Lindsay Powers, a grad student at American University, and her advisor Chris Tudge continue to get some great shots of DC's coyotes. We're proud to be working with Lindsay on her project to learn more about our local coyotes!
Lindsay Powers, a graduate student at American University, has been working with DCP team members on her thesis. She's gotten some great photos of both coyotes and foxes on the trail cameras she's put up in some of DC's parks. Thanks to Lindsay and her supervisor, Dr. Chris Tudge, for letting us use these images!
Megan Draheim and Joshua Mills, along with Zuriel van Belle from the Portland Urban Coyote Project (PUCP), presented a poster at this years International Urban Wildlife Conference in Portland, Oregon!
The poster provided details about how DCP and PUCP's maps were created and how we use them. Zuriel provided some assistance to both Josh and Megan when our map was being developed, and we decided we should put our heads together to see what we could come up with that would be useful to other incidental sightings projects, canid or not.
In addition to presenting the poster, it was great to meet new urban coyote folks, see old friends, and learn more about the state of urban wildlife research. The next IUWC will be held here in Washington, D.C., in 2021! So stay tuned.
We have an exciting year ahead of us in 2019! We're looking forward to sharing it with you and other DC wildlife supporters, so stay tuned. Wishing you and yours a great year ahead!
Thanks to Edith Blackwell of Falls Church, Virginia (a suburb outside of Washington, D.C.) for sending us this great photo of a coyote in her backyard! She set up a trail camera back there, and often gets shots of both coyotes and red foxes. In some places, coyotes exclude red foxes from their territories, but this anecdotally demonstrates that this isn't always the case in at least parts of the DMV, at least for now. The District Coyote Project is hoping to further investigate the interactions between all of our native canids: coyotes, red foxes, and the often-elusive gray foxes.
Photo courtesy of Charlestown RiverDogs
The RiverDogs, a Charlestown minor league baseball team, was visited by a gray fox during a game a couple of weeks ago. This happened back in 2016 on a fairly regular basis, but s/he didn't show up last year (if it is the same fox).
This time around, immediately after the fox showed up, the RiverDog's shortstop Wilkerman Garcia hit a walk-off home run in extra innings. Gray foxes are generally shy animals that avoid contact with humans, so this is an extra-special sighting.
WTOP recently reported on the death of a pet dog in Annandale, which officials believe is due to a coyote. The dog (a small Maltese) was outside in the backyard alone, and a coyote had been seen in the area. It's important to monitor small dogs and cats when they are outside, and to keep larger dogs on leash, especially in areas where coyotes have been spotted. As noted in the story by Kevin Rose, a wildlife biologist with Virginia, it's also important to reduce and eliminate attractants in our backyard that can inadvertently lure coyotes close to our houses (open compost piles, unsecured pet food, garbage, etc.), and to haze coyotes so that they remain scared of humans (see our Humans and Coyotes page for more information on hazing and other ways to prevent conflict!). Losing a pet for any reason is painful, and it's up to all of us to help keep both our own pets and our neighbor's pets safe.
District Coyote Project team member Megan Draheim was recently interviewed for the Michigan Radio (and NPR affiliate) show Stateside about an article she wrote for The Conversation, discussing the ineffective use of lethal control to protect livestock from coyotes. Research is increasingly demonstrating that lethal control does not decrease predation, and can even increase it, and we see a similar situation in urban areas where lethal control does not effectively decrease human-coyote conflict. Instead, focusing on changing human behavior and using non-lethal methods such as hazing can increase the capacity of communities to live without conflict with their local coyote population.