“Living With Wildlife in Newton – Part 2” shows practical steps that can be taken to help residents coexist peacefully with their wildlife neighbors and to minimize conflicts with coyotes, turkeys, geese and other wild Newton creatures. The show is based on a 2005 Newton Conservators Lecture given by Colleen Olfenbuttel, a staff Biologist with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, at the Newton Free Library.
Wildlife encounters with coyotes, turkeys, deer, possum, fisher, fox, and geese are becoming increasingly common here in Newton. What do you do when a wily coyote visits your backyard? Tennis anyone? Tennis balls thrown at a coyote can be an effective deterrent. Or how about discouraging wild turkeys by moving toward them with an open umbrella? Keeping your cats inside, your bird feeders clean, and making sure your trash is in cans with lids are all some of the steps you will learn to make your yard less of a draw to some wild creatures.
Animals find the suburban habitat and available food sources well suited to their needs. The proximity of wildlife sometimes leads to conflict. Part 2 shows how to deal with such wildlife in a practical sense. Such wildlife encounters are becoming increasingly common in cities such as Newton. In recent years in Newton, a bald eagle was spotted feasting on fresh Charles River fish, an otter was found cavorting in a West Newton swimming pool, a turkey was harassing a postal worker in Newtonville, a wild moose chase occurred, and deer, coyote, fox, and even fisher sightings are more common than ever.
Lecturer Colleen Olfenbuttel joined the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) in September 2005 as a wildlife biologist and furbearer project leader. She has her undergraduate degree in wildlife biology from Ohio University, and her Master’s degree in wildlife science from Virginia Tech, where she studied black bears in southwestern Virginia for 6 years. Besides black bears, she has performed research on brown bears in Alaska, island foxes in California, white-tailed deer in Minnesota, raptors in Michigan, and wolves in Montana and Wyoming.