Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 9

C Coyotes on the Prowl
Nancy Henderson

WILDLIFE OFFICIALS ARE WONDERING WHY THE BIG WILD CANINES
ARE BECOMING MORE PLENTIFUL.

FOREST CHAPUT PHOTOGRAPHY/ISTOCK PHOTOGRAPHY

Creature
Feature

Coyotes are generally not aggressive toward people, and only a small
percentage will raid livestock.

RANGERS AT SHENANDOAH
National Park in Luray, Va., first
spotted the coyote in 2010, near the
Big Meadows recreational area. The
animal was unusually curious and,
on more than one occasion,
approached hikers trekking with
DEALING WITH COYOTES

Rolf Gubler, a biologist at the Shenandoah National Park, offers
these tips for keeping coyotes at bay if you live in an area where
they've been spotted:
* Eliminate all external food sources - dog and cat bowls, compost piles with fruit and other edibles, even suet cakes left out
for birds. And never, ever feed them on purpose.
* Keep small pets inside; to coyotes, they're prey.
* Be especially vigilant in the spring when coyotes are giving
birth and raising offspring. They're likely to be more persistent
about finding food for their young.

their dogs. At least once, it tried to
nab food from a camper.
"Before that, we hadn't seen coyotes in the park," says park biologist
Rolf Gubler. "It was probably a
young animal. They tend to be a little more habituated, a little more
fearless of humans. But it had also
probably gotten a food reward
somewhere along the line."
Two years after it showed up, the
coyote disappeared. Gubler and his
colleagues suspect it was hit and
killed by a maintenance truck. Since
then, there have been sporadic
sightings of the pointy-eared, doglike critters preying on newborn
fawns.
Once relegated to the western
U.S., coyotes have been moving into
the Blue Ridge states for the past

few decades and have found ways
to survive where other animals
can't. Those that have mated with
wolves or domestic dogs, says
Gubler, "tend to be five, 10, 15
pounds larger than the scraggly, thin
coyotes you see from the old
westerns."
As their natural woodland habitat declines, some are forced into
suburban neighborhoods, where
they commonly live on squirrels, rabbits and birds, take shelter in drainpipes and abandoned buildings, and
are lured by the irresistible smell of
human and pet treats.
"They're highly adaptable and
they're attracted to human food
sources, whether that's landfills or
trash cans or cat food or whatever,"
says Gubler. "Like raccoons, like
black bears, if they have a chance to
eat human garbage or food, they
will take that chance."
Coyotes are rarely aggressive
around people unless they're
defending their pups, Gubler says,
noting that the renegade critter that
appeared in the Shenandoah
National Park several years ago
never attacked anyone. Most subsist
on road kill, sick deer and small
mammals.
A small percentage will raid livestock. Hunting them, however, only
makes matters worse, says Gubler.
"The more pressure you put on coyotes, the more they tend to reproduce. Once their numbers go down
and they're being persecuted, they
tend to have greater litters.
"For the most part, they stay
away from humans," he adds. "They
are afraid of humans. There are
exceptions in suburban areas where
they've become a nuisance, and it's
usually because they're finding food
sources. Knowing your area and just
being informed is important." 
MARCH/APRIL 2014 | 9



Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014

Cover
Table of Contents
From the Editor / Worth a Click
From the Farm
Digital Help Guide
Creature Feature
The Hike
Mountain Report
Great Home Buys in the Mountains
Festivals & Events
Country Roads
Sip the Best: Mountain Wines, Brews and Spirits
Experience North Georgia
Wild Ponies of the Grayson Highlands: The Photoessay
‘Favorite Restaurant in All The World’
Sadie, Ace Baseball Dog
Sleeping in the Museum (No, on Purpose! In a Bed!)
Mountain Garden
Cabin in the Woods: The Expansive Welcome of Primland
Guest Column
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - Intro
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - Cover1
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - Cover2
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - Table of Contents
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 4
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - From the Editor / Worth a Click
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - From the Farm
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 7
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - Digital Help Guide
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - The Hike
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 11
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - Mountain Report
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - Great Home Buys in the Mountains
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - Festivals & Events
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 15
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 16
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 17
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - Country Roads
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 19
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - Sip the Best: Mountain Wines, Brews and Spirits
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 21
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 22
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 23
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 24
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 25
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - Experience North Georgia
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 27
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 28
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 29
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 30
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 31
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 32
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 33
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - Wild Ponies of the Grayson Highlands: The Photoessay
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 35
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 36
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 37
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - ‘Favorite Restaurant in All The World’
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 39
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 40
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 41
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 42
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 43
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - Sadie, Ace Baseball Dog
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 45
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - Sleeping in the Museum (No, on Purpose! In a Bed!)
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 47
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 48
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 49
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 50
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 51
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 52
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 53
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 54
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 55
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 56
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 57
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 58
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 59
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - Mountain Garden
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 61
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - Cabin in the Woods: The Expansive Welcome of Primland
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 63
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 64
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - 65
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - Guest Column
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - Cover3
Blue Ridge County - March/April 2014 - Cover4
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