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Monday, December 6, 2010

Coyotes vindicated for attacks on Caribou

According to a news article entitled, "Bears to blame for Nfld. caribou decline: minister", which you can read at the following website:, it now appears that Bears rather than coyotes are responsible for a  decline in Newfoundland and Labrador's Caribou population.

 Newfoundland and Labrador's environment minister Charlene Johnson "said the government is three years into a five-year study of the caribou population and preliminary research shows black bears are a bigger threat to caribou than coyotes."

This certainly is good news for the coyotes in Newfoundland and Labrador. According to the website:,

"As the largest carnivore in many urban landscapes, coyotes can play a vital role in maintaining species diversity and ecological integrity. Moreover, coyotes provide positive ecosystem services in ways that are just beginning to be understood, though as yet such services remain unquantified."

"Coyotes play an important role in the ecosystem, helping to keep rodent populations under control." (source:  ) " Coyotes have been demonized and hunted out of all proportion to the actual risks they pose to humans. Like the wolf, they have seen their habitat encroached upon as wild lands are "developed." Coyotes are known to eat a domestic cat when no other prey is readily available, but again, this is a direct result of ever-expanding human habitation - not to mention the carelessness of leaving one's pets outside unattended." (source: )

"There are three predominant reasons why coyotes have been able to expand their range so greatly. First, one of the coyotes’ greatest predators, the gray wolf, has been wiped out from much of its former range. Due to habitat destruction and hunting, the wolf is now extirpated from much of the U.S. Second, the conversion of land through logging and agriculture has altered the landscape to a more favorable habitat for coyotes (Gompper 2002b). Third, humans relocated coyotes from the West. There are records of coyote releases in Maine, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the Southeast (Gompper 2002a)."

"Coyotes are the top predator throughout much of the Northeast. The top-down effect is the ability of apex predators to disproportionately affect ecosystems. Now that coyotes are filling this niche in the Northeast, they are able to influence animal communities. In particular, coyotes may limit smaller carnivores (Gompper 2002b). By influencing smaller carnivores, coyotes may indirectly affect bird communities. In the Southern California study, researchers found a positive relationship between coyotes and scrub bird populations. Scrub bird populations were higher in fragments were coyotes were detected because of the coyotes influence on mesopredators (Crooks and Soulé 1999 ). " (source: )

Now that Bears have been labelled as causing the decline in Caribou populations in Newfoundland and Labrador I hope that  Government officials and residents there stop using the coyote as a scapegoat, and instead learn that this species has a rightful place in the ecoystem! Instead of demanding the right to shoot these animals, learn to live with  them and recognize their adaptability and success as a species. If anything it is humans who have caused many of the problems relating to coyotes in Newfoundland and Labrador not the coyotes themselves.

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.