MVFN Nature Notebook: Coyote or coyote x wolf hybrid?
Recent sighting received January 25, 2017
Lise Balthazar, Sheridan Rapids reported: “Yesterday [January 24], in the middle of the snow storm, I spotted a large animal running after a group of deer in our back field. It looked too big to be a coyote but a bit small to be a wolf. Could it be a coywolf?”
Photos were taken by Nat Capitanio
Tyler Wheeldon (Trent University) who spoke at our October lecture: “It can be difficult to accurately identify wolves/coyotes in central Ontario based on physical size and appearance due to hybridization that has occurred between wolves and coyotes, both historical and contemporary, which has led to intermediate-sized canids of variable appearance. Typically, genetic analysis is required to confidently assign an animal as wolf or coyote in central Ontario. However, based on the photos and the location of the sighting, my personal opinion is that the animal in question is probably an eastern coyote and not an eastern wolf, or at least is more coyote-like than wolf-like. The face seems quite coyote-like to me.”