Despite a looming state-wide trapping ban, millions in funding continue to be thrown at a growing nutria invasion. In a year’s time, California’s “nutria eradication task force” has set up 487 camera stations, conducted 1,600 camera checks and administered 995 trap sets. Farmers in San Joaquin Valley have donated five tons of sweet potatoes to be used as nutria bait, according to media reports.
Just as the acorn mast abundance of two years ago drove a rodent explosion last year, I’m confident the expansion in rodent presence will drive a “cyclical boom” in New England’s predatory species this year.
Collectively, we don’t seem to be shocked by the presence of other wild species such as raccoons, skunks, and opossums roaming the back alleys of concrete and brick - but the coyote’s presence seems to catch the attention of the public and professionals in far greater numbers; and far greater curiosity.
Priscilla and George Gilman were treated at Porter Medical Center in Middlebury for wounds sustained during the attack. Priscilla Gilman was bitten on the right forearm and left leg, while George Gilman was bitten on the right leg, according to local news reports. The elderly couple also received four rounds of rabies shots.
Fur-trim coats, new recruits in the hunting community, and the coyote’s adaptability to urban existence have led to increased interest in the country’s most resilient wild canid. The trapping community heard undertones of coyote fur being in demand early on this season, but it wasn’t until the past few months that the mainstream media really started to catch on.