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Travis Lecture Focuses on Role of Coyote in Northeastern Forests

Dr. Jacqueline Frair to speak about the new ‘top dog’

Dr. Jacqueline Frair will discuss the role of the coyote - the new "top dog" - in northeastern forests at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) March 28.

The Dale L. Travis Lecture Series presented by ESF will focus on the extensive and novel research conducted by Frair and her team. The event will be 7:30 p.m. March 28, in the Gateway Center on the ESF campus.

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. Frair's lecture will provide insight to this canine predator including answering questions such as: How many coyotes are there in New York state, what do they eat, what is their impact on other species in the region and could coyote predation affect numbers of white-tailed deer?

Before the region was settled 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.

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 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Frair and her team have studied coyotes to learn about their population numbers, diet, movement and effects on New York ecosystems.

Frair is an associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Forest Biology at ESF. She is also associate director of the College's Roosevelt Wild Life Station, a research center focused on preserving wildlife heritage and imperiled species worldwide. She and her students have worked with a wide range of mammals, including bats, beaver, white-tailed deer, foxes and wolves.

Admission to the lecture and reception is free. A reception will follow the lecture. Parking will be available on the ESF campus. The event is sponsored by the Dale L. Travis Public Lecture Series at ESF. The series is made possible by the generous support of Dale L. Travis '59. Travis envisioned the lecture series as a way to inform the general public about the research projects being conducted by ESF faculty.