Thursday, March 14, 2013

Your regularly scheduled coyote warning

"Spring is denning season for coyotes." Per GA's DNR, coyotes breed in late winter/early spring and that means the parents must be more active in order to secure meals for their hungry brood. The young will be weaned in 5-8 weeks. And sure enough, we are starting to hear reports of coyotes in the area, with a recent MANA email alerting to sightings in the Laurel Ridge/Shetland neighborhoods.

The Economist finds coyote's urban conquest tendencies worth of notice and shares findings from a Chicago urban coyote study:
"In Chicago, the Cook County Coyote Project has been trying to understand how the species is conquering the metropolis. Part of the answer is that the coyote is clever, extremely adaptable and reproduces quickly. They are opportunistic eaters and will eagerly consume rabbits, rats, Canada geese, fruit, insects and family pets. They may also be filling an empty niche for a top predator that was once filled by wolves.
Scientists on the project are also trying to investigate how the urban animals differ from their rural cousins. For example, the city slickers have smaller territories, live at higher densities and live for longer than their rustic cousins. Such discoveries suggest that the coyote is probably thriving in American cities rather than clinging on at its edges."
Random fact: Coyotes more active as barometric pressure rises (i.e., after storm fronts).