Coyotes Eat Blackberries

2013-08-24 at 17-26-39

2013-09-09We can often tell what coyotes eat by examining their scat. Sometimes what they’ve ingested is pretty obvious, as this photo to the right shows.

San Francisco has lots of blackberries — Himalayan Blackberries — which are eaten by a variety of critters at this time of year: birds, coyotes and humans! It looks like a coyote made a pretty full meal of them here!

Himalayan Blackberry vines also form tangles of thorny protective habitat for many of our wild critters. Most humans and dogs won’t venture into a thicket of this spiny plant — it’s just not worth it. Birds, raccoons and coyotes know how to make use of it for their protection against other species. Unfortunately, in San Francisco, there is a small group of “nativists” who have infiltrated the park department. They have removed huge portions of these plants in many of our parks. The result has been more bare ground, and less habitat for wildlife in our parks. Fortunately, some of it is now finally growing back — I think many people complained: I’ve seen humans and others again enjoying this food, and the activity of picking it!

I was inspired to post this because of a comment I recently read on a petition to stop trapping and killing coyotes in Atlanta, a comment I felt was extremely warm and heartfelt:

“I live in San Francisco. I have coyotes in my back yard. I can hear them howl when the sirens go by and have seen them eating berries from the bushes. They present no harm when managed properly and respecting them. Do not trap and kill coyotes.”

 If you want to sign the petition, here is the link: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/stop-coyote-trapping?source=c.url&r_by=6767189

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Trails Report: Dry October in Mount Sutro Forest | Save Mount Sutro Forest
  2. Joe
    Sep 07, 2020 @ 00:23:31

    This actually is one thing I have to disagree with. I live in BC, and from what I can tell, Himalayan blackberries are an invasive species – outcompeting our native flora, which is an environmental issue in & of itself. So as much as I can see them being made useful by us and the wildlife, I support the “nativists”.

    Reply

    • Joe
      Sep 07, 2020 @ 00:24:34

      I should note – we have native blackberry species where I’m from. I don’t know if San Francisco can be compared to where I live.

    • yipps:janetkessler
      Sep 07, 2020 @ 01:02:07

      Hi Joe — Yes, Himalayan blackberries are not native here in San Francisco, but they do support a lot of our wildlife and people themselves love to go berry picking. San Francisco has a desert climate, so not much grows here except scrub, which isn’t very nourishing to most animals! The blackberries have not taken over, it’s not like kudzu. I think a balance has to be reached between “nativist” ideas and evolutionary ones. My 2 cents.

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