Sebastian on natural selection:

It’s not surprising then, that when humans start tolerating the presence of other predators, or even encouraging it, those predators will tend to lose their natural fear over time, and spread those fearless genes onto their offspring. Pretty soon you can’t leave rover out, or leave the kids out to play, without having to worry. When predators who tolerate the presence of humans are shot, they are removed from the gene pool. Nature selects only for predators that fear humans as a fellow predator, and steer clear. When you’re dealing with an animal like a Coyote, which is not endangered and adapts very well to new environments, it’s difficult for me to see why this is an issue for anyone.

Uncle says the same thing in a slightly more direct way:

This is my habitat now. The only reason coyotes are showing up in our subdivisions is because we provide them easy meals and most people don’t shoot them.

2 thoughts on “Coyotes”

  1. I like your answer better; available food and not being shot. Fearlessness of the kind suggested is not, as far as we know, genetic. Passing along learned behavior traits, soft evolution, is a long dismissed theory called Lamarckism. Correlation with domestication doesn’t hold, since that was never nature at work; it was us.

    Coyotes aren’t an endangered species; there’s no need to get misty-eyed over them near population centers; however eradication is probably a bad idea because they balance out the food chain for other critters on the borderlands of our urban sprawl. Rational control with a nod to nature’s balance sheet; I don’t understand why this should be a difficult concept.

  2. Reminds me of some of the geniuses in Minneapolis who proposed dealing with an over-population of deer by reintroducing timber wolves to a populated area. I’m sure they would only eat the deer and leave Fluffy alone.

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