point the raccoon has only a few days to live), a number of infected but still apparently healthy animals are likely to be trapped, vaccinated and released. The disease will kill them, but meanwhile they may continue to infect healthy, as-yet-unvaccinated raccoons.

Still, I’m impressed with the city’s response and the cooperative effort of state and local agencies. I remain hopeful that the virus will be contained and our raccoon population, dramatically culled by disease, will again be healthy.

Sheriden also said that since the snowstorm, some of Central Park’s raccoons are finding their usual secretive pathways too deep in snow for comfort, and are taking to the main walkways of the park. She’s guessing they’ll be getting more calls than usual over the next couple of days as healthy raccoons that just don’t want to get their feet wet waddle down the same paths as rabies-conscious New Yorkers who are trying to steer clear of the wildlife.

Coyote Update

The Central Park coyote (or coyotes, since no one is quite sure how many there are) continues to run free. It is reported to be quite shy of people. Sunny saw it once down at the south end of the park, playing with the snow. She said no one is trying to catch it, at the moment; they’re concentrating on the raccoons. And both she and Sheriden seemed to be hoping that it might be allowed to stay. I have to assume, though, that officials are considering the unfortunate possibility that the coyote may contract rabies from the raccoons.

Whatever the eventual fate of 2010’s coyotes, evidence is mounting that coyotes are adapting to east coast city life. Ball’s in our court. We city dwellers had better start figuring out how we can adapt to them.

Keep checking back for the upcoming series on coyotes in the east.

Coyote Update: Central Park, Columbia University, Highbridge Park

February 24, 2010

The Central Park coyote is still here.

No further word on the three Columbia University animals. They seem to have melted into their city surroundings. They may have made their way to a park. On February 13th, a coyote was spotted at Highbridge Park up at the northern end of Manhattan. Is it one of the three Columbia coyotes or is it yet another visitor? No one knows. But it’s clear we have at least four coyotes on the island.

Gapstow Bridge over the Pond

The Central Park coyote has been seen most often on the frozen Pond at the south end of the park, near the Hallett Nature Sanctuary.

Hallett is a four-acre wooded area that is closed to the public to protect wildlife.

The coyote has also been seen at numerous locations in the park, including the Great Hill and the Pool up at the northern end.

Northern end of Central Park

I imagine that in the quiet of the night and early pre-dawn hours, our coyote can cover the entire park with ease.

Bruce Yolton of Urban Hawks shot new video of the coyote on the frozen Pond earlier this week. There’s something strange and poignant about seeing it play all alone with a discarded plastic bottle as lights from a passing emergency vehicle reflect on the ice. Bruce maintains that the nearby Nature Sanctuary “would be a perfect place for the Coyote to sleep during the day and was the favorite spot of the 2006 Coyote, Hal.”

Visit Urban Hawks to watch the video and see new photos.

Central Park Coyote, Bruce Yolton/urbanhawks.com

Then check back at “Out walking the dog” to read the start of a series on urban coyotes that will eventually include a little history on the Eastern Coyote, speculation on why they’re moving into these mean streets and what the future holds for city dwellers, both human and wild canid.

Meanwhile, remember: LEAVE THE WILDLIFE ALONE!  Don’t approach or feed our coyotes or raccoons. Most problems – forget the rabies for a minute – stem from humans providing food for wild animals. Animals then lose their natural fear of us, look on us as a food source and become bold and demanding.

But hey, even Esau gets that way when people give him too many treats.

Forever Wild Esau

Coyote in Central Park

February 5, 2010

A coyote is on the run in Central Park.

As of yesterday, unsubstantiated reports claimed that park workers were trying to capture him. Sadly, given the raccoon rabies epidemic in the park, officials will surely have to be concerned about the coyote being infected. In the past, he might have been released in a more coyote-friendly location. Is that still an option?  We hope so, perhaps after a period of quarantine to ensure health.  Testing for rabies requires brain tissue and  is always performed postmortem.

Poor fellow, I hope he has a good run.

Coyotes are frequent visitors to the Bronx, but how fantastic to have a large wild mammal running free in the heart of Manhattan.

For more about urban coyotes, here is a brief article with links to some interesting research projects: Urban Wildlife–Coyotes Adapt to Big City Living.  The amazing Bruce Yolton has posted photos on Urban Hawks of Central Park’s coyote who cuts a slim, scruffy yet somewhat elegant figure.

Check back for more info.

UPDATE: Three coyotes have been spotted on the Columbia University campus in Morningside Heights. Read more about Manhattan’s coyotes.


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