Coyotes Becoming Common on Amelia Island

I hope you’ll excuse the very poor quality of the image, but last week a fairly large coyote ran through  our back yard.  Talking with a neighbor, this coyote or another one spent some time attempting to encourage their new puppy to leave the yard, until the owner noticed.  Given the reputation coyotes have for eating pets or small animals, I’ve started keeping our dog on a leash when we take her outside after dark.

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At the size of a small German Shepard, this was more than enough to be a threat to our dog, so I began looking for information on just how dangerous these might be to pets.  It turns out they do have a reputation for eating cats and small dogs.  Even larger dogs are sometimes taunted into following the much faster and more agile coyotes.

Whether you’re looking for tips on avoiding a problem with feral cat feedings or some of the links below have very different thoughts on how to deal with coyotes.  Are they actually a problem?  While I’m not pleased by the need to take more care with my IMG_0919.jpg“Thanksgiving Turkey”-sized golden-doodle, one study shows coyotes actually protect wildlife by changing where feral cats live.  If true, the change should push feral cats away from areas with wild birds and eliminate some of the issues with disease, since the study also shows the location change appears to naturally reduce health issues in feral animals.

Now a study at Ohio State University shows that coyotes keep down the cat population in the more natural urban/suburban areas in two ways — meals of cat and cat education. The latter is the most significant. The cats learn that life closer to houses is safer. Cats migrate out of the parks and live in areas where the researchers found the cats to be both fatter and less diseased. In effect, the urban area becomes divided into coyote zones and cat zones.   The Wildlife News 6/15/18

 

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