We're all aware of the two wild dog species that live in Michigan - the coyote, which mostly stays in the lower peninsula, and the wolf, which mostly stays in the upper peninsula. Neither appear in HUGE numbers across the state, but are showing signs of increase.

And with an increase in the individual species, also comes an increase in a hybrid that is equally as dangerous as a wolf, but small enough to slip in and out of your backyards without even noticing. The Coywolf is on the rise in Michigan.

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For contest, Michigan is home to the western Coyote, which Michigan DNR believes migrated here from the west in the early 1900s. They're pretty common across most of the midwest, and have never been endangered, though they do mostly keep to the northern part of the Lower Peninsula, with small populations in the Upper Peninsula.

It's the Upper Peninsula that carries Michigan's other canine predator, the Wolf, which have been making a significant comeback, and have apparently been mating with coyotes, which creates a unique population of coywolf in the state.

Usually a rare animal to see in Michigan, sightings have been growing with frequency, especially around Cheboygan County up north.

Michigan Coywolf
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The coywolf is exactly what you imagine it to be. Size, somewhere between a wolf and a coyote, with a broader, more barrel-like body of the wolf, on a smaller frame and slimmer legs and head. Many of them have coats that have mostly the grey colors of the wolf with red highlights from the coyote.

The biggest issue is, Coywolves are not as shy and reclusive to the woods as their wolf, or coyote counterparts, and have been known in other parts of the Eastern United States to come right up to communities, and scavenge through trash, and around houses. They've even been known to take action against small pets left unattended.

And given their lineage with both species of wild dog, the Coywolf is no animal to mess with if you see it. So this spring, be on the lookout for the Coywolves, and if you DO see one, be sure to report it to the Michigan DNR.

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