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ME: Coyotes, wolves headline lecture Wednesday, April 8 at Maine State Museum

UMaine professor of wildlife ecology to give talk.

AUGUSTA — The Friends of the Maine State Museum continues its 2015 lecture series, “Treasures of Maine’s Natural History at the Maine State Museum” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, with “Coyotes and Wolves in Maine,” a talk featuring Daniel J. Harrison, a University of Maine professor of wildlife ecology. The museum talk is free, according to a news release from the museum.

According to Harrison, coyotes are recent arrivals in the eastern United States, finding suitable habitat here over the last century, after native wolves were killed off and forests cleared, according to the release. The eastern coyote is a distinct sub-species, a bigger cousin to coyotes on the American western plains, and has filled the niche once occupied by wolves. Currently, there are no confirmed breeding wolves in Maine, but a study in 2011 indicates that excellent wolf habitat exists throughout northern areas of the state.

Harrison’s research has focused on habitat ecology, predator-prey relationships, and community interactions among forest wildlife. Over the years, he has also been involved in extensive research on the ecology and inter-specific relationships of the eastern coyote, red fox, American marten and Canada lynx. Harrison joined the faculty of the University of Maine in 1988.

The Augusta museum is at 230 State St., in the State House Complex. For more information, call 287-2301 or visit the museum’s website