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MA: Coywolf, a coyote/wolf mix, subject of program

Coyotes come into Holden all the time, but expert biologists who study them are only occasionally seen and heard in town. One such expert will speak publicly at an upcoming program.

White Oak Land Conservation Society, Inc. will present a New England scientist and student of the coyote at its annual meeting at the senior center, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14. Dr. Jonathan Way, a wildlife biologist, has chosen as his subject the life of coyotes in suburban and urban Massachusetts. He is the author of “Suburban Howl,’’ a book about his research findings. Dr. Way believes that the Eastern coyote has interbred with Eastern red wolves, thus making it the largest of the coyotes in America. He has chosen the term coywolf to describe this highly adaptive, opportunistic predator.

He does not consider this animal an adversary to human life, even in small town New England. “The coywolf is a needlessly controversial animal,” Dr. Way states on his Web site. His interest is in conserving and protecting the coywolves; he will speak about how they travel and rest, raise their pups, prosper as families and even mourn the loss of one of their family members.

White Oak is Holden’s land trust. Since 1978, members have worked to protect open space in the Holden area. There are now 19 properties under White Oak ownership or permanent conservation restriction. A brief annual meeting and report about new properties currently under consideration for conservation will precede Dr. Way’s talk, and refreshments will follow.

White Oak’s other mission has been nature education, and this program is part of the group’s ongoing wildlife education series. More information can be found at or by e-mailing