The National Park Service Doesn't Know Its Coyotes

Illustration for article titled The National Park Service Doesnt Know Its Coyotes

Several news outlets in Washington DC have responded to our report of coyote-wolf hybrids living there, including a flat-denial from the National Parks Service. They're wrong.

What they're not telling you is that the Eastern Coyote, the species of coyote that lives throughout the eastern seaboard of the US and Canada and has now made Rock Creek Park its home, came to be through cross-breading between smaller, western coyotes and larger, boreal and grey wolves. The species is, by its very definition a coyote-wolf hybrid. Eastern coyotes are larger than their western counterparts by roughly double, a not inconsequential size difference which enables them to predate larger species, including deer and, of course, your pets.

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So, sorry Acting Deputy Superintendent Jeremy Sweat, but you're flat wrong.

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DISCUSSION

Nowhere in that quote did Jeremy Sweat say there were no hybrids, he simply said there were no wolves. That news source you linked appeared to misinterpret or unreasonably expound on his quote, and you just rolled with it. Calling him flat wrong is a bit of a stretch here, he is actually correct in that there are no wolves.