Published on October 6th, 2012 | by Steven Hodson0
Urban Coyotes Could Soon Be Your Next Door Neighbours
As man spreads its cities outward we increasingly find ourselves encroaching on land that has been the home of all kinds of animals. From raccoons, skunks and foxes to the newest member of the urban landscape – the coyote.
Even in a high traffic area like Chicago’s O’Hare International airport there is even a small community of coyotes that have made themselves very much at home. Scientists propose it is because they don’t have to go far for food or water and are finding everything they need to sustain their growing community in the suburbs of the city.
On the surface this might not seem to be all that much of a problem but scientists worry that as the coyotes makes themselves comfortable in their new surrounding it will only be a matter of time before even larger carnivores decide to follow them into the suburbs.
Already a mountain lion was shot near the Wrigleyville neighborhood of Chicago as well as being seen on the fringes of cities already. This leads scientists to believe that it wouldn’t be hard to believe that we could also start seeing animals like bears and wolves showing up on these same outskirts.
Scientist look at the situation from a practical point of view suggesting that as we continue to expand our cities into areas that were once the home of such wild animals it only makes sense that these animals will be put in a position where they begin to try and survive in the outer fringes of our cities.
At times, this co-existence can cause uneasiness among humans. But by Gehrt’s estimation, all species of urban dwellers are probably going to have to get used to it.
“It used to be rural areas where we would have this challenge of coexistence versus conflict with carnivores. In the future, and I would say currently, it’s cities where we’re going to have this intersection between people and carnivores,” he said. “We used to think only little carnivores could live in cities, and even then we thought they couldn’t really achieve large numbers. But we’re finding that these animals are much more flexible than we gave them credit for and they’re adjusting to our cities.
“That’s going to put the burden back on us: Are we going to be able to adjust to them living with us or are we not going to be able to coexist?”
Personally I don’t see people living in cities willing to co-exist at all. All it will take in one coyote attack, or one of the other wild animals, and it will be open season regardless of what may have been the cause for the attack.