Mariton: Night Life
by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager
Well, it didn’t take long to capture something interesting on the game cam. I had the camera set up on a game trail, and captured this photo of a Coyote. I sent the photo to Preserve Manager, Lee Shull, for confirmation. Lee has looked at hundreds (thousands?) of game cam photos, so I knew he would take one look and know. I get asked a lot if Coyotes live at Mariton. Even after seeing this photo, my answer would still be “no”. I do think Coyotes visit Mariton occasionally, but I just don’t find enough sign to make me believe they live here, or even visit on a regular basis. Bob Koppenhaver, who collected over 70,000 photos over several years from Mariton only had two photos of the same Coyote. Finally in talking to Lee on the phone, he said that he hears a lot more Coyotes than he ever captures on his cameras. I have yet to hear coyotes here at night.
Finally, there is this photo of a Red Fox on the same trail. I see Red Fox often at Mariton, and the population is healthy. There is an old saying that Coyotes will eliminate foxes from their territory. Granted there are exceptions, but the lack of Coyote sign accompanied with an abundance of Red Fox sign at Mariton seems to confirm my intuition. That could definitely change in the future, and I will be monitoring the sign on the ground, as well as the game cam.