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Coyotes-Wolves-Cougars.blogspot.com

Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Jaguar is the king of his(her) domain..........If it is meat(85 prey species thus far identified from the USA on down through Patagonia), it is on the Jaguar menu..........The ultimate top-down, trophic carnivore, males can weigh up to 250 pounds, a true "interior lineman" with the speed of a "wide receiver, Jaguars can easily kill Caimans, Crocoldiles and Alligators that weigh 150 pounds(as the video in the article below depicts).............The third largest "cat" in the world behind Lions and Tigers, the Jaguar is the Americas largest feline

Truly hypnotic video of a Jaguar wrestling with and killing a Caiman in Brazil's
Encontros das Aguas State Park--click on link below to view:

https://www.earthtouchnews.com/natural-world/predator-vs-prey/watch-jaguars-underwater-wrestling-match-with-a-caiman-in-brazil

WATCH: Jaguar's underwater wrestling match with a caiman in Brazil

by: Earthtouch News; 8/14/18

Jaguars are famously unfussy eaters. These big cats will scoff down just about anything they can catch, including anacondas, capybaras, feral pigs, cattle, giant anteaters, peccaries, and even caimans …













This astonishing footage of a watery tussle between a jaguar and a caiman was captured recently by student Danielle Hunter and her brother Edward. The siblings, along with guide Eduardo Falcao and photographer Eduard Sangster, were cruising down the Corixo Negro River in Brazil’s Encontros das Águas State Park when they spotted the bulky cat. Jaguars are widespread in Central and South America, but they are notoriously elusive, and spotting one in the wild is no easy feat. The Pantanal in Brazil – an impressive whack of wetland covering 70,000 square miles (181,300 square kilometres) located right in the centre of South America – is one of the best areas to catch a glimpse of these big cats in their natural habitat. And if you’re really lucky, they’ll put on a show.

















Hunter and her group watched as the jaguar cautiously waded towards an unsuspecting caiman that was lurking near the shoreline. A 15-minute wrestling match ensued as cat and crocodilian twisted and rolled in the murky shallows. Eventually, the jaguar claimed victory and dragged the caiman out of the water where it delivered the fatal blow.



Armed with remarkably powerful jaws, impressive fangs and heaps of predatory ability in the water, jaguars are well-equipped for the tricky task of caiman catching. They have been recorded crushing through the shells of freshwater turtles with ease, and can deliver a trademark killing bite to the back of the neck or skull that quickly and efficiently subdues potentially dangerous prey like crocodilians or snakes.



















“You can hear me gasping in the video and my brother and I kept glancing at each other with looks of amazement because it was an incredible event to witness,” Hunter told the Daily Mail. The Hunter siblings and their group are among a select few who have had the chance to witness this sort of predatory spectacle firsthand. Back in 2013, National Geographic released footage of a jaguar ambushing a mudbank-basking caiman (a clip that has since racked up 56 million views on YouTube
































































WATCH: Jaguar's underwater wrestling match with a caiman in Brazil

Monday, August 13, 2018

The northern California County of Plumas is now home to the 2nd recorded Wolf pack in the state..........Known as the Lassen Pack, there are 5 pups of the year and 3 yearlings from a year ago--With their mom and dad, "10 strong", doing their "top-down", "ecosystems services-trophic-carnivore" job in the Plumas County woodlands and fields............."Right now, the breeding female is the only collared wolf in the Lassen Pack, sending signals every three hours to California Fish and Wildlife Officials........At this time, Wolves in California are considered Federally Endangered and it illegal to kill them



New pups are born and new wolf roams Plumas


Sunday, August 12, 2018

Whether in Portland, Los Angeles, Denver, Minneapolis, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, NY or Boston, the common House Wren likely has been your neighbor..........."In fact, they have one of the most expansive breeding ranges of any songbird, stretching from southern areas of Canada, to the far southern reaches of South America".............. "In between, they are found across the entire continental United States, the West Indies, Mexico, and Central America"............"Quick, or you will miss them--House Wrens are a diminutive 5 inches long and weigh in at just.4 ounces, half the length and far lighter than a Robin"............."As cavity-nesting birds, house wrens are often drawn to buildings, with crevices and crannies that suit their nesting needs...........Like us guys impressing a favorite lady friend with our new car or spiffy home, male House Wrens will often construct as many as 12 "dummy nests" during breeding season"..........."This "claim the space" strategy is a way of enticing females to feel that a particular male would be a "good provider", worthy of mating with any female entering their territory"...............""Unmated males and males whose partner has not yet laid eggs will often attack the eggs of other cavity nesting birds, thought to be a way of preventing these other species from taking up potential valuable nesting space"..........House Wrens are quite content to nest in the eaves and pipes of our homes, paying us back royally by consuming beetles, bugs, grasshoppers, crickets, catapillars, moths, flys, spiders, snails and millipedes..............The invasive, exotic, European House Sparrow can "muscle out" our native House Wren and in some regions has reduced their population.................An array of predators dine on both Adult and fledgling House Wrens including our pet cats, opossums, woodpeckers, foxes, raccoons, squirrels, snakes, owls and hawks................"Next time you are outside, listen for the House Wrens rush-and-jumble song in summer".............."You will find this species zipping through shrubs and low tree branches"

https://adirondackexplorer.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=f2786fbb7862339a0b90113d7&id=c9662de8fb&e=46b8d98c61

SUNDAY, JULY 29, 2018

Living With Wildlife: The House Wren Eviction

house wrenOne afternoon in early June, a small brown bird swooped down in front of our kitchen window. I wondered where it had swooped from when, a minute later, I saw it fly back up, with a sliver of straw in its beak. I went out the back door, onto the deck, in time to see the bird exiting the shower vent on the gable end of the house. It was a house wren, and it was building a nest in my house.
Tip to tail, house wrens, Troglodytes aedon, are generally about 5 inches long and weigh about .4 oz. – half the length of the average robin and far lighter. They have brown feathers, longish beaks, and tails that are often tipped upwards. These tiny birds have one of the most expansive breeding ranges of any songbird, stretching from southern areas of Canada, to the far southern reaches of South America. In between they are found across the entire continental United States, the West Indies, Mexico, and Central America.


House Wren range













As a bird lover, I was delighted at the idea of having a family of house wrens just outside the backdoor. My delight was tempered, however, by the fact that my partner Rick and I had spent the past month avoiding the front door, as a pair of robins had built a nest on our front porch. Once all the nestlings fledged, we again felt free to enter and exit our house using either door. At least until the following afternoon, when the house wren showed up.
As cavity-nesting birds, house wrens are often drawn to buildings, with crevices and crannies that suit their nesting needs. The shower vent was ideal, except that it wasn’t designed to stay open. The bottom two flaps happened to be stuck when the wren decide it was a good place to raise a family. Not only were we not interested in restricting our access to the deck or back door, but we worried the bird would find itself unable to get to the nest if the vent suddenly closed.











Still, I didn’t like the idea of interfering with the bird’s efforts. I was already feeling a touch guilty that we’d moved the now-empty robin’s nest to a nearby apple tree, because we didn’t want the pair raising a second brood on the porch, where Rick had some carpentry work to do. My reluctance faded, however, when I learned that the wren was most likely a male constructing a dummy nest – a sort of prototype used to court a potential mate. A single male can construct as many as a dozen, though “construct” may be too an ambitious a word.
“This is not so much to start the nest-building process as it is to psychologically ‘claim’ the space,” explains Scott Johnson, professor of biology at Towson University in Maryland. “When a female arrives on the territory, he often will direct her to one or more of these potential nest cavities by flying between her and the cavities.”













The male will claim the space with nothing more than a few twigs and a bit of white cottony material. When a female chooses one of the offered sites, it is not unusual for the building process to start almost from scratch. “She sometimes will throw out some of the male’s sticks, because they’re just too big and hard to work with. Females wisely use smaller, more manageable sticks that can be shaped into a cup,” said Scott.
We decided to check out what was underway in the vent. Rick climbed a ladder and found exactly what Scott described: several twigs and a ball of fuzz. He tossed it into the yard and closed the vent. The wren returned a couple of times that afternoon, but then gave up.
This foreclosure was probably a good thing, because, unlike our resident robins that left the nest at the sight of us, wrens can be tiny terrors when defending their territory. “They will attack nest predators such as chipmunks, weasels and the like, by flying at them, sometimes striking them with their feet. About one in 50 adult males will similarly strike a human in the back of the head when you are looking in their nest box,” said Johnson.














Not only will house wrens attack predators and the occasional human, but the males sometimes destroy the eggs of other birds. “As far as we can tell, this is typically done by un-mated males and males whose mate has not yet laid her own eggs,” said Johnson. Once the pair has a clutch to tend, the behavior stops. The usual victims are other cavity-nesting birds that are taking up coveted nesting space. But sometimes male house wrens will attack the eggs of open-nesting species, such as cardinals and robins. “We have no idea why this is done,” said Johnson.
Though they didn’t have the opportunity to take up residence in the vent, a pair of house wrens did settle nearby. We see them flitting around the garden and around the thickets at the edge of the yard. As for the robins, they ignored their displaced nest and built a new one in the exact same spot as the first. Their second clutch had three eggs, and neither we nor the male wren disturbed them.
Carolyn Lorié lives in Post Mills with her partner, Rick, and their three dogs, two of whom are well behaved. The illustration for this column was drawn by Adelaide Tyrol. The Outside Story is assigned and edited by Northern Woodlands magazine, and sponsored by the Wellborn Ecology Fund of New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

When you drive across and up and down the lower 48 states and see what appears endless forest and woodland on either side of the road, most of us perceive these woods to be hundreds of years old, land that somehow never was farmed or developed, for whatever reason..............Well, the fact is that 97% of the USA's forest has been felled two, three, four and even five times since the first European Explorers traversed the region, circa AD 1500.............Most of the woodland that you see today from Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Minnesota east to the Atlantic Ocean is at best 90-120 years old, likely either farmed or logged the number of times I just previously mentioned...........Vermont offers a vivid and typical example of our national forest cover, having at most 20% of its pre-colonial woodland left standing by the late 1800's"............"European arrivals had cleared land for their farms".............."When a sheep craze made farmers wealthy, they cleared more land as their flocks grew"..............."By the end of the Civil War, the craze had ended, but not Vermonters’ desire to level the forests for profit".............."Railroads arrived in the state during the 1840s and ’50s"................"As spurs branched off the main lines, railroads reached once-remote parts of the state, making logging there profitable as well"..............."Also, by the 1880s, demand for wood from paper companies spiked"............As the industrial revolution kicked in and farmers abandoned their denuded hillside farms to seek work in Americas rapidly growing cities, the 40-50 inches of annual rainfall that falls annually in Eastern Noth America combined with seeds from the few remaining trees kickstarted the return of what the Green Mountain State had been hundreds of years earlier--80% forested again today in 2018


Then Again: When the Green Mountains were not so green

Friday, August 10, 2018

"Rattlesnake combat is an elaborate wrestling match, where each snake tries to topple the other".............."Although rattlesnakes are not immune to their own venom, they rarely bite during combat and there is little rattling".............."The fight is so peaceful that it is often mistaken for courtship between a male and female (courtship dance)"............."So how do you differentiate between rattlesnake courtship and combat?".............. "Rattlesnake rarely elevate their head or body during courtship, while this behavior is characteristic of combat"..........."But the biggest difference is that in combat, both males are active participants"................"Courtship, on the other hand, involves a lot of action by the male (trying to get the female interested in him), usually with little noticeable response from the female"..........Great combat and courtship video below for your viewing


Lovers and fighters

8/1/2013;Advocates for Snake preservation

The male combat “dance” of snakes – rattlesnakes among them – is an affair wherein the obvious isn’t the truth, and the the truth is stranger than the obvious (Laurence Klauber, in Rattlesnakes, p. 703)
When we think of combat, graphic images of violent competition come to mind: humans with swords or guns, sheep ramming their heads together, or cats fighting with tooth and claw. Even tortoises, which seem like peaceful creatures, attempt to flip their opponent onto their backs – a potentially lethal sentence.
So venomous snakes, perceived to be ruthless, cold-blooded killers, must put on quite a show when they fight.
And they do, but it is not the bloody spectacle you might expect. As Klauber said, “the truth is stranger than the obvious.
henry_four
A pair of male western diamond-backed rattlesnakes in combat over an unseen female.
Rattlesnake combat is an elaborate wrestling match, where each snakes tries to topple the other. Although rattlesnakes are not immune to their own venom, they rarely bite during combat and there is little rattling.
The fight is so peaceful that it is often mistaken for courtship between a male and female (courtship dance).
So how do you differentiate between rattlesnake courtship and combat?
Rattlesnake rarely elevate their head or body during courtship, while this behavior is characteristic of combat. But the biggest difference is that it takes two to tango, or combat: both males are active participants. Courtship, on the other hand, involves a lot of action by the male (trying to get the female interested in him), usually with little noticeable response from the female.
In the timelapse video above, Jaydin (male black-tailed rattlesnake) courts Persephone (female). Jaydin is usually on the left and you can see he is doing most of the movement, until the end when Persephone drags poor Jaydin away by his…
In the following video Jaydin and Marty (another male) engage in combat. As is usually the case, we found Persephone nearby.
Rattlesnakes are not territorial: they share dens and nest sites, their home ranges overlap, and outside the breeding season, encounters between even male rattlesnakes don’t usually end in a fight. But males do engage in non-violent combat for females.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

"Most recently thought to be extinct in Canada since the 1930's, a den of swift foxes has been spotted in southern Alberta, where they once flourished (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba were the areas in which the animal was previously found in abundance)"........To help re-establish these foxes, a 1970's captive breeding program began with foxes brought in from the United States"..............."The Nature Conservancy of Canada then stepped in and bought land just south of Medicine Hat in 2010, knowing it could be good habitat for fox restoration"................"Now, there are about 100 swift foxes living in Alberta’s wild; most are offspring of the released animals"............."Smaller than your typical housecat, the swift fox is one of the tiniest foxes in the world".............."It weights in at just 2.5 kilograms and measures about 30 centimetres high at the shoulder".................."Named for its speed, the swift fox can reach 60 kilometres per hour — a big advantage for escaping predators!".................."This nocturnal animal isn’t picky, feeding on everything from insects and grass to reptiles and the carcasses of small mammals".............Like Coyotes, Swift foxes form lasting pair bonds with one mate, and both male and female raise their young"..............."Swift foxes spend more time underground than any other species in the dog family, which makes their dens very important to their survival"............."You’ll often find them living in abandoned badger holes"..........."Aboveground, swift foxes prefer prairie grasslands that offer open, unobstructed views"


https://country105.com/news/4371530/swift-foxes-back-from-extinction-canada/






Swift foxes bounce back from extinction in Canada



There is now hope for a species once considered extinct after conservationists found a den of swift foxes in southeastern Alberta.
Smaller than house cats and able to run 60 kilometres per hour, the foxes were once abundant in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.





But in the 1930s, they were declared extinct in Canada because the growth of large-scale agriculture led to the erosion of their habitat.
Then in the 1970s, captive breeding programs began with foxes brought in from the United States.

Medicine Hat Provinical Park on the border
of Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada(lower right on map), the 
site of the Canadian Nature Conservancy land purchase
that now is the home of Swift Foxes







The Nature Conservancy of Canada bought land just south of Medicine Hat in 2010, knowing it could be a good fox home, and replaced the fencing to make it wildlife-friendly.
Now, there are about 100 swift foxes living in Alberta’s wild; most are offspring of the released animals.





“There’s a small but relatively stable population that seems to be thriving,” said Carys Richards, with the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=http://mygoodplanet.com/swift-foxes-back-canada/&ct=ga&cd=CAEYDioUMTgyMjY0MDcyOTU3NDMyMzU5MzYyGjE4MTdiNjk3ZGJjNWE0ZTk6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AFQjCNGxzy1QXrVlxDCHfHdy8y5yR8ro5Q

Swift foxes back from the brink of extinction in Canada

Swift foxes, recently believed to have been extinct in Canada, have made a shocking return.
Swift foxes are small, cat sized mammals, which are found in the southern States of the USA, but were thought to have disappeared from their Canadian habitat some time ago (around the 1930s, when agriculture destroyed much of their natural habitat).






On Saturday, August 4th, Carys Richards, a representative of the Nature Conservancy of Canada spoke with Global News Canada, about a recent discovery which has changed the narrative.
A den swift foxes has been spotted in southern Alberta, where they once flourished (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba were the areas in which the animal was previously found in abundance), but now there are estimated to be ‘about 100 swift foxes living in Alberta’s wild‘.






“There’s a small but relatively stable population that seems to be thriving,” says Richards, “Swift foxes are North America’s smallest canine and they are the wild dog that spends the most time in its den. They’re also nocturnal predators so sometimes it can be really hard to see them.”
Richards enthused that the growth in population stemmed from animals which were released from captivity, but added that monitoring them may prove to be challenging.
So, not only are they extremely rare, but the chances of actually spotting them can be quite difficult. But by conserving grasslands, that’s how we’re going to provide habitats to species like the swift fox.”






It’s now more important than ever to think about how we’re conserving natural land — especially with all the agricultural use, Canada’s grasslands are the “world’s most endangered ecosystem.” – ‘Kaylen Small, reporter for Global News Canada
This makes the protection of Canada’s grasslands so important for the survival of species like the swift fox that depend on these habitats for their survival,” added Richards.