What is a Coywolf?
While the term coywolves may sound like a term for coquettish wolves in granny bonnets, it is actually employed to describe a coyote/wolf hybrid. Under many people’s radar, coywolves are flourishing in southeastern Canada and in the northeastern U.S. Rumors abound that there is even one lonely coywolf living in New York City’s Central Park.
Also known as coydogs and eastern coyotes, these hybrids are bigger than coyotes, but smaller than wolves. Like wolves they are strong enough to hunt deer yet like coyotes they are quite skilled at coexisting in the shadows of human activity. Unlike many hybrid individuals, coywolves are fertile.
The expansion of these hybrids marks the return of wolves to the northeast. ”It’s kind of interesting that we drove this species from the area and it sort of came back in another form,” says Roland Kays, curator of mammals at the New York State Museum in Albany and author on the most comprehensive genetic study of these canines.