Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Friday, August 26, 2016
Coyote America--How These Small Western Wolves Have Adopted and Survived
Dan Flores, author of ten books on western U.S. history, calls coyotes "an American original," having evolved in North America over five million years ago. Many people tried to kill them off as late as the 1960s, but they have bounced back and are now found in all states except Delaware and Hawaii.
Flores' new book is "Coyote America; A Natural and Supernatural History." (Basic Books) The author told us that the wily small wolves survived over mammoths, mastodons and saber-toothed cats. Fifteen-thousand years ago when the first people crossed over into North American, he says they were intrigued with the animals and impressed that the coyotes were shrewd enough and adoptable to survive. "To the Indians, the coyotes were elevated to deity status, an avatar for human beings and their stand-in for the natural world," Flores told Charity. "Later, European-Americans were also surprised to encounter the small wolves, in fact in 1804 William Clark (of Lewis and Clark) thought at first that it was a type of new fox, but he later called them Prairie Wolves."
We also learned from the author that most of the American public called coyotes "prairie wolves" until about 1915. From that point on, the animals faced a very difficult time as major eradication efforts began, often using poison, because farmers and ranchers believe that coyotes killed livestock...more