Dear Community —
On Thursday, February 16, 2017 the Georgia Department of Natural Resources announced a Coyote Killing Contest. http://www.georgiawildlife.com/node/4325. This coyote killing contest which is to begin in March is ill advised and inhumane. If you agree, here’s what you can do to let your opposition be heard.
- post your opposition on your FaceBook page or whatever social media you use
- email GA DNR (http://www.gadnr.org/sendemail)
- call the GA DNR Commissioner’s office at (404) 656-3500
- email GA DNR – Wildlife Resources Division (http://www.georgiawildlife.com/InformationRequest)
- email your friends and ask them to voice their opposition through the above resources
If you are in Georgia:
- email your GA state representative (https://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/)
- email your GA state senator (https://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/)
Here are talking/email points that can be used.
- What is the reason for this inhumane contest?
- Removing coyotes does not reduce their population over the long term. In fact, the number of coyotes will increase as competition for resources is reduced. And, coyote populations will not increase beyond the carrying capacity of an area. So, they will not over populate, as some other species may do. To prove this point, the USDA Wildlife Services kills an estimated 70,000 coyotes each year and the number of coyotes has not diminished.
- Recent studies in South Carolina show that coyotes have minimal impact on deer populations (Kilgo et al., 2016). Most of their diet is rats, mice and other small rodents. Without coyotes, these prey populations would increase.
- Is it simply because they are not “native”? The reason that they now thrive in the southeast is that we removed wolves from this area. Each impact on a species has consequences. We often don’t recognize this impact until sometime in the future. And, what does native vs. non-native have to do with it anyway? Coyotes have been in Georgia for decades and are here to stay regardless of efforts to remove them.
- By killing coyotes in March, which is when pups begin to be born, these pups will be left to slowly starve to death. Would you want to watch a domestic dog’s pups slowly starve to death? Why not treat them with the same dignity?
- This contest also teaches people that it is ok to hold contests with the intent to kill life. In this case, there is no purpose to the contest as these dead coyotes will not be used for food, clothing, etc. Why do we want to teach people that senseless killing is ok?
- Even the GA Wildlife Resources Division Coyote Fact Sheet says: “Overall, the coyote is a largely misunderstood creature and despite its nuisance reputation proves to be an asset in maintaining the balance of wildlife in Georgia.”
- The mission of Georgia’s Wildlife Resources Division of the DNR is “to conserve, enhance and promote Georgia’s fish and wildlife resources and outdoor heritage through science-driven research, management, regulation and education.” This contest is not science-driven and is not conserving, enhancing and promoting wildlife resources. So, how does it support the Wildlife Resources Division’s mission?
- How does this contest support the Georgia Department of Natural Resources? DNR’s mission is “to sustain, enhance, protect and conserve Georgia’s natural, historic and cultural resources…that utilize sound environmental practices”. This contest is not sustaining, enhancing, protecting and promoting Georgia’s natural resources and does not utilize sound environmental practices. Killing contests do not support the GA DNR mission.
Thanks for supporting wildlife through your actions and for spreading the word to friends and colleagues and asking for their participation.
Linda, Meta and Janet