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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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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Our friend Stan Gehrt continues to keep the 10 plus year long Chicago Urban Coyote Study relevant, revealing and instructional as seen by the informed and accurate co-existence statement by Chicago Alderman Brian Hopkins----"Leave them alone"......."I am a lead sponsor of a proposed ordinance calling for the city to formulate a coyote management program that would stop chasing them and start tolerating them".......... "The presence of coyotes is not in fact a problem, it's a benefit".................. "He pointed to an explosion of Norway rats the city is experiencing, adding that coyotes prey on rats as well as Canada goose eggs"............ "When coyotes are removed from an area, the goose population explodes"........"Along with it goose droppings(pile up dramatically)"........................Bottom line is that "“Everyone in the Chicagoland area has coyotes in their neighborhoods, but most people have no idea that they even exist,” said Gehrt colleague, Chris Anchor.........."“Humans and animals can definitely co-exist"............ “I mean, they have been here as long as we have — longer, actually".......... "We can definitely share the space"--DePaul University student Rehan Farooqui

Coyotes In Chicago Have It Good, Experts Say In Urging City To Ignore Them

By Ted Cox | May 12, 2016 3:33pm

CITY HALL — Urban coyotes keep the city's rat
 and goose populations down, but
 pose little threat to Chicagoans, experts testified
. before a City Council committee Thursday.
Yet the panel ultimately took no action on a
proposal to protect the animals from
 being collared by the city's Department of
Animal Care and Control.
"Leave them alone," said Ald. Brian Hopkins
 (2nd), lead sponsor of a proposed ordinance
 calling for the city to formulate a "coyote
 management program" that 
would stop chasing them and start tolerating
"The presence of coyotes is not in fact a problem,
 it's a benefit," Hopkins said. He pointed to
"an explosion of Norway rats" the city is
 experiencing, adding that
 coyotes prey on rats as well as Canada goose
eggs. "When coyotes are removed
 from an area, the goose population explodes,
" he said, and along with it goose droppings.
Stan Gehrt, of Ohio State University and the
 local Urban Coyote Research program,
testified that coyotes have not attacked a
human in the 16 years the program has 
been monitoring them in Cook County.
"The majority of them are trying as best
 they can to avoid us at all costs," Gehrt said.
Yet he added, "Coyotes are part of the
landscape," and city residents have to get
 used to them.
"The coyote population has continued
to increase," he said. "Life for coyotes in 
Cook County is really quite good."
Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th) said
 coyotes are commonplace in her ward
"I see coyotes probably on a weekly basis,"
 she said, drawn by the marshes and
 open grasslands of the Southeast Side.
"I wouldn't say ignore them," Gehrt said.
 "I'd say be aware."
Hopkins said his ordinance would ask
 Animal Care and Control to formulate a 
response to residents calling to report
 a coyote, adding, "The default response is
 going to be leave it alone."
Yet that won't be formally implemented
 just yet. The "subject-matter hearing"
 produced no vote on Hopkins' ordinance.
"We're planning on doing something
more robust" in the coming months, said 
Ald. George Cardenas (12th), chairman
of the Health Committee.
Hopkins accepted that with hopes of
 quick action.
Until then, Gehrt testified, city residents
should refrain from feeding coyotes. 
According to Gehrt, the only coyote attacks
on humans he'd seen confirmed were
 in Denver and Los Angeles, where they'd
grown "habituated" to contact with
 humans. He said the Urban Coyote Research
 study was ongoing, and that it was
 looking for signs of local coyotes becoming
"habituated," in which case the
 hands-off approach might need to be
reconsidered. There has been no sign of
 that yet, however.
Gehrt acknowledged coyotes are a danger
 to feral cats and, occasionally, house
 cats allowed outside, but he said attacks
on leashed dogs were extremely rare and
 tended to occur in the spring when a dog
 might be walking unsuspectingly close to
a coyote den with pups, in which case
they'll defend their turf.
To the good, however, Gehrt testified coyotes
 were a natural drag on the number of
 white-tailed deer, serving to minimize
the number of deer collisions with cars.

Wily urban coyotes make

 Chicago their den

The chill of winter had just arrived when Rehan 
Farooqui noticed a coyote walking in his
 backyard in the Chicago suburbs. The foxlike
 animal made a few steps, stalled, then made
 a few more, seemingly probing the area.

Suddenly, the coyote turned, its yellow eyes catching 
Farooqui’s. They held the gaze for only
 a moment.
“We had some type of weird connection,” Farooqui 
said, a junior at DePaul. As abruptly as
 the instance began, the coyote dashed and disappeared.
“It went off on its way, I went off on my way,” Farooqui
While a spotting such as this is rare, coyotes are in fact 
thriving in Chicago, partly due to the creature’s ability
 to adapt to their new urban residence. For some
 humans, this means more predators attacking their
 pets. But for others, coyotes can be a natural ally in
 pests like rats, and an exotic animal for on looking 
humans to enjoy.
Despite what humans have to say about them, 
coyotes seem to be here to stay.
“Everyone in the Chicagoland area has coyotes in 
their neighborhoods, but most people have
 no idea that they even exist,” said Chris Anchor,
 one of the founders of the Urban Coyote
 Research project, the most comprehensive study
 of coyotes in Chicago.
The coyote is a newcomer to urban Chicago, but
 has long called the Illinois prairies home. 
When humans arrived to the area during the
 19th century, the coyotes were hunted and 
almost driven into extinction.
Yet recently the coyote has made a resurgence,
 not only in Illinois but across the United States.
 Often cities are choice places for them to set up 
“They go where they can survive, and they’ve 
survived very well in the city,” said Gavin
 Van Horn, co-editor of the book “City Creatures,” 
which documents urban coyotes.
Unlike in rural areas, in cities coyotes are not 
hunted by humans, and there is an abundance
 of food for them to eat.
They mainly survive on rodents, fruit, deer,
 rabbit and the occasional cat, the Urban 
Coyote Research project has found. Edible
 leftovers from humans are also an option,
 as a last resort.
“They’re going through the trash a lot and
 consuming things that wouldn’t be available
 them in their native habitats,” said Seth
 Newsome, contributor to the Urban Coyote
 Research project and professor at the 
University of New Mexico.
Unlike rural areas, cities are dominated by
 fast vehicles and numerous humans. But 
with their usual keen ability to adapt, coyotes
 have learned to come out at night to avoid 
humans, and 
to wait for vehicles to pass until crossing 
streets. Still, vehicles are the leading cause
of death
 for coyotes.
Another potential threat to coyotes’ survival 
is when their interests implicate both humans 
and food.
“The problem arises when people start feeding
 them,” Anchor said. “They start looking at
 humans as a food source.”
In rare occurrences, children have even been
 attacked by coyotes after being fed by humans,
 Anchor said.

In the end, coyotes’ ability to survive is simply 
a matter of natural selection.
“Those that get to remain are those that learned 
to leave humans alone,” Van Horn said.
If coyotes manage to live besides their human
 neighbors, they will eventually find mates.
 Coyotes live in dens from February, when the 
couples mate, until April, when their pups
 are born. Such dens have been found in golf
 courses, cemeteries and abandoned lots.
In cahoots with a few other coyotes, the 
couples will claim territory in an effort to have 
dominion over the resources there. They 
defend this enclave against competing 
coyotes, if necessary.
Coyotes’ ability to live off the land and, for
 the most part, survive alongside humans has 
led to a drastic upsurge in their population
 in Chicago. While it may be impossible to 
gauge accurate numbers, estimates range 
from at least 2,000 coyotes living in the area.
The coyote population may increase still, 
Van Horn said, as long as the necessary
 food is 
The existence of a thriving community of 
coyotes is especially exciting for many, who see
 it as an opportunity to experience a kind of
 wildlife previously unknown amid the cement 
and steel of the city.
“It makes the city a more exciting place, a
 more lively place.” Van Horn said. “We are
 just one species among many in the city.”
After seeing a few coyotes roaming about, 
Farooqui said he has no qualm with them
 living in Chicago.
“Humans and animals can definitely co-exist,
” Farooqui said. “I mean, they have been here
 as long as we have — longer, actually. We can
 definitely share the space.”

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