To start this off, I have to give a small backstory about where I am from. I was born and raised in Newport, Rhode Island. Now, when I tell people that I’m from Rhode Island, usually their first response is either a little quip about how small my state is or they ask me what it’s like living on an island. I usually respond with, “Well, Rhode Island actually isn’t an island.” And then they get disinterested. However, the ironic part, is that I do actually live on an island IN Rhode Island. This island is called Aquidneck Island and was originally all native america farmland before it was settled by foreigners aka “Pilgrims.”
For years, this island had an amazing range of wildlife and farm stock. This was due to the fact that it was an island and that no predator could reach it unless it knew how to swim really really well. So for a long time, there was a plethora of wildlife and the only apex predator that existed were the Red-tailed hawks.
However, this all changed sometime in the late 20th Century. One winter, there was a huge blizzard. It may have even been the blizzard of 1995 even. Either way, that particular winter was so cold that it actually froze one of the rivers that protected Aquidneck Island. It was the Sakonnet River to be precise. As if the coyotes had been waiting for this too happen, the second they could cross the frozen river, they did so.
That spring, there was such a noticeable drop in wildlife that it literally seemed as if some sort of animal plague had come through and wiped out all of the smaller animals. Every year since, the numbers of coyotes have grown. The river has not frozen over since, but because the coyotes have no natural predators on the island, they flourish. It has gotten so bad these days that even pets and people have started being attacked.
There is now an island-wide bounty on all things coyote. However, it seems that they are still growing in numbers. Something will be done, but only time will tell if it will be done soon enough. The most terrifying part about these coyotes is that when they are on the hunt, and they catch something, the entire pack howls like mad dogs and they can be heard for miles. It has certainly changed the ecosystem in which I live in, but hopefully balance will be restored soon enough.