[NAFEX] people, piglets and deer

list at ginda.us list at ginda.us
Mon Feb 9 17:58:47 EST 2004

I had a big increase in my rodent population the year we had a coyote 
den nearby.  The chipmunks, in particular, boomed, but we had extra 
rabbits and mice and voles, and no shortage of squirrels.  That was the 
year I got the fewest berries ever.  I think it's because the coyotes 
killed my local fox, and killed or scared inside all the local cats, 
but didn't bother with the little stuff that ate my berries.  So I am 
not a coyote fan.

(The hawks that occasionally nest nearby, on the other hand, are my 
friends.  We've had red shouldered and red tail hawk pairs, and when I 
see them around, the squirrels make themselves scarce.)

In the Boston suburbs, where there's more wildlife than I would have 

On Feb 9, 2004, at 12:52 PM, Lon J. Rombough wrote:

>  Having a son who has studied this sort of thing has helped me a lot. 
>  He showed me that coyotes (at least here), hawks, owls, snakes, etc. 
> feed almost exclusively on small rodents and having them around is a 
> great way to keep the place clean of vermin.  Even cougars, which show 
> up around here, are not a  problem because the ones we see are always 
> just passing through.  Individual males have very large territories, 
> measured in many square miles, and most of the time the ones you 
> actually see are young males trying to find some place to claim as a 
> territory.  Most don't make it and die of starvation and disease.  The 
> few that do, quickly learn to avoid humans and things connected with 
> them.
>     As you note, the people who kill off the predators pay for it in 
> much larger populations of rodents and crop destroying pests.  The 
> ones that start taking pets, sheep, etc. are usually very rare and 
> only do it if they are starving or unable to catch other things.
>  -Lon Rombough
>  Here in SE Texas, at least in my area of it, we have coyotes. They
>  don't seem to make a dent in the deer population though. Some farmers
>  in the area claim that they kill calves, but I believe that it is more
>  likely feral dogs. Our rabbit population is very small, so maybe that
>  is what they are going after.
>  Farmers and ranchers in the area are at odds with any kind of 
> predator,
>  including owls, hawks, snakes, etc. and have killed off most of them.
>  Maybe that's why our gopher population is so healthy. If it weren't 
> for
>  federal protection and large fines, the mating pair of American bald
>  eagles on the next property to mine would be stuffed on someone's
>  trophy case, or just shot and left where they fall. There seems to be
>  little knowledge in the area of a balance of natural forces.
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