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Nature? In my backyard?

Recently there was an article in the local newspaper (Halifax) about a deer killed by coyotes in someone’s backyard. Their reaction was the typical  oh my gosh think of the children, kill/trap the coyotes! Throwing ‘the children’ aspect is a guarenteed sell.

Here’s the thing: checking google maps for this and other panicked coyote fearing home owners (there’s been a few similar articles) they all live in or near a greenbelt or dense wildernesses area.

So you decided to move in to their kitchen and dinning room and are shocked, concerned and probably horrified when they do their job as predators because it happens to be in “your” backyard?

I’d be willing to bet many of these folks also thought it was a wonderful area because it was ‘so close to nature’ and it would be nice to be away from the city centers.

It’s this same kind of fear, misinformation and lack of education that led to the extinction of wolves in the province which led to the coyote problem.

It’s also this misunderstanding of nature that led to a cull, sorry, a bounty on pelts on coyotes. Culls do not work. Coyotes will adjust their litter size – in a few years there will be more than there were before and sightings/encounters will be more frequent. They will fill the void left by culled coyotes. Government caved to pressure dispite saying culls don’t work.

This coyote paranoia has all stemmed from an unfortunate incident where a hiker was attacked and killed in a park by coyotes. These coyotes, obviously, had lost their fear of people through either accidentally or purposeful feeding. Once that happens a coyote is a true danger and has to be dealt with accordingly. Outside of that coyotes, like most wildlife, want nothing to do with us.

About a week ago I went out and found coyote tracks all around the house – either from one or two coyotes. First time in the year or more we’ve been here. I thought it was interesting they got that close considering we have two large dogs. The next day Steph saw it on the edge of the woods and yelled “I see you” at it and it took off. Haven’t seen a print near by since. Chances are it was a young pup exploring or trying to carve out a little territory. Main thing is it’s reaction to people was to run away.

This was an excellent chance to teach ‘the children’ about nature and how it works and what to do if they see a coyote. Chances are the current instructions are along the lines of: run!

Seems like we only have two schools: Nature – understand it or destroy it.

Sadly the second tends to win out.

What to do if you encounter a coyote and other information on the eastern coyote can be found here.

Links:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2012/02/14/ns-scaler-deer.html

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2012/01/18/ns-bedford-south-coyote.html

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2010/02/05/ns-school-coyote-sighting.html

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2010/03/11/ns-no-coyote-cull.html

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2010/10/15/ns-coyote-trappers.html

http://www.gov.ns.ca/natr/wildlife/nuisance/coyotes-faq.asp