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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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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Are Wolves a Rancher scapegoat or business-killing depredation agent in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming?..........The first article below reflects the Journalist not doing enough homework to write a "fair and balanced" article............One comes away feeling that Colorado Ranchers truly have every right to perpetuate the "Big Bad Wolf" cartoon story that states that "the only good wolf is a dead wolf".............Had the author done further research, she would know that disease, old age, poison, weather and other non-predator causes of death are twice as likely to kill sheep in Idaho and Montana as the entire predator suite of Wolves, Coyotes, Bobcats, Bears, Eagles, Foxes, Pumas and domestic dogs..............In Wyoming, the entire predator suite kills slightly less than all the now-predator causes of sheep death...........And noted biologist Robert Wielgus in his 2014 report entitled: "Effects of Wolf Mortality on Livestock Depredations" reveals that killing less than 25% of Wolves in a given livestock producing region might actually lead to an increase in Wolf predation of Livestock in succeeding years.............."Below 25% mortality, lethal control may increase breeding pairs and wolves through social disruption and compensatory, density dependent effects"............. "For example, wolf control efforts occur year round and often peak during grazing season in areas with livestock depredations"..............."However, if control takes place during the breeding season and a member of the breeding pair is removed it may lead to pack instability and increased breeding pairs"............"Furthermore, loss of a breeder in a pack during or near breeding season can result in dissolution of territorial social groups, smaller pack sizes and compensatory density dependent effects – such as increased per-capita reproduction"............. "Culling of wolves may also cause frequent breeder turnover and related social disruption – which can result in reduced effective prey use (through loss of knowledge of prey sources and ability to subdue prey) which may also result in increased livestock depredations"............... "All of these effects could potentially result in increased livestock depredations"...................... While the Colorado Parks and Wildife folks have thus far caved to the polictical whims of the Rancher Community as it relates to re-introducing Wolves, it is my hope is that natural re-introduction from both Arizona/New Mexico as well as Idaho, Montana and Wyoming becomes a reality soon........... Just as Oregon/Washington State and now California have Wolves back on the ground via Wolves pushing out and "prospecting" from Montana/Idaho/Wyoming to find their own territory and mates, so may Colorado witness this same phenomena

Wolves knocking on Colorado boundaries

Traci Eatherton;12/29/17
Colorado producers and sportsman may be stomping on the brake pedal on wolf reintroduction, but state officials say the reality is, Colorado already has wolves.
Getty Images/iStockphoto | iStockphot

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has restored gray wolves into Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico and Arizona, and it is believed wolves have begun to migrate into Colorado from both the north and south.
Wolves obviously don't adhere to state boundaries, or government boundaries for that matter, and those released in the parks have territories as large as 50 square miles, but they may even extend up to 1,000 square miles in areas where prey is scarce, according to USFWS. Wolves often cover large areas to hunt, traveling as far as 30 miles a day. Although they trot along at 5 mph, wolves can attain speeds as high as 40 mph.
To prepare for any wolf migrations into Colorado, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, in 2005, set up a multi-disciplinary work group that drafted a Wolf Management Plan. The Mexican wolf is a distinct subspecies of wolf. It is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Therefore, it is under the management authority of the USFWS. Which means the self-imposed wolf management plan of shoot, shovel and shut up is not a good idea, according to game officials.
“I guess they don’t consider hunting itself acting as a predator, instead of wolves. They haven’t considered that thousands of hunters get in the woods every year to bag an elk or deer, and they haven’t considered that the Colorado Parks and Wildlife monitor herd populations closely and prescribe the amount of available tags accordingly.”
 According to some history books, prior to the eradication of wolves, the animals turned to livestock for food, only after hunters over-killed the natural larger food sources, such as elk. Advocates for reintroducing wolves in the state, believe they are needed, in part to keep populations of elk in check. The suggestions have been met with considerable opposition from some ranchers.

But avid hunters argue that the game and fish manage big game populations through hunting, and the over $3 billion hunting industry the state boasts.
"I guess they don't consider hunting itself acting as a predator, instead of wolves. They haven't considered that thousands of hunters get in the woods every year to bag an elk or deer, and they haven't considered that the Colorado Parks and Wildlife monitor herd populations closely and prescribe the amount of available tags accordingly," a Fence Post reader shared.
"As a wilderness outfitter in the Frank Church — River of No Return Wilderness, I saw first-hand the devastation that follows these Apex predators," Tony Krekeler said. "The story about culling the sick out of the ungulate herds is a Disney fairy tale.
Killing sprees are common, especially in the winter months. Within two years, most wilderness outfitters sold out — there was nothing to hunt. Survival rates of elk calves making it to a yearling dropped to 6 to 8 percent. Even the federal biologists admit that that percentage needs to be in the mid 20 percent range for herds to remain static."

Wolf management needs to be a priority, whether the animals migrate or are reintroduced, according to Colorado ag producers, who contribute more than 40 billion to the state's economy annually.
In a recent meeting in Steamboat Springs, Colo., Sierra Club Wildlife Chair Delia Malone used the "trophic cascade" theory in her push for reintroduction. In a nut shell — the wolf-driven trophic cascade applies the domino effect, that the absence of the animal created an unhealthy change in the landscape, that included events such as elk overgrazing on willows and other low-land plants, and the reintroduction of the wolf, saved the landscape.
What Malone didn't have answers to, according to Jo Stanko, a rancher from the area, was the livestock issue.
"It's the ranchers that ultimately take the emotional brunt," Stanko said, sharing several stories involving producers losing animals to wolf predation.
"If the Sierra Club and these other organizations were honest, they would be forthright about their real goals — no hunting, no grazing, no using federal land, except for Patagonia apparel clad hikers and climbers," Krekeler said.
One story Stanko mentioned is hot in the social media pages currently, and involves elk.
"For everyone that doesn't want management this is what happens. We had 18 elk slaughtered by wolves on our feed-grounds in one night this week. 16 were calves that were not eaten at all. Killed and left for dead. The other were two pregnant cow elk. The wolves ripped the fetuses from the elk, most likely from signs, while they will still alive, to later die. Again, they did not eat the cows. 18 kills to eat two fetuses. This makes nearly 70 elk on our feed-grounds, alone this winter. We must use common sense, decency and real conversations to regulate this issue," is posted on the Facebook page of Idahoans for Liberty.
In March 2016, a Wyoming gray wolf pack killed 19 elk in a single night.
"Normally one or two elk a night here and there is no big deal, but 19 in one night is fairly rare," Wyoming Game and Fish Department supervisor John Lund told a local TV station.


In 2016, in Wyoming, wolves killed a record number of livestock and wildlife managers killed a record number of wolves.
A report released by the USFWS found that wolves killed 243 livestock, including 154 cattle, 88 sheep and one horse, in 2016. In 2015, 134 livestock deaths attributed to wolves were recorded. The previous record was 222 livestock killed in 2009.
As a result, wildlife managers killed 113 wolves in 2016 that were confirmed to be attacking livestock. In 2015, they killed 54 wolves. The state of Wyoming paid cattle and sheep producers $315,062 in compensation for livestock losses.
Communication will continue to be the key, according to Stanko, whether they are "introduced" or not.
"We need the tools to manage them," she added, pointing out that in Colorado, if a domestic dog can be shot for just "worrying livestock," it would make sense that a federally regulated cousin to the domestic dog, should fall under the same rules.
The majestic photos of beautiful wolves running through the snow is a bit romanticized, according to Sarah Smith, with the Colorado Cattlemen's Association, and doesn't take into consideration those who actually have to live with them.

A study published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin analyzed three decades of U.S. and European public opinion polls and found that people with the most positive attitude toward wolves had the least direct experience with them, Smith said. "Which explains the divide in opinion between rural and urban Colorado."
"It is true that some surveys indicate many Coloradans support having wolves in our state," the Colorado Parks and Wildlife stated in a recently published article. "Unfortunately, the costs of living with predators are not borne by most of our citizens. Agricultural producers and sportsmen will bear the brunt of the cost."
For that reason, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted a resolution against a reintroduction.
CCA says there will be a high-level conflict between wolf populations and domestic livestock and the state's wildlife, not to mention risk for wolf and human contact, pointing out that states like Wyoming, where reintroduction efforts are being implemented, are already struggling with the conflicts, including reproduction losses and stress disorders. Plus, ranchers are not interested in compensation for livestock losses; their goal is to keep them alive.
"We are not raising these animals to be savagely killed by wolves, often for sport. So not only do these reimbursement programs not work, they are unwanted," CCA's Executive Vice President Terry Fankhauser said.
An article published in the Spokesman Review highlighted these exact concerns during an interview in 2013 with local Wyoming ranchers. One said when she "applied for compensation for a confirmed wolf kill from a Defenders of Wildlife Program, she got a letter back questioning whether the ranch was 'purposefully enticing the wolves.'" Another rancher in the area said that he started noticing wolves on his property seven years ago. Before the wolves appeared, he would usually lose a handful of calves every year to natural causes or black bears and now he's losing 25 calves. "Each calf is worth about $800. If wolves take 20, that's $16,000," he said.
Stories like these will become a scary reality for rural Colorado if the reintroduction is approved and it will not only affect the wellbeing of big game and production animals, but also pose a threat to the safety of family pets, opponents believe.
"As Valerius Geist, well-known big game biologist scolded Ed Bangs and the other USFWS service employees 20 years ago in Idaho, 'You (pointing to them with his finger) have opened Pandora's Box and you will see, that you cannot close it.' Meaning, once these wolves are released, they can never be controlled or removed," Krekeler said.

Effects of Wolf Mortality on Livestock Depredations

  • Published: December 3, 2014


Predator control and sport hunting are often used to reduce predator populations and livestock depredations, – but the efficacy of lethal control has rarely been tested. We assessed the effects of wolf mortality on reducing livestock depredations in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming from 1987–2012 using a 25 year time series. The number of livestock depredated, livestock populations, wolf population estimates, number of breeding pairs, and wolves killed were calculated for the wolf-occupied area of each state for each year. The data were then analyzed using a negative binomial generalized linear model to test for the expected negative relationship between the number of livestock depredated in the current year and the number of wolves controlled the previous year.

We found that the number of livestock depredated was positively associated with the number of livestock and the number of breeding pairs. However, we also found that the number of livestock depredated the following year was positively, not negatively, associated with the number of wolves killed the previous year. The odds of livestock depredations increased 4% for sheep and 5–6% for cattle with increased wolf control - up until wolf mortality exceeded the mean intrinsic growth rate of wolves at 25%. Possible reasons for the increased livestock depredations at ≤25% mortality may be compensatory increased breeding pairs and numbers of wolves following increased mortality. After mortality exceeded 25%, the total number of breeding pairs, wolves, and livestock depredations declined. However, mortality rates exceeding 25% are unsustainable over the long term. Lethal control of individual depredating wolves may sometimes necessary to stop depredations in the near-term, but we recommend that non-lethal alternatives also be considered.


Livestock Losses


Myth:  Wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, bears, and others kill lots of cattle.
Truth:  Less than a quarter of one percent, 0.23%, of the American cattle inventory was lost to native carnivores and dogs in 2010, according to a Department of Agriculture report.
The government’s own data show that the real killers of cattle are not a few endangered wolves or other wildlife – it’s illness and weather.  Yet, the predation myth has directly contributed to a federal, 100-year, paramilitary assault on millions of native carnivores.
The livestock predation myth is a big lie imposed on the American public. While lethal predator control does little to help the fat cats of agribusiness, it ensures that the USDA-Wildlife Services stays in business. While the feds assault millions of our native wolves, bears, cougars, and coyotes, the true cattle killers are illness and weather.  The Wildlife Services’ lethal predator control program must end, and the taxpayers, wildlife, and wildlands will reap the benefits.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

There are an estimated 100,000 Whitetail Deer in New Hampshire according to N.H. Fish & Game............The 20 year historical number of Deer shot or bowed by hunters is about 11,000(11% of population)..............This year, the number of deer killed by hunters jumped to 12,269(12% of the population), the 2nd largest tally of "kills" over the past decade...............So even with 3000-5000 Eastern Coyotes(or as biologist Jon Way saids-Coywolves) and some 4500-5000 Black Bears in the N.H. woods, Deer are thriving................This should be very reinforcing to all who know that Eastern Coyotes are not the prolific deer eaters that Eastern Wolves are,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and that even with the Coyotes and Bears opportunistically dining on fawns during the first weeks of their birth in the Spring, this "dynamic carnivore duo" while doing its ecosystem services function of deer predation, is not dampening the Granite State's hoofed browser population..............I would love to see the day when Pumas and Eastern Wolves join the N.H. carnivore suite,,,,,,,,,,,Then, we would get to see how healthy the quintet of man, Coyote, Bear, Wolf and Puma could make New Hampshire woodlands, bringing down the number of deer per square mile from 15-45 to a biodiversity optimum 5-10 per square mile..............That reduced deer density would result in an optimum number of plant species reclaiming their former haunts, likely increasing ground nesting bird and small mammal/reptile/amphibian numbers via increased hroizontal tangle(e.g. hiding places for these creatures)

2017 NH Hunting Report: Deer harvest up, bear harvest down

Deer Hunt

The unofficial deer harvest for New Hampshire’s 2017 hunting season was 12,269. This take was up 15 percent from the 2016 final harvest of 10,675 and is 13 percent above the 20-year average of 10,934. Based on this estimate, the 2017 total represents the second highest number of deer taken in the last nine years.  Deer hunting seasons are now closed in the state.

“With over 12,000 deer taken by hunters, it has been another very good season in New Hampshire,” said Dan Bergeron, NH Fish and Game’s deer biologist. He noted that the physical condition of deer was good again this year, and that quite a few very large bucks were again harvested throughout the state. “This season’s estimated total harvest ranks among the top five total harvests going back 96 years to 1922!”

Eastern Coyotes and Black Bears are existing in harmony with Whitetail deer,
barely denting the deer population in N.H.

The unofficial deer harvest for New Hampshire’s 2017 season by county, with comparisons to previous years, may be viewed here. Official harvest numbers will be made available after all deer registration data are entered and verified.

Friday, December 29, 2017

With some "old-school" Winter cold embracing the Midwest and Eastern States, thought it appropriate to focus today on our indigenous aquatic weasel, The River Otter.............Superbly adapted to surviving frigid conditions, they do not hibernate, able to stay warm in streams, rivers and ponds............They have water-repellent fur, are able to swim underwater for up to 2 minutes as their nose and ears close up completely............They surface, digging holes through the ice to come up for air and partake in a fish or crayfish meal..............Like the Wolf and Puma, the River Otter occupied much of North America prior to European contact,,,,,,,,,,,,Like the Beaver, it was hunted and trapped with abandon and today occupies the north central and northwestern USA and parts of Canada..................All four of their feet and their tail are webbed, enabling them to go into high gear and attain speeds of up to 7mph while swimming on the surface of their water habitat..................They produce a litter of two to three kits annually each Spring; with a delayed gestation period of 10-11 months--even though the babies only take two to three months to fully develop inside the womb......The mother Otter delays her birth to take advantage of optimum food sources come Winters end.....

Otter Holes
Photo by Mary Holland.
River otters are the most aquatic members of the weasel family. They can swim up to six or seven miles per hour on the surface of the water as well as underneath it, and can remain submerged for up to two minutes. Otters spend a great deal of time fishing under the ice, and obtain oxygen from open holes such as the one pictured (as well as from air pockets under the ice). As their tracks indicate, otters come up onto the ice to eat their prey, be it fish or crayfish, their two favorite winter meals.
North American River OtterLontra canadensis

Location and Habitat
At one time, North American river otters were found
 throughout much of the United States
 and Canada. Due to habitat loss and fur-trapping
 practices, the number of river otters has 
declined. River otters now live primarily in the
north-central and north-western United States, 
and various parts of Canada.

North American river otters live in streams, marshes
 and back waterways surrounding lakes,
 especially the Great Lakes. They are also found in
 similar areas near certain parts of the
 Pacific and Atlantic coasts.

North American river otters are carnivorous, and
 feed on a variety of items. Their diets
 include fish, crayfish, mollusks, frogs, bird eggs
 and sometimes small mammals.

Size and Description
North American river otters grow to sizes of
 2 - 2.5 feet, not including the tail. Tails can 
grow to sizes of another 1 - 1.5 feet in length.
 The fur on river otters is dark brown,
 except for the chin and chest area where it
 is a lighter brown or cream color. The fur 
is thick and helps to keep otters warm while
also repelling water. River otters have long, 
tubular bodies that help make them

Feet on river otters are highly specialized. All
 four feet are webbed helping river otters
 propel through the water. They can also use
 their front two feet to grab or hold items.

River otters have very small ears on their heads,
 and have two small eyes. Their muzzle 
is short and may also have lighter colored fur.
River otters also have long whiskers on 
their heads which help them to feel objects in
 the water.

River otters are adapted to living in and near
water. Their nostrils and ears will close 
completely when they submerge underwater to
 look for food. Their webbed feet and
 tail will give them propulsion, and they can
move their bodies to help them move through
 the water as well. All of these adaptations
combine to make river otters supreme
swimmers in their native habitats.

River otters are intelligent, playful creatures.
 They can be seen sliding down mudbanks 
or playing with other otters. In the water, they
will sometimes pop their heads up like 
periscopes to see what is going on around
 them, and then dive back down after a few

River otters give birth to two or three young
 in early spring. While the entire gestation or 
pregnancy period of female river otters is
approximately 10 - 11 months, the babies are
 only developing inside the mother for a
 period of about 2 - 3 months. This process is 
called delayed implantation.

Other Facts
River otters can make a variety of sounds
 including whistles and hisses.

River otters are now protected in parts of
 their range due to their decreased numbers.

All cats, whether your housecat or the Puma, have certain sleeping requirements.............Just as we human animals have our favorite pillows or preferences for hard or soft mattresses, the biologists heading up the PANTHERA TETON COUGAR PROJECT "were curious whether puma bed sites seemed to be chosen for their thermoregulatory potential (warm and cozy, cool and shady), the refuge they offered from competing carnivores, or both".......... "Managing body temperature and avoiding predators (or aggressive competitors) are leading theories explaining any critter's choice of snoozing abode".........."The results of this Puma sleep study suggest that the CATS choose their naptime quarters for both thermoregulatory and "predator-avoidance" attributes"............ "In general, your typical puma bed in the southern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem lies in dense plant cover, on hard, southern facing slopes, or among/near cliffs and outcrops"............... "Steep and rocky countryside may serve as escape-terrain for pumas: rugged land amid which they're likely to outpace any wolves or Grizzly Bears that happen upon their hideaway"..............."Pumas must constantly manage a trade-off between finding food and staying safe".......... "Because the best hunting habitats are not necessarily the safest places to sleep, a puma must find a home range that can provide both types of environment"


Just like your pet cat, mountain lions are particular about their nap stations

Just like your pet cat, mountain lions are particular about their nap stations
BY Ethan Shaw; DECEMBER 29 2017
Cat owners are well familiar with the ability of their feline housemates to get comfortable nearly anywhere: seeking out the tiniest puddles of sunlight, the most cloistered under-the-bed nooks, and certainly any available shoulders and laps.
A housecat seeks out its nap stations based on certain attributes; the same goes for its bigger cousins out in the bush. A study published last November in the journal PeerJ has revealed some of the rather intimate sleeping preferences of one of the bigger members of the cat tribe: the puma (aka mountain lion or cougar).

The insights are only some of the latest to come out of Panthera's Teton Cougar Project, which has also lately explored the scavenger guild that profits from puma kills, the competition (or lack thereof) between pumas and human hunters and the cats' surprisingly rich social lives
For this project, the Panthera team sought out about 600 bedding sites chosen by a number of GPS-collared pumas in its ongoing study, which plays out in the southern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) in the Middle Rocky Mountains of the United States. The researchers cued into these beds using telemetry signals and recognised them on the ground "as a circular depression in the vegetation or snow containing identifiable cougar hair". (The team omitted from its analysis spots where a puma had laid up next to a kill.)
The biologists were curious whether puma bed sites seemed to be chosen for their thermoregulatory potential (warm and cozy, cool and shady), the refuge they offered from competing carnivores, or both. Managing body temperature and avoiding predators (or aggressive competitors) are leading theories explaining any critter's choice of snoozing abode. "Sleeping is among an animal's most vulnerable behavioural states," the authors of the Panthera study note, "and bed sites are an important ecological resource for many species."
Most studies on the sleeping geography of animals have focused on primates and ungulates; the Teton Cougar Project research is among the few to have looked at the topic among carnivores, for which a resting place may serve as a "competition refuge".
You'd think a 45- to 91-kilogram (100- to 200-lb.) cat packing heavy-duty muscle, fangs and meathook claws would be able to sleep just about anywhere it pleases, but in the Rocky Mountain backcountry the puma isn't exactly "top dog" (so to speak). Scavenging grizzly and black bears rout them off their deer, elk and bighorn carcasses, while also posing a threat to kittens. Grey wolves present the same trouble, and sometimes even attempt to kill adult mountain lions. (One on one, a puma may be a match, or more so, for Canis lupus, but a wolf pack is another matter entirely.)
The Panthera team assessed the thermoregulation and predator-avoidance elements of puma beds at two spatial scales: landscape and microsite. At the landscape level, they recorded the habitat type, slope, degree of ruggedness, elevation, aspect (north, south, east or west) and distance to forest edges. The finer-tuned microsite analysis noted the bed's relative concealment, canopy cover and various habitat features.
The results suggest pumas choose their naptime quarters for both thermoregulatory and "predator-avoidance" attributes. In general, your typical puma bed in the southern GYE lies in dense plant cover, on hard slopes, or among/near cliffs and outcrops. Steep and rocky countryside may serve as "escape terrain" for pumas: rugged land amid which they're likely to outpace any wolves that happen upon their hideaway. (Cliff belts also serve as escape terrain for mountain sheep and goats harried by wolves, though the prey doesn't always get away.) Trees offer another refuge for a nimble puma on the run; the cats avoid sacking out in open, exposed country.
In the cold, snowy winters of the study area, pumas often bedded down on south-facing slopes – the warmest aspects, thus fulfilling a thermoregulatory function. But the beds also tended toward steep and lay close to timber: both characteristics reducing a cat's vulnerability to wolves. (In the study area, antagonistic run-ins with pumas and wolves were more common in winter.)
In summer, bed sites seemed somewhat skewed towards the predator-avoidance end of the spectrum, perhaps because this is the season of both especially vulnerable puma kittens and roving bears. But here again, characteristics of summer bed sites can serve multiple purposes: the same heavy cover that hides a resting puma also offers shade on a hot summer day.
The Panthera research goes beyond the basic thrill of learning where a big, elusive carnivore such as a puma catches its shuteye. Parsing out the factors that influence a mountain lion's choice for bed sites helps us appreciate the animal's landscape requirements beyond the more obvious geography of hunting grounds.
"When many people think about conserving or managing large predators like pumas, they typically focus on their food requirements (i.e. the availability of prey species like deer)," lead author Anna Kusler wrote in a Panthera blog post summarising the study results. "Though this is definitely an important consideration, pumas must constantly manage a trade-off between finding food and staying safe. Because the best hunting habitats are not necessarily the safest places to sleep, a puma must find a home range that can provide both types of environment."

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

This blog has stayed in touch with and followed the longest running(17 years) Coyote Study in the USA--THE CHICAGO URBAN COYOTE STUDY headed up by biologist Stanley Gehrt.............."A Christmas-time 2017 update by Stan and his colleagues reveals that the 4000 Coyotes in Cook County, Illinois have about doubled their population since 2005, exhibiting a higher survival rate than they do in rural areas due to an abundant food supply and a corresspondingly high reproductive rate"..........“The abundance of food is quite high in Chicago and it’s not just human food or garbage, but there’s a lot of natural food available for these animals in many parts of Chicago that you wouldn’t realize, such as rodents, rabbits, Canadian Geese and their eggs, dead birds, fruit and feral cats"..........“You can’t have preconceived notions of what makes suitable habitat for these animals"............ “We didn’t think that coyotes would be able to penetrate or colonize certain parts of the Chicago area because it would just be too urban, but apparently there’s no part that they can’t colonize"................"Smart, constantly learning and problem solving(your smartest dog times 1000), they will study traffic light patterns and cross when we are stopped for red lights, often crossing in pairs(for safety, as humans do)"........."They have become largely nocturnal so as to minimize contact with us, will bed down in small bushes, on top of carparks, anywhere that makes them feel safe from human contact"................."And yes, they are highly territorial, defending a well marked, specific territory against other coyotes and dogs".............."There is a very logical reason as to ihy they go after dogs"......."Dogs are fellow-canid competitors and interlopers on the Coyotes home turf"................"Coyotes are not seeking to rid their territory of human animals, but dogs and foxes are direct competitors and will not be tolerated"..........."Coyotes form family units with pups of the year(only one litter annually for Coyotes and Wolves)" ..............."4 to 12 pups are born in April or early May after a two month gestation period"..............."And for all you romantics out there, Coyotes in Chicago tend to "do the deed" on Valentine's Day--a fact"..........."Therefore, from around December when male Coyotes become interested in mating through April, both males and females are particularly intolerant of dogs intruding on their territory".........."Coyotes are highly monogamous and mate for life".............."In the wild they might live 3-7 years but are capble of livng up to 15 years, same as many domestic dogs"..............Stan sums up this remarkable on-going Study by saying: 'So far(even with the doubling of the population), we haven’t noticed any increase in conflict with us”............ “The fact that they’ve been able to move into every metropolitan area across North America is one of the most fascinating wildlife stories underway right now"


Why Are Coyotes Thriving in the Chicago Area?