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   Undertoad  Monday Mar 13 11:52 AM

3/13/2006: Urban coyotes



gmr2048 suggests this interesting item which was also Boing Boing'd. The new issue of Smithsonian Magazine looks at the increasing encroachment of coyote territory into urban areas. Sadly the article doesn't explain how the above shot came about, but apparently it may be something we see more often in suburbs. From the article:

Quote:
The expansion of coyotes into urban areas, though, is recent. Until the 1990s, the farthest that coyotes had ventured into Chicago was to forested reserves near the city limits. But "something happened," says Stan Gehrt, a wildlife biologist at Ohio State University, "something we don't completely understand." Within ten years the coyote population exploded, growing by more than 3,000 percent, and infiltrated the entire Chicago area. Gehrt found territorial packs of five to six coyotes, as well as lone individuals, called floaters, living in downtown Chicago. They traveled at night, crossing sidewalks and bridges, trotting along roads and ducking into culverts and underpasses. One pair raised pups in a drainage area between a day care facility and a public pool; a lone female spent the day resting in a tiny marsh near a busy downtown post office. Perhaps most surprising to Gehrt, Chicago's urban coyotes tended to live as long as their parkland counterparts. No one knows why coyotes are moving into cities, but Gehrt theorizes that shrewder, more human-tolerant coyotes are teaching urban survival skills to new generations.



glatt  Monday Mar 13 12:40 PM

The food supply is certainly there. We have bunnies living in our neighborhood. Every time I pull into the driveway at night, I spook a few of them that are in the driveway. A neighbor told us last year that they saw a fox in our back yard. We don't live in the sticks either, we're well inside the beltway.



Trilby  Monday Mar 13 12:54 PM

I saw a coyote trotting thru my mom's backyard and three-THREE!-deer leaping over a two lane boulevard. The coyote was very cool--they walk so differently from dogs. The have a sprite-ful, bouncy step.



Elspode  Monday Mar 13 02:07 PM

I imagine coyotes in Chicago could live quite nicely on the rats alone...

A year ago, a coyote darted across three lanes of traffic and the median on Northbound US 71 Highway (my route to work, and the major North/South highway in the Western part of the State of Missouri). Emerging from the median beneath a guardrail, it was ironed out most definitively. One urban coyote bites the dust.

Its desiccated pelt *still* lays there beneath the guardrail. If I get stuck in traffic on the way home tonight, I'll take a picture of it as I pass by. At this point, it looks like a ratty rug with a snout.



gerstle  Monday Mar 13 02:50 PM

huh

Living in montana is definitely a little different than the rest of the states. It's easy to see why this is grabbing people's attention, but the couple of places i've lived in in montana have all had bears in downtown on more than one occasion. Not to mention the other, more common animals. It's pretty cool to see animals surviving and doing well while we continue to demolish their homes.



lawman  Monday Mar 13 03:25 PM

Yawn.. I've had:

black bears
moose
cariboo

in my back yard. and regularily see:

grizzlys
wolves
lynxes

while driving just outside town.

welcome to the far north!



capnhowdy  Monday Mar 13 04:32 PM

I caught one raiding my garbage cans a few weeks back. You can sit out by the pond late at nite and hear them howl. They seem to be in chorus. A very beautiful but haunting sound. I still don't see how all my ducks a surviving. I reckon its because they are smart enough to stay very close to the water after dark.



xoxoxoBruce  Monday Mar 13 07:32 PM

In Eastern PA, the coyotes are replacing the Red Foxes. Very tolerant of people and love kitty cats.



Griff  Monday Mar 13 09:02 PM

They seem to cap a bigger one every year during our local coyote hunt. The Game Commision site says 62 pounds was the biggest but I think last years was in the seventies. eek

I'm not sure I'd be taking pictures with a kid right there...ours are getting more aggressive.



FloridaDragon  Monday Mar 13 09:09 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce
In Eastern PA, the coyotes are replacing the Red Foxes. Very tolerant of people and love kitty cats.
Yeah ... we always watched for them when we lived in CT. Warned my neighbors if they heard a shot out back it was probably me waxing a coyote that was looking too intently at our cats.

We actually thought we saw one down here this morning off in a field where there was obviously a dead animal and a lot of vultures .. but it could have been a large fox I guess as we saw it while doing 80 on the way to work.


Undertoad  Monday Mar 13 09:12 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Griff
I'm not sure I'd be taking pictures with a kid right there...ours are getting more aggressive.
That kid doesn't look too bad.


Griff  Monday Mar 13 09:19 PM

...for lunch.



Mav  Monday Mar 13 09:45 PM

offtopic but has the url changed? http://cellar.org/iotd.php just shows up blank in both firefox and ie6. I can view the forums normal, at cellar.org but IotD is just not there. Been that way for me since this past friday



xoxoxoBruce  Monday Mar 13 09:53 PM

I get a blank on that link?



lumberjim  Monday Mar 13 09:57 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad
That kid doesn't look too bad.
The Honda in the driveway behind her is a little fucked up, tho.


Undertoad  Tuesday Mar 14 08:42 AM

http://cellar.org/iotd.php is fixed. The upgrade confused the blog view version of IotD. It's better now.



glatt  Tuesday Mar 14 09:14 AM

BTW: The picture is a pretty impressive one. It's difficult enough to get a good shot of an animal like a coyote because they move so fast. But to get the shot just as a cute little innocent looking girl is passing in the background, and in broad daylight in the middle of a residential street is quite impressive. It's a very good shot to accompany a story about urban coyotes.



chrisinhouston  Tuesday Mar 14 10:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt
BTW: The picture is a pretty impressive one. It's difficult enough to get a good shot of an animal like a coyote because they move so fast. But to get the shot just as a cute little innocent looking girl is passing in the background, and in broad daylight in the middle of a residential street is quite impressive. It's a very good shot to accompany a story about urban coyotes.
I would imagine it was shot with a medium length telephoto which will compress the depth to make it appear like they are closer then they really are but, nevertheless, they are on opposite sides of the street which is a little too close for my liking!


Promenea  Tuesday Mar 14 02:58 PM

A coyote crossed in front of my car as I was leaving the rental complex in Waltham Mass. Broad daylight there too.



xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Mar 14 08:15 PM

Waltham? I spent many lunchtimes feeding the ducks down by the Norumbega monument.



capnhowdy  Tuesday Mar 14 09:18 PM

Kinda sorta.. our dogs today are coyotes, refined. I suspect these animals will self domesticate if they are allowed. I bet if you fed one, you could pet him in three months.

Already there are breeders that cross the domesticated breeds w/ the wild ones.

IMO this will breathe a fresh breath of air into the bloodlines and possibly solving some of the newer strains of illnesses that are disabling our pets today. Just a thought.



Torrere  Tuesday Mar 14 09:39 PM

Waltham, Massachusetts? I've spent the afternoon writing essays because I'm applying to go to school there. I don't really know much about the place yet, though, or the coyotes that live there.



marichiko  Tuesday Mar 14 10:04 PM

In the Colorado Springs metro area (pop. 500,000 last time I had the heart to check) we have:

1) A gazillion deer - they walk down the main road of town all the time
2) a gazillion billion bunnies
3) Several jack rabbits (they prefer west and south of here)
4) Many black bears (I encountered quite a large one on my porch last
summer)
5) A phalanx (at least) of lions
6) A million red foxes with very long legs (makes 'em look coyote-like) - I saw
two downtown in the garden in front of the county court house a few
weeks ago - even the lawyers were stopping to stare at them before going
on in to court.
7) Several wiley coyotes
8) A lynx spotted by yours truly while driving up a pass just west of town.
9) An ever growing gang of bandito raccoons who take great delight in
raiding the local garbage and spreading it all over the streets for
everyone's viewing pleasure at daylight the next day
10) a jillion ground squirrels, pocket gophers, prairie dogs and other assorted
rodents, all no doubt carrying either hanta virus and/or bubonic plague
11) 506 pronghorn antelope
12) A neighborhood martin
13) 17 beaver in the local city park
14) A billion hummingbirds soon to be returning from Central and South
America, all no doubt carrying the latest and most virulent mutation of
the bird flu virus.

Coyotes?



lookout123  Tuesday Mar 14 10:45 PM

we have coyotes all over the place. literally. i can hear some pups howling right now. i love having the little buggers around. just don't let your smaller pets wander too far on their own.



Promenea  Wednesday Mar 15 08:23 AM

Yes Waltham in a new rental complex just to the west of 95 - Bear Hill. I spend alternative weekends there (LDR). Anyway, this complex is dog friendly so all the dog owners that want to rent an apartment end up there. Lots of dogs and the coyotes seem to just blend in.

As to self domestication - I don't think so. Coyotes are not at all easy to tame. My friend had one from a pup and it was nervy and never really got used to being indoors or around people. It was what you'd call extremely high strung and my friend could never trust it around others or even manage to housebreak it.



Kitsune  Wednesday Mar 15 10:49 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by marichiko
A million red foxes with very long legs (makes 'em look coyote-like) - I saw two downtown in the garden in front of the county court house a few weeks ago - even the lawyers were stopping to stare at them before going on in to court.
Lucky. We supposedly have a lot of foxes here, but I guess I'm never up early enough to see them. I've heard them at play early in the morning while camping, before, but I could never locate them.

The lynx that roam the neighborhoods, here, are the biggest I've ever seen. It makes me wonder what those things are chowing on to get so huge.


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