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Posts Tagged ‘survival’

Good grief! There’s been another coyote attack in Nova Scotia. You’d think these clever beasts would be keeping a low profile, considering the bounty that’s been placed on them. This time, a farmer in Hants county had the back of his jacket torn by one while he was shoveling snow. He managed to fend it off without being injured.

Since October 2009, coyote encounters noted in the media have included one in Cape Breton where a female hiker was mauled and killed; another  where a teenager (who should have heeded park warnings to not sleep outdoors without a tent) awoke to find coyote jaws around her head; and one in a neighborhood in Spryfield, where a Nova Scotia Power meter reader managed to fend off a potential attack when he inadvertently got between an adult and pups.

Many believe that the bounty announced on Earth Day 2010 is the best solution to the problem at least for the short term. However, in a pack, usually only the alpha male and female reproduce. If they’re killed, the entire pack will begin reproducing, therefore increasing the population the following year. It seems like the short term solution could create larger problems in the future.  Regardless of the potential for an increase in the birth of pups this spring, the Department of Natural Resources believes that a bounty can be effective simply by re-enforcing the coyote population’s natural fear of humans.  Could they be right?  We’ll have to wait and see.

In the meantime, Nova Scotia’s Department of Natural Resources is advising people confronted with coyotes to “back away, act large, make noise and fight back.” Hopefully wise coyotes will also re-examine their tactics and back away to more remote spaces, act timid, make do with food in the wild and fight back by writing letters to the editor to complain about loss of habitat.

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According to the Canadian Ice Service, an enormous chunk of ice, 260 sq.km. in size, separated from a glacier in Greenland last week, becoming the most spectacular event to take place in the Arctic in 50 years. The broken piece will eventually fragment and inevitably melt in warmer waters, contributing to rising sea levels worldwide.

The first 6 months of 2010 were the hottest globally on record.  [See Ice Island Breaks Off Glacier at the Weather Network].

It’s dawn and the sandpipers are gathering at low tide along the shoreline in the marsh.  They’re so intent on eating that they take no notice of humans next to them on the trail.  Their gentle piping calls to one another are a fitting accompaniment to the rising sun.

Sandpipers have always seemed to me to be among the most delicate of the shore birds.  Like the endangered plovers, their fleeting movements, whether in flight or along the edge of the water,  never give me a chance to appreciate them for long.  I wonder if they’ll be affected by the oil spill down south when they migrate this fall.  [See BP oil spill could affect Maritime plovers at CBC].

Further along the shore, growing near the strandlines, statice is beginning to bloom.  It seems odd that such a delicate flower chooses to grow here along such a rugged shoreline.   Yet it manages to survive, despite winter’s stormy waters and winds.

When I think of rising sea levels, I wonder how wildlife such as sandpipers and statice will be affected in the years to come.  Will they simply disappear?  Or will they find a way to cling to life beyond the present shoreline?

This is a beautiful planet and not at all fragile.  Earth can withstand significant volcanic eruptions, tectonic cataclysms, and ice ages.  But this canny, intelligent, prolific, and extremely self-centered human creature has proven himself capable of more destruction of life than Mother Nature herself…. We’ve got to be stopped.

~ Michael L. Fischer

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