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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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Friday, April 12, 2013

Coyotes haven't always lived in Illinois.............. They came east in the early 1700s(as Wolves and Buffalo were pushed out, in came Coyotes) but were virtually eradicated by the early 1900s due to predator control programs............ They rebounded in the 1970s, steadily increasing in population through the 1990s, when they reached the levels where they roughly remain today----It’s estimated there are 30,000 coyotes are living in Illinois......... The number in Cook County(Chicago) could be 2,000 or more

10 Coyote Facts from a Cook County Forest Preserve Expert

Lauren Williamson;

Why there are more songbirds in coyote-heavy areas, what to do if you see one of the scruffy creatures in your yard and more.

Chicago area Coyote

SavethePrairie Society invited local coyote expert Melina Peters to speak at its meeting Sunday at the La Grange Park Library on the topic "Adapting to the Rising Coyote Population in the Chicago Region."
Peters worked as a naturalist at the Little Red Schoolhouse in Willow Springs for the past five years and starts her new position this week as a wildlife technician with the forest preserve, focusing specifically on coyotes.
Here are 10 facts about the wily beasts from Peters' talk:
  • Coyotes haven't always lived in Illinois. They came east in the early 1700s but were virtually eradicated by the early 1900s due to predator control programs, Peters said. They rebounded in the 1970s, steadily increasing in population through the 1990s, when they reached the levels where they roughly remain today.
Chicago Coyote pup in den

  • There are more songbirds in areas with greater concentrations of coyotes. That's because coyotes prey on one of the birds' top predators: raccoons.
  • Even when coyotes have the option of digging into human garbage for meals, they mostly stick to their natural food sources. An analysis of coyote poop found that coyotes in suburban areas mostly eat rabbits. "It takes more than being near us for them to choose to become involved with our lives," Peters said.
Chicago area coyote

  • Healthy coyotes probably won't want anything to do with you. "They might peek, they might look, they might linger," Peters said. "But they're never going to want to be near us." If a coyote does approach you, it's probably sick.
  • Coyotes are more prone to attack during mating season, which runs from December through February, and when they're raising their pups in April. It's very rare for them to snap at humans. However, dogs and cats are more vulnerable—larger dogs because of territory disputes and small dogs and cats because they're seen as dinner.
Chicago area Coyotes

  • Coyotes can both jump over and dig under most fences, so stay with your small dog when it goes outside. (As an aside, great horned owls are also known to swoop from the sky and fly away with miniature pets.)
  • Avoid feeding pets outside or developing outdoor habits. Coyotes learn your behavior. "If he sees me drop some food or feed my dog every day, he's going to inch a little closer every day," Peters said.
  • Never, ever purposely feed a coyote. "That's just a horrible thing, because what (you're) really doing is dooming that animal," Peters said. "It's really hard to retrain it to do something else. Once they start associating humans with food, there's nothing to do but physically remove it." During a study of 150 collared coyotes, she said five became nuisances. All five had one thing in common: Humans fed them.
Chicago area Coyote

  • Coyotes carry several diseases that pets can catch, including parvovirus, distemper and mange. Humans are vulnerable to Lyme disease and rabies.
  • Don't run away if you see a coyote. If you flee, "(t)hat coyote's feeling pretty tough," Peters said. "He's getting a boost in his dominance." Instead, make a lot of noise, wave your arms in the air and throw something at the coyote, if you can. That will teach him to steer clear of humans.

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