Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Monongahela National Forest Red Wolves?

That's not an ordinary coyote!

This was taken with a camera trap in the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia.

The Monongahela National Forest borders the George Washington National Forest and and Jefferson National Forest, and combined these three forests operate as one huge enormous ecological zone covering 2.8 million acres spread over parts of three states -- Virginia, West Virginia and small parts of Kentucky.

The Monongahela by itself is over 919,000 acres. The Jefferson National Forest comprises lands located in Virginia (700,939 Acres), West Virginia (18,530 Acres) and Kentucky (1,083 Acres). The George Washington National Forest is comprised of lands located in Virginia (960,133 Acres) and West Virginia (105,099 Acres).



Anonymous said...

isn't that forest entirely within WEST Virginia?

PBurns said...

Yep - you're right, and I changed the caption to reflect that and to add a bit more information on the larger forest system which is one giant ecological area.

It's all ONE forest for the wildlife, but technically, it's THREE National Forests on the map and TWO National Forest administrative areas (the GW and the Jeff are managed as one). From my side of the planet, we enter the Monongahela from Virginia and exit from it back into Virginia, so I think of it as being Virginia even though it is not. Good catch!


retrieverman said...

I know people who swear they've seen wolves in West Virginia and claim it's either a government plot to destroy independent livestock production or ban guns or a plot by the insurance companies to reduce claims for cars damaged by deer collisions. (I know lots of imaginative people!).

I don't think there will ever be a wolf in the state. Ever. There were once wolves here, but the last one was killed around 1900. If wolves ever showed up here, they would be shot, regardless of the legality of doing so.

There are big Eastern coyotes here. But they are usually half the size of a big retriever dog. Some are even black and others cinnamon-colored (so they have to be "red wolves" !)

The first one I ever saw I was within ten feet of it, and it looked right at me, before it dove into the undergrowth. My old red retriever saw it run and tore off after it. But there was no way she was going to catch it. What I remember most about that experience were its eyes. Those eyes are what got me-- wild, yellow eyes that can pierce your soul.

And so I can see why people mistake them for wolves.

But they so obviously aren't.

proseandphotos said...

Absolutely, there are wolves here in West Virginia (and plenty of Coyotes). I had a very high-up state official ask me if I'd been seeing any wolves. At he time I thought, "why would she ask that, there aren't wolves in WV." Well that was before my brother-in-law shot one killing the sheep. It was the size of a large German Shepherd. I have photos. It was twice the size of the average coyote. Later, I found there is a captive breeding program for Red Wolves in WV--thus explaining the state official's inquiry. She knew I am always out in the woods.

mammaw10k said...

My Husband and I was a wolf about a month ago 5 miles from our house in Canaan Valley W.V. It was NOT a Coyote... It stepped OVER the guard rail by the road from about 20 yards in front of us.

mammaw10k said...

I live in WV, in an area called Red Creek outside of Canaan Valley, and YES, WE DO HAVE WOLVES! Regardless of what the 'educated' folks say about the last wolf being shot around 1900, seeing is believing. I've seen them. I couldn't tell you where they came from, or who put them here (Government plots and such.) LOL But I do know that I've seen them. There is NO MISTAKING a coyote for a wolf. Unless you believe that a coyote can grow to more than 200 pounds.

bowenfarm1 said...

I saw what looked like a wolf yesterday in the woods behind my house. I live in Harrison County WV. It was very large, bigger than a German Shepard, with mixed medium to dark grey coat. It had very large paws and would stand very erect when looking up. It was not a coyote and didn't look like a dog. It was sniffing the ground at a deer crossing and only stayed a few minutes so no time to get a photo. I've seen the coyotes around here and they are much smaller, red coat, and pointed snout. This 'wolf' had a much thicker snout. I was surprised how much larger the body was compared to any large dog or coyote I've ever seen. My first thought was that it was a wolf.