A coyote was recently sighted in Central Park, a reminder of how as cities and suburbs expand into wildlife habitats, wildlife increasingly ends up in our backyards, including urban parks. Somewhat surprisingly, urban environments--though posing unique threats to wildlife--can also be beneficial for wildlife, offering abundant food sources and even predictable ambient patters, such as morning and evening rush hour.
Coyotes are not strangers to contemporary New York City. The Gotham Coyote Project, a group of researchers, educators, and students is working together to study the ecology of the northeastern coyote in New York City and the region. The project estimates that, as of 2018, 30-40 coyotes live in the New York City area, including in Queens near La Guardia Airport, the Bronx, Central Park, and Battery Park.
Increasingly, as humans encroach on wildlife habitats, wildlife encroaches on human habitats. Books like Feral Cities and Zooburbia, describe ways that human and animal life overlap. Notes an article in The Guardian,
"all around the world, city life seems to be increasingly conducive to wildlife. Urban nature is no longer unglamorous feral pigeons or urban foxes. Wolves have taken up residence in parts of suburban Germany as densely populated as Cambridge or Newcastle. The highest density of peregrine falcons anywhere in the world is New York; the second highest is London, and these spectacular birds of prey now breed in almost every major British city. And all kinds of wild deer are rampaging through London, while also taking up residence everywhere from Nara in Japan to the Twin Cities of the US."
Coyotes in NYC remind us that the wild heart of life collides and coexists with us in our urban homes.
About this Blog
Hi! I'm Nancy Kopans, founder of Urban Edge Forest Therapy. Join me on an adventure to discover creative ways to connect with nature in your daily life, ways that are inspired by urban surroundings that can reveal unexpected beauty, with the potential to ignite a sense of wonder.