Public outcry prompts coyote awareness plan

March 2, 2011 at 2:50 am

Coyote Awareness Campaign from Vanessa Deggins on Vimeo.

On Tuesday, a coyote awareness plan that features a website and telephone hotline was unveiled to Calcasieu Parish residents.

“Since Dec. 1, 2010, Calcasieu Parish Animal Services has received 75 calls about coyotes, with 95 percent being sightings,” said Tiffany Gardner, assistant director.

Jason Barnes, the special projects coordinator for Calcasieu Parish, said there are “a lot of reports in the city, and not as many in the northern areas of the parish.”

He said that may be because people in the north are used to seeing them.

“Residents have to work with us to deal with the root of the problem,” Gardner said. “That includes removing attractants by not leaving out trash and animal food overnight and making sure your pets are inside.”

Gardner said removing attractants and hazing are the most-effective ways to deal with nearby coyote populations. Hazing is making loud noises, throwing sticks or spraying coyotes with a water when they come near.

Gardner said this is for coyotes that have become used to human contact.

“Studies have shown these methods worked in large cities like Denver, Colo., and parts of British Columbia, Canada,” Gardner said.

She said residents had asked about killing programs, but every study she has seen not only show they don’t work, but may contribute to an increased coyote population.

“First, we wouldn’t know if we are killing the problematic coyotes,” Gardner said. “Also, killing caused other coyotes to take over that territory and to breed earlier and more litters.”

“We want to make sure people know who to call and what to do when they see a coyote,” Gardner said.
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Online: http://www.stopcoyotes.com

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