Camilla Fox grew up surrounded by coyotes, foxes and wolves.
She would go with her father, Michael Fox, to a large, “almost sanctuary-like” research station outside St. Louis where he did research on wild canids.
Now, as part of her group Project Coyote, she works with individuals, government agencies and communities helping them to minimize confrontations between coyotes and humans. She will be in Reno Thursday to deliver a free public presentation called “Coyotes in Our Midst — Learning to Live With America’s Wild ‘Song Dog’.”
“Love them or hate them, coyotes are here to stay,” she said in a phone interview. “We know that because our federal government has been waging war against the species for almost two centuries, and we have more coyotes today than ever before.”
What often happens is that a community will get upset over coyotes and decide to kill them, she said, but this is a failed long-term strategy because, unlike other predators, coyotes are adept at rebounding from population decreases by having larger litters and higher pup survival rates.
“The onus is on us to figure out how best to coexist with the species,” she said.
“Coyote management is largely about people management in urban landscapes, largely about recognizing that when there are negative encounters, intentional and unintentional feeding is often the root cause of such conflicts.”
She cited a long-term study conducted in the Chicago metro area where 181 coyotes were followed with radio collars. Seven became a “nuisance,” meaning they inspired more than one call to animal control or were killed by authorities, and the main cause was finding food courtesy of humans.
“We need to look at what food sources we may be providing to coyotes — intentionally or not — that may be leading to conflicts: compost piles, dog and cat food outside, fallen fruit from fruit trees, even free-roaming cats.”
Thanks Phil, for passing this along