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Dan Andrews

Coyote's in the news again

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It's funny,

At the regional meeting when they were discussing (repealing) the deal they made with the OFAH at the West Lincoln landfill, both Leslie Coyote Whisperer Sampson and her Veterinarian claimed they believed the numbers were down in Niagara. They said they hadn't spotted that many in 08 and hadn't heard many vocalizations.

I pointed out that they were very abundant before leaf out and once the spring rains came and did not stop, that the vegetation made it difficult to spot deer let alone coyotes and that there was probably less need for them to vocalize because there was less need to hide in the first place. I found plenty of scat all summer long without hearing one.

Since the frosts and snow have beat the grasses down, I have been seeing them almost daily at a variety of locations, in broad daylight, along busy roads and this just on my commute to school and back between Fort Erie and Welland. As they say, when their forage increases so do their numbers right? Well I've never seen so many mice as I have this winter. Perhaps this allowed more Juveniles to survive the winter.

However it's not the coyotes in farmers fields or even along the side of highways that are the main problem here. It's the ones living in ravines and ridges within urban areas that we have to worry about. A question one must ask is did they get pushed there by overpopulation or lack of habitat or did they just adapt. The latter of the two is the most dangerous in my opinion.

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I saw one today in Burlington. I was leaving Fairview St and onto the QEW and it was right on the side of the road less than 100 ft from a parked tow truck. This was less than 100 yards from the light on Fairview. It only had a few small patches of it's winter coat left. Pretty scraggly lookin.

Been in that exact same area in the last month twice & seen a coyote each time

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I will not risk my life parking on the side of a highway for a coyote! :Gonefishing:

Besides they know when your paying attention. Don't ever underestimate a coyote. By the time you stop and get the lens cap off their gone. If you keep on driving they go about their business. Stop the car and you likely won't see them when you turn your head back in the direction of the animal.

I sense a little sarcasm and disbelief in your comment whirpool. If so I must suggest you get out more. Of coarse I'm always looking for deer, turkeys and coyotes so that's probably why I spot them.

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I will not risk my life parking on the side of a highway for a coyote! :Gonefishing:

Besides they know when your paying attention. Don't ever underestimate a coyote. By the time you stop and get the lens cap off their gone. If you keep on driving they go about their business. Stop the car and you likely won't see them when you turn your head back in the direction of the animal.

I sense a little sarcasm and disbelief in your comment whirpool. If so I must suggest you get out more. Of coarse I'm always looking for deer, turkeys and coyotes so that's probably why I spot them.

Chille: I agree with you Chile. I would not pull over on a busy highway to take a photo of a coyote, or any other animal. You have posted many wonderful photos of wildlfe and I enjoy them very much. I would pull over on a backroad and but certainly not a busy road either. As for "getting out more often" I don't know where you are comming from with that comment. I get out several times a week and also see much wildlife in my ramblings, including coyotes and deer. Most times I have my camera with me and you are correct that the coyotes are wary, and difficult to photograph slipping away when you see them. I sense sarcasm in your comment "you should get out more." I certainly dont "underestimate coyotes" they are very clever animals. I saw one mousing in a rural field the other day, keeping down the rodent population. Amazing to see him bounce around in the field. :D

Whirlpool

Edited by whirlpoolhunter

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This coyote thing hasn't changed all that much over the years . I used to see them on the way to GM plant 2 at Glendale (25 yrs ago) when I took the skyway & saw them one a few occasions in an open space near the traffic circle . I stopped , rolled down the widow & they just stared at me as I took a picture at about 75 meters . I also saw a dead one ,hit by a vehicle , lying dead at the east foot of the skyway . They are easy to spot in either snow or green backgrounds but you need a sharp eye this time of year as they blend in to the brown background .BTW ....much of that area is now full of housing ........It is humans who are forcing them into smaller area which may account for the seemingly higher numbers.......

Edited by smerchly

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Chile: Yes I was amazed at the leaps the coyote took while searching for rodents. You are right on in your observation Smerch ,that coyotes are difficult to see this time of the year. This particular one crossed the road in front of me, then went on to mouse in the field. When not moving the coyote virtually dissapeared in the brown grass of spring.

As Chile pointed out. ,many people drive by wildlife every day and are not aware of it , whether it be hawks on a wire, turkeys in a field, deer in a field, or coyotes. To be aware of habitat of animals also helps in defensive driving and really should be part of driver training in Ontario.

The shrinking of habitat is also a factor as pointed out by Smecrh. The animals either move out or adapt to their new environment. Good thread..

Whirlpool

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Whirlpool

Shrinking habitat may be a factor but many of the animals you mentioned are increasing in numbers. Deer have been for the last twenty years. Forty years ago there were no eastern coyotes around here, redtails have increased since DDT was banned.

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Whirlpool

Shrinking habitat may be a factor but many of the animals you mentioned are increasing in numbers. Deer have been for the last twenty years. Forty years ago there were no eastern coyotes around here, redtails have increased since DDT was banned.

Hammercarrp: An excellent observation indeed. I remember 40 years ago, Eastern Coyotes in the Niagara Region were unheard of. The sighting of a deer was also rare as well. Another good example is the comeback of the beaver, and of course the overpopulation of Canada Geese. In the case of the coyote it is very unique that an invasive species grow to a certain population, then habitat of the invasive species be reduced. Other species such as frogs are not as resiliant to loss of habitat. Forty years ago it seemed like frogs and tadpoles were everywhere, but wetlands have been lost at an alarming rate.

Whirlpool.

Edited by whirlpoolhunter

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The Town of Fort Erie is fighting the 2005 wetland designations so they can fill em in and develop them. Apparently it conflicts with their master plans from long ago and rich landowners may be out of an easy retirement.

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I'm not exactly a regular on these boards, as the number of posts since I've joined would indicate, but I'd like to chime in. First, I should say I'm not a hunter nor do I agree with some of its principles, so I am biased in all of this. I've developed a dislike of wildlife "management" of most types. Be it trying to save endangered species or trying to avoid population explosion. I'll leave it at that, if only to shed light on my existing opinion going in. I don't mean in all situations; it is not always a black and white issue. However in this coyote situation, I would argue that it is an extreme overreaction.

I know someone who's golden retriever was cornered by about 4 coyotes in Wainfleet about 2 months ago, and another dog being nipped at by a single coyote. These, as was mentioned in one of the articles, are alarming as they are not normal cases - but, as was also mentioned, attacks on pets and livestock have not increased from the year before. The two dogs that were killed in Fort Erie, a boston terrier and a chihuahua, are not breeds that should be left alone outside without a leash or fence at any point. The latter breed is practically the size of a rat. Could a pack of coyote mistake a toddler for food? Unlikely, but it is a possibility. However, what is more dangerous, letting your child play outside in Wainfleet or Fort Erie (in coyote territory) or letting him/her play on the road? The variable in all of this is parental supervision. If you watch your child and small pets they will not be harmed by any animals - except maybe another person's pet dog.

The coyotes in this region can get quite big which happens when coyotes are without their natural enemy, and instead try to fill that niche. They also do not get along with domestic dogs. However, for every case of someone having problems with coyotes, there is several who never have. In this case, if we just leave the animals alone, without feeding them or trying to manage populations, we won't have any problems. I think the solution is simple - be responsible with small dogs and children and there won't be any more coyote news.

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You don't agree with trying to save endangered species! B)

Just let us run natures course into the ground? It'll just magically fix itself?

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Sorry that came across all wrong. Let me clarify: I don't mean we should never make changes to save a species which is being directly affected by us. If we can help out an endangered species by changing our ways - absolutely I agree with that. What I don't agree with is trying to be too involved in natural processes (one of which being extinction).. we have a beautiful history of screwing all that up. That's all I meant by that sentence.

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Guest IBC

there are cases of coyotes attacking children in the news on a fairly regular basis ...

http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/story....f6f&k=99602

http://tchester.org/sgm/lists/coyote_attacks.html

There was the kids who were attacked in their back yard in jersey last year

A girl in arizona who was attacked when she was playing in hers a few years ago

Looking back 10 years there were peoples pets being caught and consumed in URBAN st. catharines.

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As people treat a coyote more and more like a stray dog or something similar, there will be attacks, especially in urban areas. This is a problem in many urban areas, a good example being Stanley Park in Vancouver.. people feed the animals and then they bite the person, most often a child. But, a 13 year old girl is more than enough to keep a coyote at bay.. hence when she turned around and chased it, it ran away. If the girl was food to the coyote, it would not have ran. This is not an epidemic.

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It is a tragedy when any one loses a pet. It must be noted that these dogs were left off leash and unsupervised. Dogs on proper leashes, attented are not at risk. Any one that lets their dog run free must realize the dogs could be victim to attacks from other dogs, cars, poisoning and coyotes, who are just doing what coyotes do. You should be traumatized by being attacked by a muscrat in NOTL chile. It would not be normal to be approached by an agressive or muscrat. Hope you got the proper rabies shots..

Whirlpool

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One of those dogs was in its own back yard! It wasn't running stray. My neighbour had 2 coyotes attack his yorkie midday in the middle of Crescent park while on a leash. He saw them coming and raised his dog onto his shoulder. After they started jumping trying to snatch his dog off his shoulder he kicked one as hard as he could because yelling was not working. He then gave me crap for telling a reporter that leashing your dog and staying close to it was good enough to repel coyotes.

Face it, their behavior is changing and their not as afraid of humans as they used to be and this is growing dangerous. I know people love animals and I know its hard to accept that human intervention and sometimes killing is needed to keep the wild in the wild but its realistic. Human pursuit of these animals keeps them from becoming too fearless or tame. Maybe killing them doesn't control the population but it takes the bold ones out of the gene pool.

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Chile: Coyotes and other wild and domestic dogs running free do not recognize property lines. If the yard was unfenced, and the dog or cat not being watched it may not be "stray" by bylaw definition, but people must realize that they are putting their pets at risk. I know this does not comfort those that have lost a pet, but is good advice to others and may avoid this happening in the future.

The only safe place for a small dog or cat is in an enclosed pen. People do have options in the cities, but they are limited in no fire zones, for example the no fire zone of Fort Erie. Adverse conditoning does indeed discourage "bold coyotes" and any coyote that has bit a person, or has signs of rabies should be taken care of as a domestic dogs are.

If a persons dog was attacked and the dog on a short leash, yes this should be reported to the SPCA and MNR.

It is often hard to identify the "problem" coyote from others, when many are in the area.

Edited by whirlpoolhunter

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Whirlpool. I do not believe people should live in fear and accomodate a coyote. I think the coyote should live in fear and if it does not then it's behavior should be modified with a .243 or some other suitable attitude adjuster.

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I believe the Burlington incident had a coyote jump the fence, grab the dog and jump back over with dog in mouth. Coyotes not only don't acknowledge private property but they no longer fear the urban environment including fences. Pets aren't safe and hopefully there's no parents who let toddlers too far from reach.

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Of course people shouldn't live in fear.. but let's get one thing straight - this is not a situation which necessitates fear. Any fear of a coyote epidemic in Niagara is irrational. Humans have had a long history of irrationally fearing elements of nature and this has led to some of the most unnecessary threatening of certain species. I'm not saying it's happening in this case, by any stretch of the imagination, but just saying its one of our more obvious traits as a species that could easily be avoided. Maybe, for once, people can stop trying to have nature work around them and instead just try to work within certain parameters of responsibility.. this includes keeping a dog on a leash and having a high fence (at least 6 feet) if you're going to have a rat-sized dog walking around. If you have a child or pet you should have the capacity to take precautions, if not, then what are you doing having either?

Wild animals need to be respected, but not catered too. This much I think we can all agree on. But if we don't feed the animals, keep garbage secure, and maintain a mindful eye on pets and small children we'll be ok. The boldest of bold coyotes may exist, but as soon as they do something, animal control can be contacted. And with responsibility, you can limit the seriousness of the situation. It's that simple.

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