Third Annual Long Island Natural History Conference














New York's newest immigrants:
expansion of eastern coyotes into metropolitan New York

Christopher Nagy Director of Research and Land Management,
Mianus River Gorge Preserve)

Coyotes (Canis latrans) have rapidly expanded their range from the prairies of the western US to the entire east coast, north to Canada and Alaska, and South throughout Central America. This expansion has proven the coyote an adaptable species capable of thriving in nearly every terrestrial habitat in North America. They have colonized several large urban centers in the US, and most recently are becoming more common in certain sections of New York City (NYC). We have studied this progression since 2010, and will discuss our findings relating to the distribution of coyotes in NYC and the change in site occupancy and breeding status observed from 2011 - 2014. The best way to both ensure human safety and to conserve this species in developed areas is to educate communities about the ecology of coyotes, their associated value and risks, and how to safely coexist with them. In addition, we describe two ongoing citizen science studies, Wild Suburbia and Wild Suburbia: Long Island that offers opportunities for residents of the Tri-State area to assist in documenting this important ecological event.

Chris Nagy ( is an ecologist who has studied urban and suburban conservation in the New York area for over 10 years. He is currently the Director of Research and Land Management at the Mianus River Gorge in Bedford, NY, where he works to understand how managers and citizens can maximize ecosystem function in suburban and urban areas. His work at the Gorge focuses on the ecology of eastern coyotes, suburban white-tailed deer management, protecting and restoring native biodiversity in eastern forests, and student mentorship.