By Sara Strehlow, LENA Secretary
Beautiful red fur, big bushy tail, this usually agile, and shy creature, now a victim to roadkill lies dead on a road in Lake Edge Neighborhood. Growing up we are taught these animals are happy frolicking in the woods somewhere far away. So when you see one on the side of the road, or in your city backyard it may come to some a surprise. However Lake Edge Neighborhood is home to a vast variety of wild animals that are thriving in this urban environment.
Red Fox can adapt to almost any environment and can be found throughout the world except the Antarctic. Red foxes have adapted well to living in urban and suburban environments, and may be actually using humans for safety against their larger cousins the coyote. Therefore the red fox is probably bedding and calling your backyard home. Red fox tend to be solitary and are opportunistic hunters generally eating small mammals, rabbits, squirrels and birds. Due to their smaller size you may think your dogs are safe but red fox can spread disease so make sure to vaccinate your dogs.
Coyote a quick look on Facebook, NextDoor, or the news and you know that coyotes are present and a troubling issue for Lake Edge Neighborhood residents. One of the biggest fears are from reports of small dogs being attacked by Coyotes. Coyotes generally weigh between 20-30 lbs but can reach up to 50 lbs, so taking down larger prey can occur. However studies have shown that the coyote’s main diet is small prey even in urban areas where garbage and pets are common. The presence of coyotes means that there are food sources and coyotes may help control other populations such as rodents and geese. A person should never approach a coyote, try to pet a coyote, or feed a coyote. Although coyotes and dogs can interbreed studies have not shown this as common due to the fact coyotes are highly seasonal breeders. If you’re worried about your small dogs or children supervision is the best advice, remember they are more likely to be bitten by a bigger dog in the neighborhood than a coyote.
Urban Coyote Research Program
WI DNR Furbearers
What urban carnivores can teach us about coexistence
How to haze a coyote Video
UW Urban Canid Project
Articles are written and submitted by members of the Lake Edge Neighborhood Association, residents, business owners, community members, and elected officials in the Lake Edge neighborhood or vicinity.