Wild Animals Need Thick Areas of Growth Where They Can Hide or Seek Protection

Coyotes require both open fields where they can hunt for the rodents which they live on, and they need thicket areas where they can retreat to for protection and rest. The top row of photos shows coyotes retreating into overgrown thicket areas. Coyotes especially need these protected areas when they live in urban environments: they need to be able to escape from dogs which chase them and they need to be able to keep away from people for their own safety.

Much of the original native flora of this area consisted of sparse, low lying shrubbery and dune plants — plants which grew and thrived in the sandy soil. Non-native trees and vegetation were introduced into the area to control winds, keep the sand from blowing around, add variety and to provide visual breaks. This non-native vegetation proliferated and created wonderful habitat and protection for creatures who might not otherwise have been able to move into the area which is now so heavily urbanized.

In recent years there has been a strong trend to reintroduce native plants and clear out non-native thickets. There is no thought given to the critters who live in these wild overgrown areas. When entire areas are cleared out for the purpose of introducing native plants, the homes of our wild animals are destroyed. Since our furry wild animals are not on any “endangered list”, they have no legal protection. The bottom row of photos shows areas where entire thickets have been cleared out, and either left bare under tall trees or planted with low lying native shrubbery — neither of which provide protection for coyotes, where protection once existed.

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