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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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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Kevin Brennan should re-examine his credentials as a California Dept.of Fish & Wildlife Biologist................His outlook on Coyotes("the coyote problem is here to stay with us. It's just keeping it at a manageable level.") is anyting but fair and balanced even with his advice to residents on how to co-exist with them("Don't let them feel comfortable in your neighborhood",,,,,,,,,,, "Yell at them, make noise, throw things at them".......... "I'm a big fan of tennis balls, because no matter how hard you throw them, you're not going to hurt any animal, and you're not going to damage your neighbor's car").......With California having a policy of not hunting and trapping Coyotes unless they prove aggressive to people, Biologist Brennan comes across hostile to that policy.................So, if this is typical of California State Biologists, one can imagine the attitudes of those state gamekeepers in "shovel and shut-up" states like Idaho, where coyotes, wolves, bears and pumas are considered "varmints"

If you live in Los Angeles, you may be familiar with the large population of coyotes that lives in the area. Living near coyotes requires some extra precautions (like keeping pets indoors), but there are some things you can't prepare for. Jed Kim brings us this report from the wilds of Los Angeles.

Deborah Del Prete has lived right below Griffith Park for just over three years. She loves her neighborhood, because it's so peaceful...for the most part.  "We don't have any highway noises, or, you know, we're not in a flight path," said Del Prete. "Now and then a helicopter goes by. It's fantastic to live in this area, because besides the coyotes, it's really, really quiet." 

Did you catch that "besides the coyotes" caveat? There are coyotes nearby and they can get loud. If you've never heard coyotes at night, it takes a little getting used to.  "The first time I heard it, I thought, 'What is that?' I mean, it was a little scary, you know, a little alarming. You were like, 'Oh my God, what's happening right outside?'" said Del Prete. As alarming as the coyotes sound, Del Prete has gotten pretty used to them. "I really don't think many a night goes by we don't hear it at least once," she said. 

If there were a ranking of nightmarish neighbors to have, coyotes would be pretty high on the list. Besides making a racket, they're likely to eat pets, root through your garbage, and frighten homeowners. Plus, just like that one neighbor you really can't stand, they're probably never going to leave. See, unlike many animals, coyotes do really well near humans.

Kevin Brennan is a wildlife biologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and an expert on coyotes here in Southern California. He says their population has exploded in recent decades, so much so that it's hard to keep track of how many there are.  "We can have populations that are anywhere from 12 to 20 times greater density in suburban settings than naturally occur in the wild," said Brennan. "It's kind of like measuring hay in haystacks or sand on the beach. But in California, we conservatively estimate that we have about half a million coyotes in the state. So, the coyote problem is here to stay with us. It's just keeping it at a manageable level."

Statistically, deaths due to coyotes are still miniscule. In fact, there's only ever been one recorded instance in the U.S., but attacks are on the rise."Current data suggests that coyote attacks are on the increase overal, particularly in Southern California," said Brennan. "So when coyote problems arise, it's up to the individual homeowners to handle the problem themselves."

He says this area now sees about half a dozen reports of aggression towards humans each year. Those extreme cases are the only times Fish and Wildlife will step in to remove a coyote. That's because LA County doesn't have a trapping program. 

Brennan suggests homeowners use a deterrence as a way to keep coyotes from becoming established in the first place. That means keeping a close eye on pets, securing all garbage, picking up the fruit that falls from trees. Also, it helps to be a bit of a bad neighbor yourself."Don't let them feel comfortable in your neighborhood," said Brennan. "Yell at them, make noise, throw things at them. I'm a big fan of tennis balls, because no matter how hard you throw them, you're not going to hurt any animal, and you're not going to damage your neighbor's car."

While these steps may help keep coyotes from becoming a danger, they don't do much for the noise. But Del Prete says that's just part of what it means to live here these days. "They're here. I mean, they're not going to get rid of them. And no, there's nothing you can do about the sound. But it truly becomes a background noise to you," said Del Prete. 

It's learning to cope, which means enjoying the times that are a little less noisy. This sound you're hearing is mainly pups getting excited over whatever food their parents are bringing home. Brennan says it's in late fall when the juveniles are hitting the town for the first time that things will get really loud.


Anonymous said...

In Calif. you are allowed to kill them if they are : attacking, molesting, harrassing, or killing your pets or livestock. And of course the same goes for people. Rules apply as how to dispatch them such as you can't shoot accross a road etc.

Rick Meril said...

Best to learn to live with the Coyotes in your neighborhood...........As you likely know, killing Coyotes only brings more Coyotes, as younger Coyotes move into an existing territory, carve it up into smaller pieces,,,,,,,,,,,,both have litters,,,,,,,,,,,,,,More Coyotes