The Time Has Come for Man To Make His Peace With Nature
Hi Neighbors and Community Leaders —
Coyote co-existence works, as attested to by cities such as San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Vancouver and many others throughout North America. It can work in the Atlanta area, too. The main issue is people’s preconceived ideas and their fears, most of which are unfounded. If a person has always seen coyotes as vermin, or as “big bad wolves”, they will continue to do so until they are educated out of that frame of mind. Let’s please educate people!
I’ve been observing and studying urban coyote behavior, first-hand, in city parks, for 6 years. If and when any “issues” arise, it is almost always because of the few people who are unwilling to take simple precautions: keep their small pets indoors, keep their dog on a leash in a coyote area, not leave out pet food or other food. Coyotes are shy and will avoid people if at all possible. I have never seen a coyote show any aggression towards people. Their interest is more in the canine companion a person is walking — there are coyote territorial considerations which people should know about. Education would help with this, and it would teach people how to shoo away a coyote if it happened to come too close to a human or their dog. One of the most inspiring things for me about coyotes is their strong family bonds: they mate for life and show an immense amount of affection and care for their family members. Knowledge of this sort would help the community embrace them.
Coyotes are territorial — protective of the area they need for survival — which is why dogs must be leashed in these areas. And small pets need to be kept indoors or supervised when they are out-of-doors. Pet food should not be left out of doors because it attracts all wildlife. But these issues are easily solved with just a little bit of effort by the community.
The driving ethos these days is “environmentally friendly” and “sustainability”. Environmentally friendly means not destroying what nature has given us — it means developing guidelines which inflict minimal or no harm on the environment: coyotes are part of our natural environment. The idea of sustainability resulted from concerns about how humans and our “needs” were altering healthy and balanced ecosystems, which was coming back to haunt all of us. It turns out that we don’t need to destroy so much — we don’t need to kill these animals, and we actually should not do so. They, in fact, are part of the system and help keep it balanced. “The time has come for man to make his peace with nature”.
How might a co-existence program work, and what are its benefits? It’s so easy to discourage these animals from coming around an area. Also, it’s better to have “educated” coyotes — coyotes which now live here and already know, or are learning, the ropes of living in a human-shared environment. Newcomer coyotes would have to learn the process from scratch. When coyotes are killed, their vacated territorial niche is filled quickly by younger and less-wise coyotes — killing them actually encourages additional young and less-wise coyotes to move in and take their place. The killing and refilling of the niche becomes never-ending. Please consider a plan for coexistence, rather than harming the coyote families that live on the golf course now.
Mary Paglieri, Director of LittleBlueSociety is a Wildlife Conflict Manager who specializes in educating the public and working out successful management plans in precisely this type of situation. Please give this a chance! She can be reached at Mary@LittleBlueSociety.Org
For more information on coyote behavior, please visit CoyoteYipps.com. For more information on our efforts to educate communities and help them set up their own coexistence plans, please visit our new site: CoyoteCoexistence.Com, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for listening.