07 October 2010

"Barking Dog"

Translated to Latin, "barking dog" is Canis latrans... we call the mammal represented by this name a Coyote.

At the time of European settlement in North America, Coyotes were restricted to the prairie region of the continent west of the Mississippi River. As a result of clearing forests for agriculture and corridors for roads, as well as the removal of the dominant predators Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) and Red Wolf (Canis rufus), the range of the Coyote began to expand. By the early 1900s, Coyotes were found throughout much of the western two-thirds of North America. By 1990, Coyotes had expanded their range from coast to coast.

The photo above was taken last weekend from our car at the intersection near Gary Avenue, Cline Avenue, and I-90 in Gary, Indiana. As stated above, Coyotes are benefitting from the geographical expansion of the human population, and are now showing up in the strangest of places (such as this one that was found in a Chicago sub shop). However, researchers have shown that Coyotes are becoming more nocturnal as a result of pressure from humans.


Beth said...

We've got at least two coyotes that we've seen on our property. We've both seen them, and there were times during the summer when I heard them howling (it definitely sounded like more than two). This seemed to happen around 11-11:30 pm, so your remark that they are becoming more nocturnal is interesting.

Coyotes get a bad name, but I'm happy to have them here. It seems to me that it makes for a good balance, and helps keep the deer in check. I love our deer, too, but they can devastate an ecosystem, as I know you know. There are so few natural predators around now, and I like it that we do have more of a balance here.

By the way, the first time I saw a coyote here, I just caught a glimpse of him out in the marsh, but I thought his tail looked pretty distinctive. I confirmed it when he/she came out into the yard and just sat there looking up towards the house. It was really an exciting moment!

Scott Namestnik said...

Thanks for the comment, Beth. We have them on our property, too, but I've only heard them (never seen them). I'm amazed at how much they look like Bootypants.

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