Dale L. Travis Lecture Series
Spring 2017 Lecture
Top Dog? The Ecological Role of the Coyote in Northeastern Forests
March 28, 2017
7:30 pm, Gateway Center at ESF
Dr. Jacqueline Frair
Once restricted to the western plains, coyotes colonized New York State in the 1920s and today are the largest and most widespread canine predator around. ESF’s Dr. Jacqueline Frair was joined for a night of “coyote tales,” based on extensive and novel research conducted by her team. How many coyotes are there in New York State, what do they eat, and what is their impact on other species in the region? All of this and more was learned about the new “top dog” in the eastern forest.
Before settlement by Europeans, wolves were the top canine predator in the region, and could be heard howling from the area that is now downtown Syracuse. After wolves and panthers were extirpated, coyotes moved in to fill the open niche. Dr. Frair describes coyotes as “the ultimate opportunistic omnivore,” adaptable and plastic, consuming comestibles from corn and crickets, to mice, woodchuck, and deer. With funding from the NYS DEC, Dr. Frair and her team have studied coyotes to learn about their population numbers, diet and movements, and effects on New York ecosystems. For example, could coyote predation affect numbers of white-tailed deer?
Dr. Frair is Associate Professor in Environmental and Forest Biology at ESF. She is also Associate Director of ESF’s Roosevelt Wild Life Station, a research center focused on preserving our wildlife heritage and imperiled species worldwide. She and her students have worked with a wide range of mammals from bats to beaver, white-tailed deer, foxes and wolves. Her students’ work spans the globe, extending to studies of jaguar in the Brazilian Pantanal, and lion-human conflicts in Africa. She teaches several popular courses at ESF including Applied Wildlife Science, Wildlife Field Techniques, and Landscape Ecology.
The event was sponsored by the Dale L. Travis Public Lecture Series at SUNY ESF.
Dale L. Travis
Ten years after graduating from ESF (Wood Products Engineering '59), Dale Travis was transferred to New York City by U.S. Plywood. Shortly thereafter, Dale founded his own business, Dale Travis Associates Inc. (DTA) to produce fine architectural signage. DTA works with some of the most prominent architects and graphic designers in the world. Its exterior and interior signs distinguish corporate buildings and museums across the country. Recent museum projects include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the Rose Center (Hayden Planetarium), and the Morgan Library & Museum. DTA were privileged to carve the cornerstones for 1 World Trade Center and 4 World Trade Center. DTA are a member of the Society of Environmental Graphic Designers. The Dale L. Travis Lecture Series is intended to inform the public about the incredible research going on at ESF in many different fields of study.