Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Wile E. Coyote and friends are invading Manhattan.

Since coming across the coyotes in the open space above Walnut Creek a few weeks ago, I find it interesting that coyotes are coming closer and closer to urban areas.

Vizslas are not the only wild animals in the city.

Reading about coyotes,some studies are finding that they are expanding to all parts of the country very quickly. They are being "protected" in suburban areas, so they have no predators.

As noted in an earlier post, when I came across a lone coyote in the middle of the trail, they are getting very bold.

Joanie found the following article. Thought it interesting.

New York Post reporter and how and why coyotes are coming near cities.

"Three coyotes turned up on the Columbia University campus on Sunday morning, prompting an e-mail alert to students and faculty.

A few hours later, a coyote was spotted darting around bushes and across a frozen lake in Central Park.

Urban coyote authorities say the dogs will likely be seen more and more in big cities as they fight one another for living space.

"It's not uncommon at all, and it's going to increase in frequency," Dr. Stanley Gehrt of Ohio State University said of coyote sightings in cities.

Columbia's public-safety officials said the coyotes were spotted in front of a campus building near 119th Street and Broadway. Someone called 911, and police saw one of the coyotes before it left the campus, apparently near 120th Street.

Later, in Central Park, photographer Neill Engler was walking along the 72nd Street transverse when he spotted a coyote running back and forth near The Lake and a gazebo.

"I was very shocked but pleasantly surprised that wildlife has returned to Central Park," said Engler, who recognized the animal based on his experience with them on California trails.

Gehrt and fellow coyote expert Dr. Paul Curtis of Cornell University said coyotes are coming to cities because they are being forced to seek out new territory.

"The peak of breeding is right around this time of year," Curtis said. "The young animals get kicked out of the home because their parents are preparing to breed."

As a result, young coyotes migrate south along train tracks, cemeteries and other green patches from Westchester County and other points north.

Green spaces, like parks and college campuses, provide a food source, like small rabbits, Curtis said.

"They're pushing themselves into the city, and what they found in the city is that life isn't so bad," Gehrt said.

Columbia warned its students and faculty "not to approach these animals."

That's the right policy, experts say, even though coyotes are not as ferocious they are sometimes depicted.

"I've been up close to them a number of times," Engler said. "They're far more scared of us than we are of them."


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