Larger wild carnivores are moving into urban areas, according to a symposium presented today at Eco Summit 2012, an international conference held in Columbus, Ohio. Leading the way are coyotes, which have established a territory just five miles from Chicago O’Hare International Airport. They appear to be paving the way for other large mammalian carnivores. Mountain lions are living on the outskirts of Los Angeles, Denver, and have been found as far east as Connecticut. Black bears have proliferated on both coasts, and the State of New Jersey has enacted a hunting season on them for the last few years. Scientists have estimated that about 2000 coyotes live in the Chicago metro area. They are sharing the territory with 9 million people in some 250 separate municipalities. As for why coyotes and other predators are moving nearer to us, there are a few different reasons. As cities continue to expand and development consumes land, people are moving into their territories. Like humans, the large animals are also attracted to the relative ease of city living. Larger predator animals are learning that they do not have to go far to find food and water. They’re finding everything they need right there, in the suburbs and cities of America.
Photo Credit: John Vlahakis