SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

October 2, 2012

Our view: Wildlife encounters grow along with civilization's footprint

(Continued)

It is also important to maintain a sense of perspective. Coyotes do some good, too, feasting on rats and other rodents that can destroy a farmer’s crop. Fish and game experts say they pose little danger to humans.

And there are ways to work with nature, not against it. Last month, our sister paper, The Eagle-Tribune, reported on a plan to develop a sanctuary within the Musquash Conservation Area for the endangered New England cottontail. New Hampshire has less cottontail habitat than any other New England state.

The rabbits have fallen prey to human development, foxes — and coyotes. The proposed cottontail habitat would take 15 years to develop and would involve cutting lots of trees. Timber sales will help fund the project and may benefit the town, too.

The balance of nature is tricky business. Human intervention is not always a bad thing, but maintaining predator-prey relationships can result in individual distress or heartbreak.

That’s small consolation to the Crawfords, mourning the loss of their Spanky.

But the cycle continues, sometimes with humans bearing the cost of their encroachment, sometimes with humans working to repair the damage they have wrought.

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