Monday, May 22, 2023

Urban Coyotes and Foxes: UMN Project

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Wildlife, Nature, Biodiversity, Science & Society

Ed Hessler
-- Coyotes have the gift of seldom being seen; they keep to the edge of vision and beyond, loping in and out of cover on the plains and highlands. -- N. Scott Momaday 
-- Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction. Practice resurrection. -- Wendell Berry

Since 2019, the Twin Cities Coyote & Fox Project (TCCFP) has been researching coyotes and foxes in the Twin Cities. The goal is to map habitat use, assess diets, and measure disease prevalence for foxes and coyotes in the Twin Cities Metro Area. 

Studying foxes and coyotes helps us to understand how they use urban settings, provides information to managers, and demystify them for area residents by telling a truer story about how they spend their time.
The web page is worth a visit and includes how to become a community scientist, engage with the data, the TCCFP in the news, information about the team, a question/comment link, a FAQ sheet, a Twitter link, the GPS movements of eleven coyotes which were radio-collared in 2020.

As we make our daily rounds so are coyotes and foxes and we don't often bump into them although if you are walking a dog you may be followed by a coyote who wants you outside it's border. I witnessed this once and the coyote passed within a meter of me. And I've had one "magical sighting," at night while walking home in a light but enveloping snow. The coyote suddenly appeared as though from nothing. Another lovely experience and I'm delighted I was there as it went right by me.

The project website is worth a lingering meandering exploration. Here is the link.


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