Sunday, March 29, 2009

Urban Coyote Attacks Fnord

The headline says, "Urban Coyote Attacks On Rise, Alarming Residents" but if the coyotes had their own wire services, their headlines would point out that "The U.S. Agriculture Department's Wildlife Services killed more than 90,000 in 2007." Funny, that statistic comes just after the statement, "Reducing the number of coyotes doesn't work, ... because the animals breed more and have bigger litters when their population declines."

But actually, the article is pretty sensible, and the experts point out that it's we hominids who are expanding into the coyotes' ranges, and that populations of their competitors, the wolves, "have shrunk." (No mention that we oh-so-civilized Americans enthusiastically tried to exterminate all the wolves!)

So then ... it sounds like we should learn to live with coyotes. After all, they've learned to live with us! There has only ever been ONE fatal coyote attack in the US--of a toddler in the 1980s :( --how many fatal DOG attacks have there been? How many fatal car attacks, I mean, accidents?

Speaking of synanthropic species, check out this video about crows. Fascinating.

Might noble savages of the new millennium learn from, and perhaps mutually benefit with, our wild animal companions?


vivir vino veritas said...

you sound a lot like Dave Foreman in his"confessions of an eco-warrior". That is hugely complimentary, coming from me

As to your last thought, it seems to me that YOU ARE SO RIGHT ON! Coyote the trickster with adaptability and cunning to escape shiz folly (as known practically and mythologically by everyone who's ever lived in respectful and close relationship with Coyote) is something we and our children can learn a lot from. Have you ever heard of "coyote teaching"? It's a pedagogy I first heard about from naturalist Jon Young in their Kamana naturalist training manual, which I was working that first summer we started blogging together. ('06)

donald423 said...

Dude, that IS a compliment! I found that book in a Salvation Army or Goodwill years ago and I was like HUH?! A must-buy. I gave it away after I read it, but it was cool.

I haven't heard of "coyote teaching" but it sounds like fun.

Maybe we should appeal to Coyote Spirit to do something about the overabundance of trendy little yappy dogs :)

BTW we're beginning to plant up again the garden beds you so strenuously prepped for us last year. Thanks again!!

Mike and Abby are leaving for parts east in a few days ... they just never stay in Springfield long enough.

Hope you & yours are doing well.

vivir vino veritas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vivir vino veritas said...

I have it on good authority, that Coyote Spirit has a whole task force devoted to controlling the population of chihuahuas and the like. So that's another ecosystem service they provide, pest control.

I was just volunteering with a farm this weekend, driving posts for the fence around their newly expanded veggie beds. LOL, putting in a strenuous workday for Zombaland friends' homestead was self-gratifying. It means I have a relationship with your land, your place felt even more like home for me, from then on. What're going in those beds this time around? Naomi and I are putting prepping patches of good earth for a small adaptogen and veggie garden at her folks' place, this weekend it might happen. We just visited the OU student garden, which is hidden in the middle of a giant ring of low bamboo. There's a dawn redwood in the middle of a circle of greenly glowing chickweed, and then there are 20 or 30 long beds that taper out as rays to form a sun pattern. People in the PBIO dept. who stay over the summer can use it, and take a class on growing to get some credits to boot! It's funny that something as low as 20 feet can completely obscure something so magical from the outside world. From the bike path, it just looks like a patch of young trees started succession in a grass field.

Me and mine are doin' well, I am writing you a letter to tell you about it. Hope y'all are warm and happy, yours truly in enjoying the spring :)