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Thread: New Urban Convert?

  1. #1 New Urban Convert? 
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    What's going on with coyotes? Wasn't that long ago that a coyote sighting within city limits was rare, especially here in the Niagara region (northeastern N.A.). Nowadays it's commonplace. Seems as if something has changed to allow the coyote to adapt to man's presence. Could it be a change in the environment, food supply or the absence of a competitor? Is it evolution at work or has the coyote always had the attributes to allow co-existence with humans.

    When I was a kid the rub was that all coyotes were fearful of man and wouldn't go near us as a result. Just the other night in the field behind my house they must have killed something because they were yipping and yapping like crazy. There are deer back there. Again, I've always been told that a coyote couldn't bring down a deer but guys I know who hunt locally say they can. Hard to differentiate from lore or myth.

    There was a TV documentary on the other night. In it scientists had managed to put transmitters on a dozen city coyotes. They followed them around to see what they actually do at night or with less people around. In some cases people out walking their dogs had no idea that a coyote followed them the whole way, unseen and about 15-20 meters behind. They did not observe them eating family pets but if there was food left out for dogs or cats then the coyotes would eat it. They were also seen leaping fences 2 meters high with no problem and sleeping on porches. They did notice that the coyotes attacked and ate a few Canada geese or their eggs. Around here the geese are a big problem so most people might think that's a benefit coyotes provide.


    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
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    I have personally seen trail cam footage "my teacher is an avid hunter and it was one he had placed" of 2 coyotes killing a full-grown deer. Not only was it a deer, but it was a large buck. So yes, coyotes can in fact kill a full sized deer. Are they a threat to humans? Not usually, but perhaps in certain situations, such as a rabid animal, they could theoretically injure/kill a grown man. Or, worst case scenario, the coyotes adapt further into human environments and see us as just another prey animal.


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    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    I have personally seen trail cam footage "my teacher is an avid hunter and it was one he had placed" of 2 coyotes killing a full-grown deer. Not only was it a deer, but it was a large buck. So yes, coyotes can in fact kill a full sized deer. Are they a threat to humans? Not usually, but perhaps in certain situations, such as a rabid animal, they could theoretically injure/kill a grown man. Or, worst case scenario, the coyotes adapt further into human environments and see us as just another prey animal.
    I have been told that the northeastern coyotes are larger than their southern cousins. I found an article that stated coyotes have taken over a niche once held by wolves. I have never heard of a wolf in this area so the coyote's presence must have taken a few decades to establish here.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Coyotes are an incredibly adaptable species and they roam the streets of Whitehorse, Yukon, quite boldly, especially during the winter. They are on the lookout for stray cats, small dogs, pet food, bird suet and of course food scraps from human garbage. Some people are foolish enough to feed the coyotes and feeding wildlife (with the exception of songbirds) is against the wildlife regulations because it creates expectations and can lead to these animals becoming aggressive and dangerous.

    I recall that a year or two back, a school child got mugged for his lunch bag by a coyote. Humans create the problems and then the animals get destroyed as the 'solution'.
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    I've seen a lot of change in the wildlife just in my lifetime. When I grew up in western PA, we didn't have deer. A lot more of the land was cleared for farms. There used to be breeding populations of ringneck pheasants. They are all gone. I think there used to be a lot more cottontail rabbits. Now most of the farmland is grown up into woodlands, that isn't built up with houses.
    The wild turkey were re-introduced in about the seventies I think. The coyotes moved in later. I think it just has to do with the changes in the available food supply.
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    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    I've seen a lot of change in the wildlife just in my lifetime. When I grew up in western PA, we didn't have deer. A lot more of the land was cleared for farms. There used to be breeding populations of ringneck pheasants. They are all gone. I think there used to be a lot more cottontail rabbits. Now most of the farmland is grown up into woodlands, that isn't built up with houses.
    The wild turkey were re-introduced in about the seventies I think. The coyotes moved in later. I think it just has to do with the changes in the available food supply.
    Pheasants have disappeared from here also. Turkeys were reintroduced to Ontario not too long ago and appear to be thriving. I counted a flock of 65 in a farm field the other day. If it's Canada geese on the coyote's menu then we have plenty.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    ....... Humans create the problems and then the animals get destroyed as the 'solution'.
    A fact that I have always pondered! Society places monetary value on a human life, makes it illegal to kill a human, while the lives of most types of non-human animals are regarded as of far lesser importance.

    Thus, humans create the problems (with animals) and then the animals get destroyed as the "solution", because it is more acceptable to society to destroy the animals instead of the causative humans. jocular
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    I've seen a lot of change in the wildlife just in my lifetime. When I grew up in western PA, we didn't have deer. A lot more of the land was cleared for farms. There used to be breeding populations of ringneck pheasants. They are all gone. I think there used to be a lot more cottontail rabbits. Now most of the farmland is grown up into woodlands, that isn't built up with houses.
    The wild turkey were re-introduced in about the seventies I think. The coyotes moved in later. I think it just has to do with the changes in the available food supply.
    My high school friend and his dad (we were all residents of Suburban Chicagoland) avidly hunted pheasant in downstate Illinois. They regarded the birds as a tasty delicacy, a fact I cannot deny, having never had the opportunity to taste pheasant.

    Later in my life, living in very rural part of Missouri, the Ozarks, sandwiched in the middle of 7 million-acre Mark Twain National Forest, I wondered why I never saw a pheasant. Plenty of quail, bob-white, wild turkey, and thus asked locally of a neighbor, who was a many-generationed resident. The response was, there never were any pheasant to be found there. jocular
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    Species change their habits depending on what changes around them. Saw part of a doco on reintroducing wild species in various parts of the uSA last week. When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone there were some significant changes. Mainly some species of tree began to regenerate because they were no longer so many elk(?) eating saplings and damaging mature trees. And the population of coyotes went down - they'd partly taken over the wolves' role as 'top' predator for some species. They also made the big mistake of trying to share wolf kills - that didn't work at all. The wolves killed them but didn't eat them - they were just getting rid of competitors who were trying to hitch a free ride on their kills.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Seems as if something has changed to allow the coyote to adapt to man's presence.
    Yes, what has changed is man's behaviour toward such animals: 100 years ago, deer or bear in the vegetable garden were scolded off with shouts and hand claps, thrown rocks or rifle shots. We actively taught animals that humans are a pain in the butt, much as porcupines and skunks teach cougars likewise. Now the city of Victoria, BC, has deer and even cougars (mountain lions) penetrating to the downtown core - residents are cautioned by authorities to give these animals a wide berth, i.e. freedom of the city. We're even scared of raccoons, which *bully* people in the parks by snatching at grocery bags and growling for handouts. The mammals learn from their parents or from personal experience that humans are pushovers.

    When I mentioned rifles I wasn't suggesting culls to be effective. Mammals *learn* and may be conditioned as individuals and as a group - but death teaches nothing.
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    Similar story in Southern Maine. There were no coyotes when I was growing up in the 60's, now they are common. Lots of other changes though as well--Lynx, Snowshoe hare, and New England cottontail (connies) are nearly gone as well, replaced by bobcat, smaller Eastern Cottontail rabbits. Paving the roads, general development, hunting and climate change all having impacts.
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    The common denominator is the influx of human beings and our activities in reshaping the natural landscape to suit our own needs and purposes. We literally take over and dominate any piece of land that we occupy, or at least most of us do. We do not work with nature, we endeavor to shape it to our will with the result that many animals are forced to relocate which in turn dispossesses other animals and many of them are unsucessful in relocating and die as a result.

    There are a number of species that are more adaptive than others and the raccoon, coyote, field mouse, rabbit, rat, sparrow and several others are but some examples of these. The high end predators are often the most impacted and hardest animals to influence where 'management' of our activities is concerned.

    Here in the Yukon, wolves and grizzly bears are just two of the species that we are mindful of reducing human impact upon. Hunting quotas are an easy tool to manage. It is the insidious impact of our persistant presence and ever widening excursions into the remote areas with our motorized 'sport vehicles' that is creating much of the stress on our wildlife populations, at times resulting in conflicts between wildlife and humans.

    People have always been the very problem they seek to solve, in my observation. They do not seem to recognize their part in the ecosystem and want to stand apart and 'manage' it to suit themselves. Reintroducing a species after it has been forced out does not always go as planned once the habitat has been altered or degraded.
    Last edited by scheherazade; February 18th, 2013 at 01:27 PM. Reason: spelling correction
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  14. #13  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    People have always been the very problem they seek to solve, in my observation. They do not seem to recognize their part in the ecosystem and want to stand apart and 'manage' it to suit themselves.
    A voice of experience. Did you always know this or did you need time to figure it out? I figure we spend more time destroying ecosystems than trying to fix what we broke.

    Personally I cannot stand the sounds of ATV's or other mechanized equipment while hiking through the woods or afloat on a lake. I was victimize by the soundless one day. A simple walk across a meadow turned into a situation where out of the sky in front of me came a hang glider in for a landing and just when I was coming to grips with that, in comes another one. Never heard a thing until they landed. Next thing you know here comes their transportation just aimlessly driving through the grass between the shrubs and bushes. I wondered how much wildlife got disturbed by their simple act of having fun.

    It seems however that the coyote has adjusted nicely. According to the documentary I saw, they live in cities, going unnoticed for the most part. I don't think noise is a problem for them. Strange how the noise and smells of the city drives me out and how it might actually attract the coyote.
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    Another trend that might have an effect is the posting of private property. When I was a kid, the neighbors mostly knew each other, and hardly anybody posted their land. Nowadays, un-posted land is rare. This shifts a lot of hunting pressure off the posted land onto public lands. Also, hunting would be eliminated in residential areas. This leaves pockets of woods where nobody hunts at all.
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  16. #15  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Another trend that might have an effect is the posting of private property. When I was a kid, the neighbors mostly knew each other, and hardly anybody posted their land. Nowadays, un-posted land is rare. This shifts a lot of hunting pressure off the posted land onto public lands. Also, hunting would be eliminated in residential areas. This leaves pockets of woods where nobody hunts at all.
    Hunters here need written permission from landowners to hunt on their property. If stopped by a game warden they must produce the permission slip for that day or else they are charged.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    People have always been the very problem they seek to solve, in my observation. They do not seem to recognize their part in the ecosystem and want to stand apart and 'manage' it to suit themselves.
    A voice of experience. Did you always know this or did you need time to figure it out? I figure we spend more time destroying ecosystems than trying to fix what we broke.
    I had to learn and in my learning, I inadvertently caused some harm. My intentions were good but my experience and understanding of the tolerance of small wild mammals and birds for human attention was inadequate. ( In my defense, I was very young and lacking in time and affection and so I sought to give it, hoping to have it returned.)

    Personally I cannot stand the sounds of ATV's or other mechanized equipment while hiking through the woods or afloat on a lake. I was victimize by the soundless one day. A simple walk across a meadow turned into a situation where out of the sky in front of me came a hang glider in for a landing and just when I was coming to grips with that, in comes another one. Never heard a thing until they landed. Next thing you know here comes their transportation just aimlessly driving through the grass between the shrubs and bushes. I wondered how much wildlife got disturbed by their simple act of having fun.
    Precisely. Very often, there is no intent to cause harm, merely a lack of understanding that our mere presence can be disruptive. Some of our northern lichens are so slow to recover that in remote areas, one can see the impression of tracked vehicles that passed that way once, more than a decade ago.

    It seems however that the coyote has adjusted nicely. According to the documentary I saw, they live in cities, going unnoticed for the most part. I don't think noise is a problem for them. Strange how the noise and smells of the city drives me out and how it might actually attract the coyote.
    Yes, the coyote most often 'comes late to the party' and like the fox, is very observant of the activities of others, for they may signal a free meal for these opportunistic omnivores. They seem to recognize that certain sounds are not to be feared and I notice that they pay close attention to the activities of various birds, especially the grey jays, ravens and magpies, for these birds are also opportunistic feeders and have the advantage of aerial overview.
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Interestingly, the 'hunters' are among the least of the concerns for they are very much regulated and supervised by residents and authorities alike. They must have proper licensing and permits and be aware of which areas are open for what species during what periods. The book of 'permissions and exclusions' is a thick one and hunters are generally well-informed and respectful of the species they hunt and having future such opportunities for their own children.

    It is more the unregulated 'fun-seekers' who see the wilderness as their own private playground, letting their dogs run loose, underage kids on motorized equipment, inadequately supervised etc. They seek a destination and then just proceed toward it, often leaving considerable evidence of their passing. I have found empty beverage cans thirty miles from the nearest road or waterway. Disgusting. Pack it in, pack it out. Practice 'cat sanitation'. I don't care to see what you eliminated, flagged by 'Charmin' snagged on the buckbrush. Get your sorry butt many meters from the traveled path while you are about it.

    Not all motorized enthusiasts are inconsiderate but there are enough of the abusive kind that it does pose a challenge for this group.
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