ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Scientists from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) examined a wolf killed in Otsego County in December 2021. The DEC explains their study presented interesting opportunities to advance their work.

DEC along with The New York State Museum analyzed carbon and nitrogen isotopes from the wolf’s hair, bones and teeth. These isotopes can show the type of diet the animal has had throughout its life. The DEC explains canines specifically doglike animals that are raised in captivity often have a diet of commercial dog food or grain-fed livestock. The doglike canine isotope ratios are different than a canine eating a wild diet like a wolf.

The DEC elaborates that wolves are rare but a few have been documented in NYS. Gray wolves are protected under both the federal Endangered Species Act and New York’s endangered and threatened species regulations. Although wolves are rare, the DEC warns of its cousin the coyote. The DEC explains coyotes inhabit a variety of habitats throughout NY, from farmland and forests to populated suburban and urban areas. Coyotes generally avoid human contact but conflicts can occur particularly during the spring denning and pupping period. To prevent a run in with a coyote the DEC advises:

  • Not to feed coyotes, do not leave food outside
  • Do not allow coyotes to approach people or pets. If you see a coyote, be aggressive, stand tall and hold arms up or out to look as large as possible. If a coyote lingers for too long, make loud noises, wave arms and throw sticks and stones
  • Do not allow pets to run free
  • Fence yards to deter coyotes
  • Remove brush and tall grass from around homes to reduce protective cover for coyotes