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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, November 28, 2014

When I lived in Dallas in the early 1980's, rarely did I see more than a squirrel or species of bird as it relates to wildlife..............Today, Dallas has rewilded with Bobcats, Foxes and Coyotes,,,,,,,,,,,,with the often heard comment of "I guess I have to learn to live with them"..............To City Father's credit, a Co-Existence Policy has been put into effect ending previous Coyote trapping paradigms.....................They have done their homework well, listening to Coyote biologists commentary on how killing coyotes does nothing to reduce their overall numbers but in fact will cause them to start reproducing faster and younger — so populations actually increase.

Learn to live with coyotes, say experts

When wildlife officials asked a standing-room-only crowd at a White Rock Lake reception hall this month who had seen coyotes in Dallas, nearly every hand went up.
Event organizers expected about 30 people, but 124 showed up. That’s promising for the city’s relatively new educational approach to dealing with wild animals.
Over the last two years, Dallas has altered its response to the presence of beavers, coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, foxes and the like. The city ended a contract for wildlife trapping services and instead last year sought proposals for “humane wildlife management strategies that support co-existence of the human and wildlife population.”

Those strategies include teaching people to scare away coyotes, effectively training the animals to rely on their natural fear of humans. The educational message is emphasized at this time of year, when calls about coyotes rise.
Cold weather makes the animals move around more in daylight, and when plants lose their leaves, it makes wildlife more visible.
And after a few drought years in which pup survival rates were low, coyote populations are rebounding so wildlife officials “expect a fair number of complaints as these animals disperse,” said Mike Bodenchuk, Texas director of wildlife damage for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Bonnie Bradshaw, president of 911 Wildlife, agreed. “There definitely have been more calls,” she said, “and we wanted to get accurate information out to people, because 90 percent of what people think they know about coyotes is false.”
Coyotes are found in every state except Hawaii and, to the surprise of many urban dwellers, in virtually every big city. One study in Chicago found them living in even the most densely populated neighborhoods, not just in open or brushy areas.
Since 911 Wildlife won the Dallas contract for wildlife management last year, it has worked to assure residents that coyotes are at home in the city, and that they are by nature shy canines.
Occasionally, coyotes will prey on pets, but such attacks are relatively rare. Coyotes prefer a diet of rodents and fallen fruit.
Jody Jones, director of Dallas Animal Services, said the decision to stop routinely trapping and killing coyotes and other wildlife came partially from calls for a more humane approach and partially from budget cuts. Previously, the city paid trappers for each animal caught and removed. That made wildlife management costly and focused on the wrong goal, she said.
Animal researchers say selectively killing coyotes does nothing to reduce their overall numbers but in fact will cause them to start reproducing faster and younger — so populations actually increase.
In North Texas, no one keeps data on coyote populations, so it’s impossible to know what effect the trend away from trapping has had. Dallas Animal Services, 911 Wildlife and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department reported no discernible change in the number of calls they’ve gotten.
The city’s message at the White Rock presentation persuaded Lori Peniche, 57. She lives near White Rock Creek and worried that a coyote might snatch one of her two dogs.
She learned that she probably shouldn’t leave the smaller dog, a Pomeranian, outdoors alone. But she was relieved to learn that coyotes only weigh, on average, about 30 pounds.
“You hear people claiming they’re the size of German shepherds,” she said. “Well, now I know. My corgi outweighs a coyote by 10 pounds, at least.”
Sally Johnson, 60, whose cat was killed by a coyote in August, also praised the city’s approach. She lives west of White Rock Lake and says she’s gotten used to having coyotes as neighbors.
If she gets another cat, it will be an indoor cat, she said.
“Because I don’t have a choice.”

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