Jorge ran across these coyote pups in Belle Isle Marsh in East Boston today.
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The coyote population in Belle Isle Marsh has not been a good thing for Winthrop or the Beachmont neighborhood of Revere. I do hope the population is being monitored. They have a place in the ecosystem but with two elementary schools within close proximity ít's concerning. Young ones were spotted as far away as Deer Island last summer.
I'll say this again and again if I have to.
Off-leash domestic dogs, which do not fear humans, are a vastly greater concern in any neighborhood than coyotes.
Attack statistics bear this out. While there are isolated incidents with children, they tend to fall into two categories: very small children, and older children attempting to free the family chihuahua from a coyote's jaws.
I live hard beside an interurban woodland and I am far more concerned about the off-leash dogs that occasionally agressively charge people on adjacent private property than I am about the two families of coyotes that live in the area.
Except that it is illegal to have your dog off a leash, while "controlling" the population of coyotes is probably illegal as well.
And BTW I dispute the relative risk unless your definition of "any neighborhood" is limited to Boston, and you entirely discount the increased risk to domesticated animals.
Of course the easiest prey for coyotes is off-leash domestic dogs or cats.
Keeping your garbage covered and locked up is not illegal, last I checked. Nor is keeping your small pets in at night.
These two measures will keep the coyotes in the forests where they will hunt other critters and not come into neighborhoods.
The coyotes initially showed up in our area (literally a "neck of the woods") when the racoon population crashed due to rabies and the rodent population exploded due to a banner nut year. They have moved deeper into the forest and away from the humans because past raccoon antics have encouraged the humans living near the woods to keep the goodies locked up. No trash = no motivation.
My cats know when I get home from work and they are waiting for me because I'm the canned food lady. They are conditioned to turn up near nightfall to get a small bit of their favorite soft foods. I feed them and they are in for the night! So far, so good.
Coyotes should be the least of people's concerns. They see a human and immediately lope away. Like any wild animal, including squirrels, raccoons, etc., they'll defend themselves when provoked.
I really think people fear coyotes because they think "wolf", and their behavior is nothing like a wolf.
Have they attacked anyone yet? On the whole, coyotes fulfill a very important role in keeping many other populations in check. From the looks of these guys, they have plenty of mice and squirrels to dine on.
Ive been watching the posts about Turkeys in Metro West, and Id rather have the coyotes than the turkeys.
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