The barking dog, Coyote

A neighbor kayaking the inlet beside our offices at The Animal Broadcast Network stopped to chat the other day. He told me he'd seen a pair of coyotes near the embankment and watched them for several minutes as they made their way across several residential properties eventually disappearing into a nearby wooded area.

There have been a number of these sightings here about over the past few years and each time folks are startled, usually frightened; concerned by reports of missing cats and small dogs. Some suggest that coyotes might pose a threat to children if the county does nothing to intervene. So I was a bit taken aback by the equanimity with which my neighbor reported his news; he seemed, almost pleased.

Coyotes are here in fact because we've eliminated its' chief rival the wolf and all but decimated another arch competitor, the panther. Coyote is among us because, like ourselves, its' instinct to survive, its' ability to adapt are unsurpassed in nature. The coyote like man can exploit almost any ecological niche; we tear up a mangrove or cut old pine forest to build condos, the coyote finds a den among fallen timber and a hunt way along exposed shore line. The most successful of all canine breeds, the coyote is not our enemy so much as our kith and kin, ancestor to our best friend and most stalwart defender, cousin to, but not our pet, the dog.

I have come to feel enriched by the presence of such a creature near to my home and reassured that, despite our best efforts to conform this landscape, nature is able to preserve itself indefinitely if only in the form of the coyote.

For more information on the character and life of coyotes in the wild visit Desert USA
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