I wonder when the San Francisco Chronicle will finally stop allowing misguided, inaccurate and unscientific journalism to reach its audience. His latest article follows others in the recent past where the author, Tom Stienstra, vilifies mountain lions and coyotes as pet dog and cat killers.
In his most recent article, “Night vision camera catches coyote stalking house cat”, he captures an image of a house cat on a trail cam near his cabin. Some time later (I am sure at least many hours or else he would have jumped on the opportunity to say “seconds later” or “minutes later”) he captures an image of a coyote. THIS is his evidence that a coyote is stalking a house cat.
Days later he captures another image of a coyote, saying, “The coyote scampered left to right, its nose to the snow, following the [house cat’s] footprints, trail and scent of the house cat.”
I am amazed at the detailed behavioral conclusions he was able to confidently gain from a blurry night time trail camera image.
Then he talks of a Fish and Wildlife report on depredation permit killings of 83 mountain lions. He says that 52% of these mountain lions had cats or dogs in their stomachs. This is COMPLETELY false. I have seen this very report. There is not ONE SINGLE mention of cats or dogs in the entire report. It states domestic animals, which includes cattle, sheep, pigs, and every other non-wild animal on the planet. Falsely saying the contents were cats and dogs is convenient for his agenda and wildly inaccurate.
Lastly in the article, he states he walked a 5 mile radius and saw no daytime rabbits, one squirrel and lots of coyote tracks, making him wonder what the coyote were eating. Based on the tone of his article, I can only guess his conclusion was that because he didn’t see any animals on his walk, coyotes must be feasting on pet cats and dogs. Very scientific.
It is this type of journalism that puts our native wildlife at risk. It spreads fear based on emotion. And when this emotional fear reaches the desk of policy makers, it only means bad things for our wildlife.
Here is the link to the article. I hate sharing it but it is important for us to all see and share our displeasure with this type of writing.
For those interested in the previous article the author wrote titled, "Study finds mountain lions are feasting on house pets" in which 'house pets', dogs or cats are never mentioned in the study, here is the link to that story:
And here is the actual report from Fish and Wildlife that makes no mention to house pets, dogs or cats in its entirity.