Wednesday, June 13, 2018


Today's Waterloo Region Record has another local story about a pet being attacked by a coyote. The attack took place in Cambridge's Churchill Park although this time the dog, a Jack Russell terrier, survived although it needed stitches to close up its wounds. The title of the story is "Coyote attacks dog in Cambridge's Churchill Park."

Whether it's accurate to describe coyotes as an invasive species is probably doubtful. They are native to both Canada and the United States however their range has certainly been expanding in both countries. This may be due to a number of factors such as the loss of a competing species in most urbanized environments namely wolves. While coyotes and wolves can share habitat in more northern and remote areas, wolves can and will kill coyotes. Hence it is much safer for them further south. As urban prey such as groundhogs, squirrels, rabbits, mice and rats multiply so do their predators the coyotes.

Coyotes have been common in the Townships for a very long time and as their numbers have multiplied they have moved into the neighbouring cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge. As much as possible they keep a low profile whether urban or rural. Unlike invasive plants with few redeeming qualities I think that fewer mice and rats especially will not upset we human inhabitants. That said leaving small pets or very small children unattended even in a "fenced" backyard is not a good idea. What is particularly a bad idea is leaving them out of reach at this time of year in a local park or near wooded areas.

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