Coyote and Fox and Mesopredator Release

| 8/4/2016 11:25:00 AM

Tags: predators, coyote, fox, natural systems, ecology, wildlife, Geri Vistein, Maine,

This summer two different farmers here in Maine approached me regarding concerns for the safety of their chickens. And both their concerns were about “mesopredator release,” but they didn’t fully realize it at the time.

So what is “mesopredator release?”  Let me tell you their real life stories, and it will become very clear.


Coyote family by Pierre Giard

The first farm is surrounded by forest, and on one side of her land she hears coyotes howling from quite a distance away, but never sees them. On the other side of her farm, a neighbor from out of state, who comes to his land from time to time, has made it a point to kill the coyotes that live in and around his land. In between these two coyote territories (each one on different sides of the farmer’s property) is a fox’s territory.

Try to imagine a sandwich, coyote territories on each side and fox territory in the middle.  It is a very ordered world in nature, whether we are able to visually see it or not.

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