Stories tagged animal migration

Long-distance cat: A mountain lion (not this one) made a 1,500-mile migration from the Black Hills to Connecticut before being killed when hit by a car
Long-distance cat: A mountain lion (not this one) made a 1,500-mile migration from the Black Hills to Connecticut before being killed when hit by a carCourtesy US Dept. of Agriculture
Remember the police dashcam video of a mountain lion roaming through a Twin Cities suburb two years ago? It was shown on all the local news programs. The same cat was killed when hit by a car in Connecticut last month. DNA samples from the mountain lion's hair confirm the match. The cat has been traced to the Black Hills region of South Dakota, giving it a 1,500-mile migration over two years.

Apr
23
2008

I left my coyote in San Francisco: More and more coyotes are finding urban areas a great place to live. Food is abundant be it from small animals living in parks and golf courses, people's garbage or unsuspecting pet animals.
I left my coyote in San Francisco: More and more coyotes are finding urban areas a great place to live. Food is abundant be it from small animals living in parks and golf courses, people's garbage or unsuspecting pet animals.Courtesy stubbornbeauty
Do you remember that cute news story from about a year ago where a coyote was found sitting inside a Subway restaurant in Chicago? While coyotes may not make up a huge portion of Subway’s clientele, thier numbers are growing in urban centers. Many Science Museum visitors have shared stories of seeing coyotes in their neighborhoods. Researchers from Ohio State University have studied the coyote population in Chicago for several years and estimate that there could be up to 2,000 coyotes living there. Nationwide, one estimate figures there are 1 million coyotes living in urban areas.

Why would coyotes want to live in the city?

Of course, it’s all about shopping and convenience. Coyotes have been very adaptable through their evolution and moving into cities has probably made their lives even easier. Food is plentiful by poking through people’s garbage, eating from pet food containers that are outside and being able to find small animals easier. Golf courses, cemeteries and parks are prime coyote hangouts as small animals thrive in the habits that receive regular watering and nutrients. If the small animals are there, larger predators like coyotes will find them sooner or later. There are upsides and downsides to this. Parks with problem geese like coyotes to come through and reduce their numbers and coyotes have also been known to help reduce city deer populations. Pet owners, on the other hand, are not happy when coyotes decide to make a meal out of Fluffy or Fido.

Is there a coyote in your neighborhood?

There are a few easy ways to know if a coyote is living around you. Listen at night. Urban coyotes will still howl like their country cousins. Coyote tracks can be seen in snow or dirt. They’re smaller than wolf tracks. And coyotes leave behind little piles of souvenirs of their meals in the form of scat.

What should you do if coyotes lives near you?
• Don’t feed them or make food gathering easier. Secure your garbage cans, don’t leave pet food out at night, keep small pets attended outside (especially at night).
• The more you encourage small animals – like birds or rodents -- to be in your environment, the more you’ll do to attract coyotes to come hunting for them.
• Wild coyotes are naturally fearful of humans, but the more they’re around us, the less fear they have. Don’t do anything to encourage coyotes to feel comfortable with humans.

Of course, if you really want to get a coyote out of your neighborhood, why not bring in a roadrunner. It works all the time in cartoons, right?