Coyotes in Panama. Very different from the ones you’ve seen on this blog.
A few years ago, I noted that it wouldn’t be long before coyotes crossed the Panama Canal. I even made an April Fools prank that coyotes had even made it to Colombia.
It turns out that these animals are pretty darn hard to parody, because it turns out that an article recently published in the journal Checklist has documented their presence beyond the canal.
They are now South America bound. If they do make it to Colombia they will be the first wild Canis to be in found in South America since the dire wolf went extinct.
Researchers found that Panamanian coyotes prefer to inhabit cattle ranching areas, mainly because those areas are also where cougars and jaguars have largely been extirpated. The also readily prey upon poultry, calves, and small dogs in these areas.
The coyote now ranges from Labrador to Alaska south to Panama.
Right now, there are only two species of canid that can be found in both North and South America: the bush dog, which could be a potential competitor for the southbound coyotes, and Urocyon gray fox, which has been given top billing on this site in recent months.
I would almost put my money that one day there will be three. Canis latrans keeps pushing the boundaries of what we think we know about it.
They aren’t just survivors.
The are thrivers.
We kill off the big predators, and they sail in to exploit the new niches that are opened up.
We’ve come up with all sorts of creative ways to kill them, and they’ve just expanded– almost to spite us.
And you have to admire that.
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