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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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Saturday, December 28, 2013

It is not often in the LONE STAR STATE of Texas that you hear a scientifically sound tenet being voiced regarding wildlife management,,,,,,,,,,,Gov. Rick Perry seems to be of the "shoot it and shovel it" mentality as evidenced by his bragging about killing a Coyote while out with his dog a few years back.................The fact that Lynsey Dasher of the Humane Society had the "cajones" to speak about Coyote co-existence this past week in Austin is to her credit considering that Austin Mayon Dave Claunch is of the opinion that killing the alpha male in a given territory will relieve human and pet conflicts for a period of time..................Even the Mayor acknowledges that another pack will "reconfigure" the region so therefore constant killing is his answer to Coyotes in his midst.............Unfortunately, his paradigm not only brings on "Pack reconfigurement", it also likely increases the density of Coyotes in a particular region as often two family units will split up a given region where historically one family group lived after we humans kill the exisitng pack members..............Wake up Mr. Mayor!!!!!!!

Coyotes can be trained to fear, avoid humans, experts say

Coyotes can be trained to fear, avoid humans, experts say

Coyotes can be trained to fear, avoid humans, experts say photo
A coyote wanders on Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas. Experts say that coyote attacks on humans are extremely rare, though they have been known to attack cats and dogs.
Austin Community Newspapers Staff
Coyotes are always testing the humans around them, experts say.
The small canine is testing humans when they wander into someone’s yard. They’re testing them when they nibble on pet food on a porch. They’re testing them when they see a human let a cat or dog out unattended.
“If they come to eat the fruit on the ground and nothing happens, the next time they might come onto the porch and eat the pet food, and nothing happens,” said Lynsey Dasher, director of the U.S. Humane Society’s wildlife conflict resolution department.
Coyotes are not a danger to humans, including small children, and they will keep away from humans if humans teach coyotes to be scared of them, according to Dasher, who gave a joint presentation with the city of Austin Dec. 19 at the Austin City Hall.
Every time anyone sees a coyote, they should wave their arms and be noisy to chase the coyote away, Dasher said. She also encourages people to charge at coyotes. Don’t stop reacting to the coyote until it is gone.
This will teach coyotes to be afraid of humans and reduce the chances of coyotes encroaching in areas where humans are, she said. Coyote families typically learn from this behavior after witnessing it two to three times.
Yelling at a coyote from inside a car or house or behind something is not effective, she said.
“No one, including the police, are going to haze a coyote for you,” Dasher said. “You’re going to have to do it yourself.”
Children can also learn to do this, though if parents aren’t comfortable with that tactic, then they can teach children to back away slowly from coyotes while keeping eye contact, Dasher said. Don’t run away from a coyote because it triggers an instinct to chase.
There are exceptions to this rule, she said. If the coyote is cornered, obviously injured or ill to the point of lying down, or if it has pups with it, you don’t want to charge a coyote.
Dasher also encouraged people to get rid of things that attract coyotes: fruit on the ground, unsecured trash and outdoor pet food.
Gardens will also draw coyotes into yards, she said.
While attacks on humans are extremely rare, it’s fairly common for coyotes to attack unattended pets. Coyotes will attack roaming cats and off-leash small dogs for food; they may attack off-leash large dogs because they feel threatened, Dasher said.
If you encounter a coyote while with a pet, eliminating the risk is fairly easy, she said. If your pet is small, pick it up; if your dog is large, put yourself between the coyote and the dog.
The city of West Lake Hills has hired a trapper to kill the alpha male of a pack after hearing from concerned citizens who live on or near Las Brisas Drive. Some of those lost a pet to a coyote, according to residents.
Dasher said she doesn’t believe that’s an effective way of addressing the problem.
“Other coyotes aren’t going to know that coyote was killed because it killed a pet, so it doesn’t teach anything,” she said.
Mayor Dave Claunch said other experts say otherwise.
“Our stance has been that when you trap and remove the alpha male from a pack, as we did a few years ago, it does result in an immediate change of behavior for the rest of the pack that reduces the risk to our community,” he said. “It may be true that that benefit wears off overtime as the pack reconfigures and a new alpha male rises to lead the group, but our constituents were very clear about what they expect from the city about this particular coyote problem in this particular neighborhood.”
The trapper is affiliated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Claunch said. City officials have met with him and have given him the names of some residents in the Las Brisas area where he plans to set traps. Claunch did not know if traps had yet been set or if any coyotes had been caught.
“My personal preference would not be to trap and kill coyotes, but if there were a large coyote in my immediate neighborhood, threatening people and pets the way this coyote has been reportedly threatening these resident, I would want that coyote removed as well,” Claunch said.
West Lake Hills resident Melody Lytle, a retired biologist who used to work for Austin’s Protected and Endangered Species Department, attended Dasher’s seminar. She does not believe in trapping coyotes, she said.
“I’ve participated in the control of animals,” Lytle said. “I’m realistic about it. This is a situation in which lethal means are ineffective.”
Other coyote facts from Dasher’s presentation:
  • “It’s actually pretty rare for coyotes to attack a deer, but deer die for other reasons, and coyotes will prey on them,” Dasher said.
  • Coyotes can distort their voices to sound like several, “so one coyote can often sound like 20 coyotes,” she said.
  • Those near fire or police stations may notice that they howl at sirens. “We don’t know why,” she said.
  • Rabies in coyotes is rare, she said.
“If they get it, they usually just die right away,” she said.

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