Nature pits the Coyote against humans and the Coyote are winning. However, a story coming out of San Francisco California suggests a different perspective on that relationship. This is an interesting comment about the Coyote’s ability to thrive in an urban environment based on the local newspaper’s other entertainment value. Coyotes have learned over the years that survival depends on its ability to blend into its surroundings. In the above story the newspaper carrier simply wants to end having to re-deliver papers. His solution only serves to reinforce to a Coyote, humans are not to be feared! As this blog has pointed out lo these many month, Coyotes do very well in municipal settings Thank You very much! But why do Coyotes do as well as they do when everyone hates them? The secret is that not every one hates the Coyote (nuisance animals in general). The National Park Service reports on a regular basis that even with signs reading, DO NOT FEED THE WILDLIFE – their Rangers still find piles of pet food left along trails. People have been cited for illegally feeding wild animals yet the practice continues. Now, we have a paper carrier encouraging a Coyote to retrieve and play with substitute newspapers. These misguided but well meaning folks do not understand that feeding / playing with the wildlife diminishes the fear of humans. Not only will the wildlife lose their fear of humans they will forgo their natural hunting instincts to dine at the local neighborhood garbage can or backyard pet food bowl.
There are a lot of stories these days about Coyotes stalking family pets and carrying those pets off while the owner’s watch in horror.
Yes, some pets do survive the initial attack only to suffer until death takes their pain away. Pets that do live through their injuries are fortunate though often traumatized to the point of not being able to do their business without looking over their shoulders! Here is the point that falls through many of the “attack stories,” wild life offers other ways to kill then just aggressive attacks.
K9 Parvo, Distemper and Rabies are all carried by wild life not just Coyotes.
However, this blog’s focus is on Coyotes living among us so it is important to understand that these days one is just as likely to encounter a Coyote as any other wild life. Remember it isn’t just the physical presence of a Coyote transferring diseases during an assault it is also shedding and their fecal matter we must be concerned with. All animals primarily experience their world through sounds, smell and taste. As we walk through the neighborhood we pick up all sorts of unseen debris on our shoes and clothes. Just our walk through the neighborhood can infect our pets. The pets use their sense of smell and taste to see their world during those walks. Who hasn’t walked into their homes only to have the family pet come wagging their tails and beg for a pet on their head? We bring all kinds of infectious diseases into our homes without ever realizing it. Keeping the pet food bowls picked up and the garbage can lids secure are only the first lines of defense against Coyotes. It is important to know what has passed this way and what we step in!
So what do we do to avoid Coyotes in our neighborhoods? If you haven’t encountered a Coyote you soon will. Between now and that first time take the following preparations;
- Make sure your pets are on a leash. Some folks believe their dogs are just too big to be taken by a Coyote. Maybe – but do you really want to take the chance?
- “Carry a big stick” and not just because President Theodore Roosevelt said so. A walking stick or golf club will work
- Carry a sound device such as a gym whistle or even a soda can with rocks.
- Clean up around your home – put away empty pet food bowls. Water bowls catch debris or left over food particles from your pets food bowl!
- Use secure lids for garbage cans or trash receptacles. Eliminate food smells!
- Around the house be sure wood piles do not provide dens for Coyotes. Storing a wheel barrow upside down? Be sure nothing can get under it.
- Watch fall out from bird feeders – seed on the ground will draw mice / rats which in turn will draw cats.
- In the neighborhood check out any medians with shrubs or sunken areas – all make great dens for Coyotes.
- Make sure you have your local legal authorities on speed dial, see a problem call it in!
- Make sure your local municipal / city / county aggressively pursues animal control policies and procedures! If they don’t get involved!
Stay tuned, there is more to come on the Coyote Cam
Yes Martha, there are things far worse then a Coyote attacking our family pet! Readers who follow this blog know that its material comes primarily from major media and internet stories (both authenticated and unauthenticated). So here we go – Lets all take a deep breath, relax and keep an open mind. No matter what is causing it . . . . climate change is a fact! Example: looking back this week major news media reported the Arctic Ice is at the second lowest level in satellite history. STOP! Satellite history is limited when compared to written history let alone the time the earth has revolved around the sun. All type of facts are available from multiple sources and depending on your personal interpretation can be devastating or uplifting. So yes, the climate is changing but at what rate? The speed of climate change appears to be increasing and most would agree the growing human population in all probability – has some impact on the rate of climate change. There, I said it and you will make of it what you will. I say climate change is probably worse then a Coyote attacking our family pet!
Well? The point to consider is that as the climate does indeed change what individual impact does it have on us? Begin with food sources . . draught or flooding will destroy your food source. Shelter . . many homes have been destroyed by both draught (fires) and flooding. With out food and shelter we humans become scavengers. Sound familiar? In addition to being hunters Coyotes are scavengers. As its territory expands and contract a Coyote’s focus turns from hunting to scavenging. What ever opportunity is presented to the Coyote will be maximized, the Coyote’s life depends on food and shelter. So you saw a Coyote sneaking around your back fence? Food and shelter is on the Coyote’s mind as it wonders your neighborhood. Unlike humans the Coyote can not rebuild and replant so it leaves to find a sustainable environment. You want the Coyote gone, eliminate its food and shelter. Hmm . . We humans may want to reconsider our priorities eh?
Between March 15th and March 26th 2018 there have been 14 public reports of Coyote problems, the majority along the east coast with several from New York. Regardless of where the reader lives if you haven’t had a Coyote problem it is only a matter of time before it happens. Knowing that Coyote problems are occurring residents would be well advised to prepare for the eventuality of meeting up with the four legged varmint. Knowing that climate change is happening now is the time to take precautions, throw an extra blanket and couple of bottles of water in the car before you take a trip. Keep that cell phone charged and consider keeping an emergency battery pack charged up as well. This year it seems the weather has been relentless on the East Coast and the number of citizens without power has to be at an all time high. Amazingly, no reported Coyote sightings have been made since the winter storms . . or have they? As for Coyotes your choice of defensive tools could be a hand held air-horn or the old reliable 12 gauge. The latter is my anti-Coyote choice though my neighbors take a dim view on loud sounds in the middle of the night. NOTE: Rabid Coyotes don’t respond to air horns but the 12 gauge will stop them dead in their tracks – so to speak.
OK so far we have climate change and Coyotes – how are they related you ask? Coyotes are in our neighborhoods and no one can explain why. The Coyote population is growing in our neighborhoods but no one seems to know how fast the Coyote population is growing. Yes, different localities seem to have varying speeds of Coyote population growth. Open the local newspaper or tune into the evening news show and various pundits will state that this or that is the way to alter climate change. Some local animal experts report that Coyote control is best achieved through trapping and is more humane while others advocate termination which is more expedient and definitive. No one has figured a solution to climate change and Coyotes peering out from under the brush near the driveway have no fear of us.
It is said that all politics are local. How about varmint control? The Federal Wildlife authorities have taken action with a degree of success in the western states. Some other areas over seen by those authorities have suffered collateral damage in the form of live stock and or family pets. The local communities have a better perspective on their need for varmint control and with the help of local citizens, can limit Coyote run-ins. Notice I said “limit,” too many well intentioned folks just have to feed the wild life! Once we get around those supporting wild life in the neighborhoods Coyotes will be motivated to look for other friendly environments. Recapping here – Climate change is still going on and I just got another trail camera photo of a local Coyote. On a positive note, the local drought seems to have diminished the number of Coyote tracks behind the back fence. On the other hand, it looks like my summer water bill is going to be quite a bit higher!
Stay tuned – there is more to come on the Coyote Cam
The Coyote hunting season never ends in New Mexico, hunting these predators here doesn’t require a license either. As a matter of fact a number of western states maintain open season on Coyotes and for good reason, these predators cause livestock losses. Lose your livestock and you will not be in business as a farmer or rancher for very long. A banker’s cold heart makes anti hunting protesters seem quite tame when those land payments come due. Meanwhile in town – these days it is interesting that just about every call a municipal animal control agency receives is in relation to a pet attacked by a Coyote. The loss of a pet (family member-right?) is devastating enough but to see that pet lying in the back lawn torn apart . . .well it doesn’t get any worse then that! The common problem here is the Coyote! What to do?
The agricultural folks will protect their industry at gun point while the folks in town are restricted in their control processes. However, both are hounded by animal rights activists. Generally speaking – folks on one side want the predator gone while the folks on the other side want the predator left alone. So which side is right? Both actually! Coyote diets rely on available food sources but as has been proven they can survive on any combination of food sources. Outside of the city limits gophers and rabbits are reliable food sources meanwhile, the city offers up rats and mice. Unfortunately, live stock augments the Coyote’s food sources while dogs and cats often end up as a city delicacy. The Coyote always prefers the food source which is the easiest to gather, they are not hard workers.
Coyotes have always been here but in the past they were the hunted. Wolves were the alpha canines and along with the other top predators such as the cougar and bear, Coyote populations were under constant pressure. Wolves hunt in packs where as the Coyote hunted alone unless raising their pups. Cougars are a lot faster in short runs then is the Coyote and the big cats far more agile hence the Coyote was badly out classed physically. What can you say about bears, their size is formidable! How can a 35 to 45 pound Coyote contend with a 200 pound plus black bear? There were no advocates for the Coyote back in those days. Times have changed for the good as far as the Coyote is concerned. At least in town there are no guns and not many traps. Plus, food and shelter are easy to find for the Coyote. Let us see – if you were a Coyote were would you want to live?
The Coyote has been evolving – on this every one can agree! Coyote populations are being shot on ranches and farms while the only problem a Coyote runs into in town might be a trap. Which population is going to continue to increase? That is right – the city bred Coyote! Those Coyotes living outside the city limits learn that their city cousins have a better life and soon decide that city life is a vast improvement over living on a farm or ranch. More so, when some one decides it is time for a “Coyote Hunting Contest.” The contest does not segregate males or females, they are both fair game! On the positive side a well run hunting contest depletes a specific population and provides revenue not commonly in place. There are a number of positive things that happen during these events, more on that in another posting. Perhaps the one big negative is the disposal of the carcasses. Coyote meat is not a well accepted form of protein! In a lot of cases and is done with other harvested waste and miscellaneous parts – scavengers are relied on to clean up. Other instances of unwanted hunting by-products are put into biologically safe trenches / holes. At least the latter does remove all indications of a hunting contest.
A stated in previous postings this author is a hunter and I see no problem with hunting contests. Varmints make for good target practice but burying materials not taken for consumption is a good practice. Where do you stand?
Stay tuned – there is more to come on the Coyote Cam.
It appears someone in Arlington Heights, Ill thinks they need to support their local wildlife – WRONG! Neighbors are up in arms as one of their own is suspected of feeding “home cooked meals” then leaving said meal under a nearby tree for the local Coyotes. What is wrong with these folks? It is not just this Blog warning about the problems with desensitizing Coyotes but many state ordinances do prohibit the feeding of wildlife for that very reason. The ideal situation is to haze or make the Coyote’s life miserable hoping that it will seek other locations for their feeding and den sites. Maybe some law abiding citizen in that neighborhood has their home security cameras trained on the tree drop off. Lets help stop well intended BUT totally misguided folks from doing the wrong thing – Do Not Feed The Wild Life!
Unfortunately, in Northern New Jersey (Saddle River) a woman was out walking her dog one evening this month when confronted by a “pack” of Coyotes. The article does not describe how many Coyotes were in the pack but suffice it to say the word “pack” suggests there were more then two. Here in the southwest Coyotes do not normally hunt in packs but rather family groups (four to five) specifically during this time of the Coyote’s life cycle. Coyote parents are teaching their pups/youngsters to hunt thus their numbers might suggest a pack. The article does not mention what type of Coyote comprised the “pack.” Another intriguing problem on the east coast is that the standard Coyote there is a good deal heavier then the standard Coyote found here in the southwest. Add to that larger size an even larger Coyote easterners refer to as a “Coywolf” (65% Coyote, 25% Wolf and 10% Dog) and now the animal becomes very intimidating! Thus, these two factors, the size and number of animals confronted would cause anyone to be alarmed let alone an older woman walking her small dog at twilight.
– Coywolf –
Just to remind everyone reading this issue – be prepared when you go out for a walk with or without your pet. Even if you don’t require a cane to walk get into the habit of carrying a big stick for those daily/evening walks! Most animals met on the street (with the exception of the two-legged variety) are frightened by something larger then they are – waive your “big stick” and arms in the air, yell “go away.” Keep yelling and waiving your arms pretty soon the animal will retreat or run off plus you stand a fair chance of attracting other humans to your predicament. Anything that makes a lot of noise is good thing too, some one mentioned canned-air horns! A coach’s whistle will work and may be a tad less expensive in the long run. Believe it or not a soda can filled with rocks makes a great rattle noise and has been used to scare off Coyotes.
That brings this week’s edition of the Coyote Cam to a close. Be sure to look for the upcoming edition of the Coyote Cam when we look into recent sightings of “Zombie Dogs.” Yes, ghosts and hobgoblins are not scheduled until later during Halloween but apparently these apparitions are making an early appearance!
Stay tuned, there is more to come on the Coyote Cam.
Injured Coyote given aid by Arizona golfer? What’s wrong with this picture? EVERYTHING! It is good to render aid to sick and injured animals but there must be a point where the professionals are called. The Coyote pictured does not appear to be injured. In the above story nothing is said by those on the site of the Coyote encounter about calling the authorities for help. The Coyote in the video is obviously not afraid of humans. The golfers attempt to give the Coyote a drink of water. But wait folks, this encounter with the Coyote takes place on a golf course! SO – how much water is used on a golf course? A lot, a whole lot of water is required to keep golf courses lush and green! How many golf courses contain water hazards? Most every golf course I have been fortunate enough to play has had a water hazard. Granted, many courses in the southwestern United States only have water hazards when it rains. None-the-less, golf course water sprinklers provide moisture to birds / animals living on a golf course with far more water then those located in urban or rural lands! Yes, that includes those golf courses using re-cycled sewage water as well. What is the significance of a close encounter with a Coyote by two golfers at mid-day?
It is not just a close encounter with a Coyote on a golf course, it is the multiple reports of close encounters with Coyotes at all times of the day through out the United States! From Auburn Hills Michigan to San Francisco California Coyotes are growing bolder by the day! Coyotes do not typically approach humans, they are by nature shy and reserved only coming out to hunt for food or water. That is until Coyotes encounter charitable, well meaning but badly misguided humans such as the hiker in San Francisco. This author has read and examined interactions between humans and wild life in excess of twenty plus years. In almost every case human intervention with wildlife ends badly! In many cases wildlife suffers more often then humans during and following interventions. Many cases of humans finding “lost” fawns or bear cubs end with the young animal having to be placed in captivity or at the very worst and as in many cases, euthanized. Regardless, imagine the plight of the mother having lost its child. Wildlife mothers find very quickly that loosing infants is a part of their environment- that is the way of nature. Feeding an animal is worse on so many levels – processed food is not part of any animals diet. Leaving food out is akin to entrapment. The animal soon becomes accustomed to having its food provided and looses its desire to fend. Why work if the food is there every day and its free?
Coyotes learned a long time ago to be stealthy in order to survive other predators. Coyotes used to fear humans and stayed out of sight using stealth to its advantage. Now the Coyote no longer relies on stealth around humans. The Coyote’s survival instincts have been altered, they no longer have to fear humans – they have become emboldened by humans providing food! Automobiles are just another stampede to circumvent. Coyotes have learned to cross busy roads to obtain the free food left out by humans. Is it a great life or what?
Stay tuned – there is more to come on the Coyote Cam
Readers should know that the majority of material for this blog is gathered from various media then offered up for discussion. This author makes every attempt to cite sources as well in some cases, embed the original document in the blog. Carrying on with this year’s focus on rural Coyotes it seems there are fewer instances of interaction with humans involved in agriculture being reported. No, it is not that there are fewer occurrences. Remember that the agriculture industry looses livestock to predators almost on a daily basis. Therefore, the industry has to allocate resources to either eliminate or diminish those losses to a negligible level. Agricultural loss control mechanisms do not rise to the level of neighborhood pets being taken by predators. Instead, those in the agriculture industry consider the Coyote just another daily chore to be dealt with and entered as an expense item in their financial planning. The media is not interested in those mundane agricultural chores but does rely on the old adage – “if it bleeds it leads.”
A recent “Idaho State Journal” news article describes a young man loosing his dog and suffering an injury due to cyanide gas exposure from an M44 predator control mechanism. Only the local television station in Idaho Falls carried the story in conjunction with the “Journal.” No other regional or national news media made mention of the story as of the date of this posting. It seems that if any regional or national coverage of predator control comes about is when a certain segment of society deems it so. What does this say about the news media?
After a few months of watching the evening news this viewer notes that the major networks offer news of the day ending with a warm / feel good story. Intriguing how some ninety percent of network evening news is followed by ten percent or less of feel good stories. An Emu being chased by several good Samaritans or a young bear swimming in some one’s back yard pool – Not that those articles aren’t interesting but who determines what feel good story is to be offered? Several teams must spend some time in selecting the subjects but what are their guidelines to providing a positive end to their daily presentations? There are policies which provide guidance to these folks that put together the daily news in its entirety but who wrote the original policies? Are those policies ever reviewed to ensure they are in conformity with today’s wants or needs?
Coyotes in agriculture or Coyotes in the neighborhood? One thing for sure the Coyote is not wanted in either environment. How does either of those stories end? For the Coyote the story will always be stealth and adaptation to elude its stalkers. For the humans living in the rural countryside the Coyote’s fate is sealed. For the Coyotes in the city / urban / suburban neighborhoods their fate is determined by how aggressive they become. What does this say then? Depending on city ordinances Coyotes are better off living in town then on the farm! Will the Coyote be the lead story on the evening news or will it be that feel good ending to your day?
Stay tuned – there is more to come on the Coyote Cam
Good bye 2016 and Hello 2017! Time for a change but human nature changes very slowly. Coyote news reports from across the country remain consistent, people ignore the laws of nature and pets (especially small pets) suffer. Sad to say another family pet was lost in Chicago and what was worse is that it happened on Christmas Day. The tragic story involves three specific traits; Coyote numbers are on the rise, People think it is ok to feed wildlife, People think that just because their pets were safe last week the pets will be safe this week too. Combine all three of these traits and a recipe for disaster is set in motion. Even though the number of reported Coyote incidents has risen dramatically many more go unreported. There have been more pets lost this year then in any other year and that number will continue to rise.
Many citizens attend public meetings seeking information to eliminating the “Coyote” problem every week. During each of those meetings an authority will advise the attendees there are multiple issues needing correction before the Coyote threat can be reduced. Some of those discussions will reflect that the process of eliminating the Coyote threat carries unintended consequences such as possible injuries to pets and humans. Prior issues of the Coyote Cam speaks to poisons and leg traps for those not familiar with the unintended consequences of attempting to eliminate Coyotes. Most authorities advise that Coyotes are often seen well before they become a nuisance and that is the best time to be proactive in Coyote elimination! As soon as the first Coyote is seen in the immediate area residents should look for the attractant that drew the Coyote to them. This is a great time to introduce yourself to your neighbors if you haven’t done so already! Many neighborhoods have “Crime Watch” organizations and those folks bring a lot of eyes so why not watch for Coyotes as well as bad guys. Some of you might put the Coyote and bad guys in the same bag but they are different, one is a creature of nature while the other is a creature with only bad intentions. Pooling the resources of neighborhood watch associations can be the first line of defense against Coyote problems!
One of your neighbors is stand offish and not the joining type. I can hear the murmurings of readers growing louder! In the case of a Neighborhood Watch Organization this is not really a problem as others can be relied on to augment the nonconformist. However, when it comes to yard maintenance and picking up after pets the nonconformist becomes the focal point for Coyotes. There will always be a nonconforming individual in the neighborhood crowd, someone who is not reasonable or responsible. This is where the local health or code enforcement authorities will make a difference, one call to those authorities and the nonconformist can rely on random checks through out the year. Some communities with strong health / code enforcement agencies establish a list as they realize nonconforming individuals need the proper motivation to clean up their home and lawns. Yeah that first call to health / code enforcement can be tough but the positive outcome could result in a nicer neighborhood and one free of Coyotes. The object is to encourage the Coyotes to go elsewhere and that is one of the goals of this blog, helping to better understand Coyotes and their habitats.
City and suburban areas are fairly easy to protect once one knows what to look for but the urban and agricultural areas will most certainly have an ongoing Coyote issue. A Coyote problem requiring sterner means of control, proactive here means terminating the critters. Unfortunately, this is where Coyote experts have learned that termination is not one hundred percent certain! Over the years Coyotes have learned to not only survive but thrive in impossible situations. In almost each and every case where Coyotes have been killed the following season sees an uptick in numbers. Mother nature abhors a vacuum and the Coyote validates that theory. Once the Coyote has established a territory they instinctively increase their numbers when ever the current numbers decrease. The final point in conjunction with the afore mentioned concepts is that once a Coyote has established its territory there is little to no chance of eliminating its progeny! Act when the first Coyote is seen and the eventual elimination is a tad more efficient!
Changing the story line here – This past Christmas the Coyote Cam was active, four Coyotes (alright – three full figures and a portion of a fourth) were recorded. The timing is interesting in that the Coyote Cam was a Christmas present some four years ago and the very first time it was put into use it recorded several Coyotes. The time in between then and now saw only a few Coyotes but the realty was that two cameras had to be replaced. Down time between camera replacements were lengthy which would account for the lower number of Coyote photographs. Following this edition readers will note the latest photographs of the local Coyote family, they do seem healthy this year! Why would the Coyotes hang around when so many of the neighbors take stringent precautions? Bureau of Land Management is not proactive in critter control until the animals involved become a problem. As noted above several pets are killed but few are ever officially reported as killed but simply as missing. The lands adjacent to this neighborhood are managed(?) by BLM and until missing pets are denoted as killed by Coyotes BLM will not take any action to eliminate the Coyotes running through BLM property.
Thank You for allowing this writer time off for Christmas and New Year. I sincerely hope you and your family are healthy and looking forward to the coming year.
Stay tuned – there is more to come on the Coyote Cam!
Where has the time gone? In the last column this author noted that Halloween marks the beginning of a new episode in the life cycle of Coyotes. Many of you will recall the cartoon character Wiley E. Coyote. Born under the pen of Chuck Jones, Warner Brother’s Animation Department in 1948 Wiley Coyote celebrates his 68th birthday this year. This blogger recalls his childhood days watching many ill fated chase scenes wherein the Coyote was this close to catching his arch nemesis the Roadrunner. Unlike his real life counterpart Wiley E. Coyote resorted to all kinds of notorious means to catch the Roadrunner but frequently found himself blown-up and face down in the dirt! It seems we may have a bit of Wiley E. Coyote in the Coyote Cam. The original camera departed this earth several years ago and was replaced by Coyote Camera II. Coyote Camera II crashed for unknown reasons this past summer and it too, was replaced. Coyote Camera III started operating independently and was sent in for repairs as was briefly mentioned in a prior posting. Coyote Camera III is now reported as missing in transit. Apparently, Coyote Camera III was being shipped home along with someone’s New Year’s Fireworks Show when disaster struck. The shipping company reports the shipping trailer blew up following a wreck. Local reporters said the inferno put on quite a show and that there was an extensive debris field surrounding the crater where the truck and trailer exploded.
One of the regular followers of the Coyote Cam sent the following link, give it a look. “Coyote” by Don Williams. Really expresses the true state of our favorite four legged varmint. The Coyote has been around the United States for a long time, it has not only survived its prairie peers, it has thrived. Many followers know that the Coyote began its life in the west central part of the continental United States and expanded its territory from coast to coast and as far north as Alaska and south into Central America. This blog attempts to capture stories related to Coyotes and over the years of watching the internet has seen a rise in Coyote and human interactions. Many city dwellers seem horrified when a Coyote is seen walking down a city street while urbanites tend to be less emotional, at least that is the perspective this author perceives. It is not that urbanites are less attuned to the Coyote’s proximity but that they and rural citizens know it is easier to maintain a balance, the Coyote population will adjust to its environment. More food, more Coyotes. Less food, fewer Coyotes! But it is not just the food that makes it easy or hard for Coyote survival, it is the presence of a habitat. Food can be scouted out as long as there is a den for family life not far away. Hard life has taught the Coyote many lessons and Mother Nature has provided the Coyote an innate sense of reproduction.
Oh Yeah – the latest Coyote Cam arrived (number IV), I am some what concerned as there are burn marks on one edge! At any rate, it was put up today, Friday the 11th of November. There may or may not be pictures for the bi-weekly publication of the blog due out the 15th. We will see, my bet is that a Coyote will show up and the camera will not catch it. Kind of a reversal on Wiley E. Coyote if you catch the inference?
Stay tuned, there is more to come on the Coyote Cam – maybe.
Every one have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!
It’s Halloween and you are out with the little goblins and witches, what are you thinking? It seems like we were just enjoying summer yet here is the prelude to the holidays – Halloween. It is still some time to the beginning of Winter which arrives December 21st. Coyotes will likely be in hiding with all the noise and commotion of the day so why worry. Halloween is the day for candy wrappers to be flying in the wind, happy ghosts will be running ahead and not paying attention to where their feet will land. Kiddos eh? Mom and Dad Coyote are actually breathing a sigh of relief much as does the human folks when school starts. Halloween marks that time of the year when the Coyote offspring are preparing to go out on their own.
The cycle of Coyote life generally has the pups hunting with their parents about this time of the year. Nature is encouraging the pups to soon leave their den. Coyotes are seen with regularity at this time of the year because the pups are leaving the den to learn about life. Maybe that is why the Coyote population always seems to increase at this time of the year. More and more animal control offices are reporting growing numbers of Coyotes these days. Winter is coming and the once dependent pups now young adult Coyotes are nature bound to find their own den and food for the cold and scarce months ahead. No – not just yet, there is much to be learned over the coming fall months as each day grows shorter and the nights long and cold. The immediate future will reinforce hunting skills although most of them will not survive these times. Those Coyotes that do survive will be stronger then their parents because each generation will have improved their survival capabilities.
The Coyote Pups watch as their parents hunt and then stalk needed food for the families. The pups watch the parents fade into the background in order to avoid larger predators or to sneak up on their prey. The parents move ever so slowly so as not to draw attention which is the same skill needed to overcome unsuspecting prey and avoid humans.
The stealthy skill needed to avoid humans and predators is the same used to gather food. Halloween lives on for small game but for the human children it is only a single night of fright. This is the day that marks the beginning of the end for many young Coyotes. The Coyote pups are gathering knowledge for the coming days when they will be out on their own and have to survive or die.
Stay tuned – there is more to come on the Coyote Cam. Thanks for your time.
In the last posting this blog reviewed a Los Angeles Times article describing a Coyote “attack” where-in three people were being treated for the possibility of rabies. This week, another Coyote attack occurred but this time the Coyote tested positive for rabies and in of all places – Rhode Island. The readers that follow this blog regularly can validate the multiple comments repeated through out that Coyotes are losing their fear of humans. Coyotes are becoming habituated. Wildlife in a natural setting up close is most always a beautiful thing! However, one should determine if the approaching animal has a strong curiosity or is sick. A habituated animal can be confused with an other wise sick animal, it is important to understand there is a difference between the two.
If the animal appears to be struggling (awkward) without any obvious external injuries it is safe to assume that animal is probably sick and should be avoided. In any case the “sick” animal should be reported to authorities at the earliest convenience! On the other hand, just because the approaching animal does not appear sick contact should always be discouraged. Humans have differing attitudes in their relationships with wild life and unfortunately for the wild life not all humans have wild life’s best interest in mind.
In, The need for modern conservation efforts, an article written for New Mexico Wildlife. The author, Zen Mocarski writes, “In the last 100 years, development has boomed, cities have grown and the connections people have with the outdoors has been replaced by the internet, shopping malls, movie theaters and home entertainment.” What was once wilderness is fast being converted to undeveloped land meaning it is being viewed for investing purposes. What was once wilderness will soon be either an urban housing project or industrial location. The wild life that used to call that piece of land home may very well become homeless. Coyotes (wild life), it is safe to say, have been pushed out of their homes by encroaching human developments. Not only have we (you & I) made critters homeless we have contributed to their early demise. How, you ask? Providing access to our jobs and malls are highways which divide what was once wildlife’s home. The fences that limit road crossings by animals traps the animals preventing escape from their predators. Additionally, what few animals that make it past the fences become road kill and those numbers are climbing as the number of vehicles increases. Don’t like seeing Coyotes in your neighborhood? Then it is time to look around the country and see about better land management to prevent the loss of wildlife habitat! Keep wildlife in the wilderness.
At the beginning of this post Coyotes were noted to have attacked humans inside neighborhoods or what should have been a safe place. Those attacks may not have been prevented but had precautions been taken, the severity of those attacks would have been reduced. Hiking in the back country, going for a walk around the block or just taking a stroll it is a good idea to be aware of the surroundings and carry something to discourage unwanted advances. Serious thought should be given to using a walking stick because it not only provides stability it will provide a defense against unruly varmints (think Coyote here). This blog does not endorse any products but offers the following for those who are unfamiliar with the concept of a walking stick as opposed to using a cane. Walking sticks can be as decretive (expensive) as the heart desires depending on the craftsmanship involved! The object is to have a sturdy walking stick for any occasion that arises. The internet offers many sources of the walking stick priced from less then $20.00 to more then $80.00. You are welcome.
Stay tuned, there is more to come on the Coyote Cam.