Trail camera spies apparent coyote in Edgartown

A photo off a laptop of what appears to be an Eastern coyote in Edgartown. The photo was taken by a field camera July 31. Photo courtesy of Ashton Hannah and Roy Hope

A trail camera in the vicinity of Meeting House Way in Edgartown captured images of what appears to be a coyote. The shots were taken by Ashton Hannah via automatic equipment at just after 2 am on July 31. 

As The Times previously reported, footage of an Eastern coyote was captured in Edgartown in May. Three years prior, a dead coyote was found washed ashore in West Tisbury. In 2011, images were captured of a live coyote on the Edgartown shoreline. It’s unclear if this is the same animal. The original trail cam images were inadvertently deleted, Roy Hope, a friend of Hannah’s, said. However, Hope retained laptop shots of the images, and shared them with Hannah’s permission. While no evidence has come forth coyotes are reproducing on the Vineyard, Hope thinks a breeding pair of coyotes will eventually arrive on-Island. “It’s only a matter of time before the right combination makes it here,” he said.

Hope described the Vineyard as “heaven on earth” for coyotes, with skunks, turkeys, and deer aplenty. “They’re on easy street for the rest of their life here,” he said.


  1. I live in a heavily wooded area in the mountains of Connecticut, been here 7 years, seen many coyotes and not 1 skunk or raccoon. I haven’t even smelled them or seen them dead on the side of the road. These animals have never bothered with me, my family or my pet dogs and cat.

    • Well, something changed. Hmm. On one of those trips to the Vineyard, did you happen to find a wolfpack hiding in the Thule?

    • I suspect my parents losing a pet pushed my mom into an emotional downspin. Pets can be smart but please keep them inside and safe.

  2. No Paul, but I also wouldn’t live in fear of them. I understand farmers concerns, but these animals have been around a long time. There are preventive measures to safeguard livestock and fowl. I know this will require a bit more work for the farmers, but the two can co-exist

  3. sorry to say to the people who think coyotes are going to eat the skunks because coyotes don’t normally hunt skunks, that is to say, unless they are desperately hungry or other prey is non-existent. of course, the island is a smorgasbord with an endless supply of chickens, birds, bunnies, cats and small dogs for coyotes to prey upon. and they won’t be taking down adult deer either. though they might kill fawns and lambs. they don’t hunt in packs. they also hunt day and night. they will attack a small dog even on a leash – although they are generally shy of humans, still they are wild animals and must eat and feed their young. if we do have coyotes living on the island, we should know that they mate sometime in winter and have their pups in the spring. they can have from 5-10+ pups in a litter. we should know that they also can have ticks and fleas. the only way i know to “coexist” with coyotes (which i believe are actually coy-wolves here on the cape) is to keep all pets indoors. don’t know how to protect outdoor small animals as they can jump fences and dig under them as well. just wanted to share this because of all the misinformation that is out there.

    • I have grown up around these animals everywhere around me, and many many family pets, and never have I lost one because of a coyote. Take your dogs for walks, don’t live in fear. As for cats……they kill hundreds of millions of songbirds each year…..nuff said

  4. The question we should be asking is, How will these newcomers affect the tick population? If they eat turkeys, I would think that might be bad. If they eat mice, it might be good. I don’t know the answer.

    • I am from Northern Vermont and have lived my whole life with coyotes and have a background in managing woodlands for wildlife. Everyone is blowing this so far our of proportion it is absurd. Not saying you Mack and the boys, just addressing what I feel is going unaddressed. We do not have packs of coyotes, and the loss of livestock would be ever so minimal. I raised chickens, ducks, turkeys, pigs, etc. in the far north country reaches and never had a predation from a coyote. Never had a dog or friends dog killed by a coyote either. The are opportunistic feeders and are often found eaten carcasses of deceased animals. They will if in numbers single out weak or sick dying deer, which is great seeing as our deer have no natural predators on this island. Education is important here and not assuming these animals just go around picking off peoples pets. We have so many turkeys and deer on this island much into the thousands, that they would only balance it out not wipe it out. With all the tularemia found on this island I welcome coyotes to eat up thousands of them. Lets remember the animals like turkeys, rabbits, mice, and deer are major carriers of tick born illnesses so i don’t shed any tears for a coyote doing what mother nature intended for it to do, which is to keep an ecological balance. Don’t worry dog owners….Labradoodles aren’t on the menu of the Eastern Coyote. Also we must be reminded that hawks, skunks, rats, and raccoons are responsible for MIA Chickens. Let’s welcome these beautiful creatures to our island, and stop making assumptions that they will wreak havoc.


  5. Sorry, but they are not welcome on the island. I have seen what they can do to an animal population up close.
    They will feed on any smaller animal that would be relatively easy prey. Yes they will remove rabbits and squirrels, and maybe skunks. When they get really hungry raccoons and small deer.
    When that food source is dried up or more difficult to find….. they will go after your cats and small dogs.
    That is not acceptable on this pet-friendly island.
    Hunt it down and remove it from the island. It is not cute or cuddly. And it is NOT A DOG.
    Don’t worry dog or cat lovers? ARE YOU OK?
    Ecological balance my butt

    • viewfromhere– with all due respect, dogs and cats are not part of the ecological balance here– they are here at the pleasure of humans, and contribute nothing one way or another– except of course, the feral cat population, which has escaped their human care givers, and kill birds at a rate windmills will not come close to. We live in the natural world– if a coyote eats your cat, I will understand your emotional distress, but please realize, we don’t live on a utopian planet. Animals eat other animals– that’s the planet you live on..
      Ecological balance is the reason we are all here– humans, cats,dogs, skunks, rabbits, deer, turkeys, ants, etc.
      You ask “are you ok”?
      Your comment “Ecological balance my butt” leads me to ask if you are ok ?

      • Dondondon. If this is all about ecological balance and some kind of Darwinian survival of the fittest, why are we worried about plovers, and polar bears one snail darters.? If Humans are all part of this animal kingdom and simply just have a more highly developed notochord, why not have everything take its course. Liberals like you won’t kill a mouse but instead catch it in a sack and release it one mile away, or perhaps release lobsters bought at Larsen’s. If a coyote ate my dog, I would kill the coyote. Same with Burmese pythons. What would you do if your poodle killed a plover? I am sure you will have some convoluted esoteric response.

    • Coyotes are all over Falmouth & when we lived there that meant only letting the cats outside during the day & when we could be right in the yard with them. And regardless, one night one slipped out when I came through the door and ran further into our shrubs when I tried to go after her. I can still hear her horrific scream when the coyote got her. This was right in the center of the town of Falmouth, in a small yard surrounded by other houses. Maybe that’s just the price of living in an environment like ours but it’s incorrect to say our dogs and cats will not be endangered if coyotes come to MV.

      • i can totally relate to that experience. we have many encounters with coyotes in our neighborhood. i lost 2 cats to them as did the people here before me. the neighbor two houses down lost their rabbits and chickens before they moved on. coyotes don’t kill for sport, they kill because they are hungry and need to eat/supply food for their young. i knew it was only a matter of time before that coyote would be hungry and now it has killed a fawn in west tisbury. they like to hide and hunt in wooded areas where there is also water, so it makes sense that they head up along shore from edgartown to west tis. but it seems most commenters don’t agree or don’t take it seriously so i will shut up now. maybe.

  6. the question is, is this an indigenous species or an invasive species ?
    We humans are not smart enough to figure out how the introduction of coyotes into our semi closed environment will play out.
    It’s quite simple– if they were here 500 years ago, we should step back and let nature play it’s course. if not, then we should capture and remove them while the numbers are small. If only we had done that with the first 2 skunks…

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