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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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Monday, November 4, 2013

The New Jersey state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) says that coyotes, although growing in population, have inspired few complaints to the state - not even close to the calls made to its office over black bears............ Most of the time no one sees their travels due to their elusive nature, according to the DEP website.......... Coyotes have stretched into nearly 400 municipalities in all 21 counties in New Jersey since their first appearance in the Garden State in 1939..........Although the state has no definite count for coyotes, DEC estimates their state-wide population at around 3,000, resulting in a small number(roughly 160) of complaint or concern calls a year from residents.............Tireless in his advocacy for Songdogs, Frank Vincenti, Director of the WILD DOG FOUNDATION urges coexistence by keeping Coyotes afraid of us and not attracting them with food or pets running loose..............."If coyotes are present, make sure they know they're not welcome. Make loud noises, blast a canned air siren, throw rocks, or spray them with a garden hose"...............Way to go Frank and keep up your good work in one of our most densely populated states(NJ), somehow still accomodating Black Bears, Coyotes, Bobcats and Fishers.............HOW BOUT THAT!!!!

Coyote population up in New Jersey -- complaints still minimal

Two small dogs killed roughly three years apart - coyote attacks do not happen every day. Yet that's no consolation for those who lose a family pet to what wildlife experts say tends to be a killing motivated by convenience or in protection of pups.The most recent casualty occurred in Ringwoodon Sunday, Oct. 6, when a coyote grabbed a Chihuahua its owner had let out in the yard at 5 a.m. to do its business, police say. The Chihuahua joined another family dog and together they went chasing after a few deer on the Skyline Lakes Drive property when a coyote seized upon the opportunity for easy prey, Ringwood police reported.
Also in the Suburban Trends area, another coyote attack claimed a 20-pound pug named Elsie on Oct. 7, 2010 in Kinnelon's Smoke Rise community. Elsie too was in her home's backyard when a coyote carried her away into the nearby woods, and despite the frantic efforts of her owner - who screamed and banged a picnic table - she died.

Although both incidents drew a lot of press, the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) says that coyotes, although growing in population, have inspired few complaints to the state - not even close to the calls made to its office over black bears.
Most of the time no one sees their travels due to their elusive nature, according to the DEP website, but coyotes have stretched into nearly 400 municipalities in all 21 counties in New Jersey.

"It's definitely safe to say they have increased in number over the last several decades," said DEP press officer Bob Considine, adding, "I don't see it as a crisis situation or anything." Although the state has no definite count for coyotes, he estimated their state-wide population at around 3,000, resulting in roughly 160 calls to the state per year. "Not everyone who sees one calls us," he said, describing one-third of the reports as "nuisance based" for issues like overturned trash cans or attacks on livestock, but seldom for attacks on pets.

While not minimizing the potential threat that a coyote - a wild member of the dog family - can play, wildlife experts consider the animal to be often misunderstood.
Misconceptions abound
"There are a lot ... a lot ... of misconceptions over coyotes in this area," said Dee Garbowski, who has raised coyote pups as founder of Wildlife Freedom Inc., a refuge for orphaned and injured wildlife in Wanaque.

"There's a lot of misinformation about them attacking people. I don't believe that ... unless you have a sick one," she said. They do go after chickens, and they have killed small domestic animals when they are hungry, Garbowski said. But that's not their main diet, she said, citing rabbits, rodents, and young or weakened deer as their regular food supply.
From Woodland Park to Wayne, "coyotes are out there - they're pretty much everywhere," she said. Yet hikers have encountered coyotes without any threat, even with pups present, which goes back to her idea that they are misunderstood.

Frank Vincenti, director of the tri-state non-profit Wild Dog Foundation, recalls cases of coyotes even in Bergen County - specifically in places like Hackensack and Maywood. InHackensack a family of coyotes lived two years ago in about 7.5 wooded acres surrounded by houses, but didn't fare well, many of the pups falling victim to cars, he reported.

Although well aware of people in their territories, Vincenti said coyotes tend to be tolerant of both humans and their pets. Coyotes may cross through the same yards hundreds of time and "they know dogs live there," yet most of the time, they shy away, although they may mark their territory like domestic dogs do, Vincenti has observed.

"It's amazing that coyotes don't have any anxiety medication with [people and pets] going through a territory which they have marked for themselves," he said. "They have a high tolerance for people."

At the same time, coyotes are at the top of the food chain in New Jersey (with hunters their biggest threat), he said. And "like bears they are starting to colonize other parts of New Jersey and the population is very stable."

According to the DEP website, "The first known record of coyote occurrence in New Jersey was recorded near Lambertville, Hunterdon County, in 1939. The animal was described in newspaper accounts as 'a long, bushy tailed animal looking something like a police dog but with the coloration of a coyote. The (DEP's) Division of Fish and Wildlife received another 29 reports statewide sporadically over the ensuing 40 years, but increased significantly since 1980."

The state doesn't offer any explanation of how the coyote was introduced to New Jersey, sufficing it to say that "regardless of how they got here, the coyote's extremely adaptable nature has allowed them to survive and thrive throughout the state."

Misunderstood and growing in number, coyotes in our midst can necessitate our attention when roaming our yards and neighborhoods.Vincenti, who gives talks on coyotes through the tri-state area, recommends that residents act to deter coyotes - making it clear that in general, during daytime hours they are not welcome in local yards.

"People have to accept that their yards are contiguous to woodlands (in many cases)," Vincenti said, which means coyotes may be passing through, and if it's during the day or in proximity to children and small pets, humans would want to discourage these visits. A coyote passing through an empty yard late at night, though, is typically not a reason for concern, as there is not likely to be contact with humans, he added.

"Basically coyotes have an innate fear of human beings," he said, but the availability of food from humans can erode that fear, paving the door to possible attacks.
According to the DEP, "in suburban and urban areas, coyotes have occasionally attacked small pets. Although attacks on humans are extremely rare in eastern states, as with any predatory animals, they can occur."

Experts noted that residents need to be very cautious about feeding any animals outdoors, as even if they are feeding deer, they could be drawing coyotes to their homes.
Coyote precautions
It's no surprise, therefore, that "Never feed a coyote," is the first of the "coyote precautions" on the DEP website.

Coyotes, while not considering humans their prey, can pick up on their body language. Vincenti seeks to educate the community to employ negative conditioning so coyotes, which can grow to around 50 pounds in New Jersey, will know to avoid people.
With pets, he calls for "keeping dogs on a leash and making your presence known so that [the coyotes] can associate humans with the dogs."

He suggests chasing after them as one form of negative conditioning, "so they know they're not welcome - they'll know and run away, the more often it's done.
Along those lines, the state suggests, "If coyotes are present, make sure they know they're not welcome. Make loud noises, blast a canned air siren, throw rocks, or spray them with a garden hose."

Other deterrents, which Considine suggested, are (1) clearing properties of havens for rodents like brush, dense weeds, and wood piles; and (2) limiting water sources in the yard, including bird baths.

Further precautions are:
• Put trash in tightly-closed containers that cannot be tipped over
• Bring pets in at night
• Put bird feeders away after dark
• Install motion-sensitive lighting around the house
• Provide secure enclosures for rabbits, poultry, and other farm animals.
If a coyote is seen in the daytime and shows no fear, or if a coyote attacks a person, this warrants an immediate call to the local police and the Division of Fish and Wildlife at 908-735-8793 or 877-WARN-DEP (after business hours).

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