The impact of coyotes on an urban landscape, and the implications for people, pets, and other wildlife was discussed during a fascinating presentation led by international coyote expert Dr. Stanley D. Gehrt on Thusday, May 14.
Guests were able to enjoy the ambience of the upstairs room at McGonigal’s Pub while Dr. Gehrt shared information compiled from years of research as Principal Investigator of the Cook County Coyote Project since 2000. As Chair of Research at Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation and Associate Professor & Wildlife Extension Specialist at the School of Environment and Natural Resources at Ohio State University, Dr. Gehrt has an arsenal of engaging facts and touching personal stories of these members of the Canidae family. Dr. Gehrt refers to coyotes affectionately as Ghost Dogs because although we see some of them trot across our yards, the majority (approximately 95%) are not usually seen during the day by humans.
Attendees of the presentation left with myths being replaced by truths of these animals with which we share our urban and suburban lives. Assuredly, coyotes do not pose a threat to humans. Their desire is to eat pesky rodents and fruit as often as possible, raise their litters within their monogamous relationships, and live in peaceful coexistence with us. Under extreme conditions, small pets may be a food source, however this is rare and not their modus operandi.
A treat to be sure, the evening with Dr. Stan Gehrt will not be easily forgotten. As one of our guests remarked upon leaving, “I am looking forward to Chapters 2, 3, and 4 with Dr. Gehrt”. Be sure to visit our website often for updates on our upcoming events. Perhaps Dr. Gehrt will join us again soon!