Native predators/ scavengers making a comeback near you!

Hi everyone

I want to find out from you all what predators or scavengers are slowly reappearing in or near your local town or region? This is not necessarily related to translocations using ex-situ populations such as the recent introduction of African Cheetahs to India to restore what was before an extirpated subspecies, but rather what pre-existing but suppressed population of these animals is venturing out their comfort zones and where?

As an example, I am most proud to see the very slow return of Crocuta crocuta (Spotted Hyena) to the Midlands region of KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa. We used to ocassionally see 1 individual in the reserve I used to work in in 2016, but we always thought it was an escapee from a neighboring property (it likely was) and that its presence in the area was a fluke and would not last long before the animal was shot or persecuted by nearby farmers. Fast forward 7 years and in April this year, a gentleman in my reserve project posted an observation of another individual (don’t know if its the same 1 we saw or a different one). This is especially heart-warming for me as the area it was found in was close to a poisoning hotspot which I helped expose, I’d like to think our efforts saved a few critters and who knows, maybe there is a den somewhere nearby? I do wonder where else they can go? There is a pretty massive corridor of hills to the east of the reserve that is protected as a key catchment area, still abounding with some wildlife so hopefully they spread that way!

Please let me know your stories :blush:
Can’t remember if we’re allowed or not but I can post a link to my project if anyones interested

Also, its good to be back on the forums after quite a long break, nice to see the regulars are still here! :grin:


Where I grew up Bald Eagles and Osprey were nonexistent. Recently I’ll see or hear one every two weeks or so.


The area around where I live in BC Canada was practically infested with Polistes dominula, I’m not sure what happened but now I rarely see them, they’re all being replaced by Polistes aurifer.

I’ve also seen a coyote for the first time across the river from my house yesterday, as well as a young black bear a month or two before that.


What are the habits of these Paper Wasps? Do they parasitize caterpillars and the likes? Quite a few of our southern African species do, they inject their eggs into Millipedes, eggs hatch and the larvae eat their way out!

Growing up here in southern New England I’ve noticed a strong comeback of black bears, coyotes, fox, and hawks over the past 25 years or so. I’ve also noticed quite a few bald eagles where previously I never saw them. I’ve spotted mountain lions starting about 15 years ago, although the powers that be are doing their best to keep sightings under wraps. Not really a predator/scavenger, but nice to see just the same are the moose which are also being spotted more and more.


Not sure honestly! Polistes dominula build standard paper-wasp nests around buildings, but I’ve only ever seen Polistes aurifer wandering around, never one of their nests! I’ve also only seen lethargic ones… So I’m not sure what’s up with that either.

Plenty for me to research later at least!

Paper wasps are social predators, not parasitoids. Vespidae:Polistinae is the family and subfamily.

All Polistes are social wasps that build nests as a colony, the larva stay in the honeycomb shaped paper cells within the nest and are not parasitic, they are fed the meat of insects (largely caterpillars) killed by the adults and brought back to the nest

EDIT: I don’t know if there is a socially parasitic Polistes somewhere that hijacks nests of other species, but either way the larva are fed meat brought back to the nest by workers, rather than being parasites

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Upstate NY here, I don’t see an increase in predators myself but I have read that wolves are making a gradual return to the forests of the northeast US, there was a wolf sighting the adirondacks mentioned in a kayaking magazine I used to read a few years back

And in 2021 there was this controversial animal that appears to have been a wolf

I’ve heard this from hunters, but not seen one myself. There was a high profile 2011 case where a mountain lion walked from its normal range in SD all the way to CT, I assume you are talking about other sightings besides that?

The change I have noticed personally regarding predators is a negative one, the disappearance of social wasp nests, I still see foragers, but I no longer have to knock new nests of Polistes fuscatus and Dolichovespula arenaria off my house on cool nights each spring, and I used to see the Polistes nests on other buildings too, but now I don’t, so I wonder if this indicates a population decline

I know I sound contradictory describing the decline in nests as negative, and then saying I destroy them. This is because I think a reduction in a widespread predator and pollinator is a bad thing for the ecosystem, but it’s still not safe to let them nest too close to people, especially the Dolichovespula
Same way removing a problem bear is necessary while hunting bears to near extinction is bad

Perhaps people knocking down nests close to structures is causing an evolutionary change in their behavior?

Personally, I’ve definitely seen a lot of Bald Eagles; they’re all over Northeast OH and that’s a great thing, as far as I’m concerned. Literally I was just hanging out at a brewery next to the Cuyahoga river last week and saw one do a flyby. I love to see it.


The tagged cougar from South Dakota that was killed by a vehicle in 2011 aside, I’ve seen them crossing roads in rural areas. A friend of mine saw 3-4 of them bounding across a field heading for the tree line, not too long ago. There seems to be a breeding population of them around.


Wow, where is this?

I wondered about something like this, but I wouldn’t expect a noticeable change within 15 years when people have presumably been knocking down nests for centuries

I’m only speculating on there being a breeding population here, based on sightings in different areas and seeing more than one animal at one sighting. This is in the northwest corner of Connecticut, which is rural and wooded for the most part.

If black bears count as predators… Recently mange killed a lot of black bears in some areas of Virginia, but I think they are starting to come back again. There are also infrequent but occasionally reliable reports of cougars in Virginia/West Virginia. Fishers are also coming back in some areas of Virginia.

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I’m seeing and hearing about more red foxes recently, especially one that has been frequenting my property - less than an acre, but half of it rewilded as meadow. There are problems with mange in the local foxes, and this one may have the problem.

My area was mainly orchards and fields when I grew up oh so long ago. But it was rapidly converting to residential. I do not recall ever hearing of coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions in the valley suburbs.

Now, it is mostly suburban, with a few pockets of “natural” area along some creeks and small remnants of fallow fields. Coyotes are common, bobcats are spotted semi-regularly, and even mountain lions are reported making excursions through the suburbs.



Mt. Lions

I am grateful to them for helping manage the population of gophers, moles, mice, and rats (thank you to hawks, owls, and other such predators, too.)


Here in the Portland metro area of Oregon there are coyotes in the suburbs. I saw one that didn’t seem very shy at all. Frequent warnings on social media to keep your pets in at night and under supervision during the day.

Red kites in the UK are a good example. They have been doing pretty well nowadays and I frequently see them flying over parks, gardens, reserves and zoos all throughout Warwickshire.

Here in Massachusetts, Bald Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, and Cooper’s Hawks have certainly rebounded substantially in the past half-century. Ditto Fishers and Black Bears.

Same in my area of New England! When I first starting getting into birds around 2006 or so, bald eagles were only known to be winter visitors. Now for the past 10 years or so (more or less), bald eagles now nest here once more. It’s amazing how quickly it’s changed. I’ve seen bald eagles soaring, perched in trees, seen a nest, watched them for extended periods of time sitting in my car at a reservoir. All of this in various locations and often in dense suburban areas.

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