Coyotes circumvent conventional controls

— You can’t blame Laurie Turton for wanting to hire a professional killer.

In February, a wild dog murdered her pet cat near her town of Salina home. Laurie just wants justice.

So on April 9, she and some of her near Scottsdale Circle neighbors appeared before the town board to ask for help controlling the local coyote population. The wily coy dogs are plaguing suburban housing tracts from Maine to New Mexico. In recent years, they’ve been detected in Cicero, North Syracuse, and right here in Liverpool along the shore of Onondaga Lake.

Animal-control expert Al LaFrance spoke to the town Board April 9. He surmises that Salina’s killer coyote is losing its natural fear of humans. Al showed photos of children who had been attacked by coyotes across the country and offered his services to eliminate the varmints here once and for all.

Al thinks his trusty shotgun would do the job nicely.

Town Supervisor Mark Nicotra said that before LaFrance can start shooting, he would need to be granted an official exemption from the ordinance forbidding the use of firearms within Salina’s borders.

Rampant reproduction

It’s good to see local government apparently willing to finally do something about wild animals. I’ve been frustrated for years by the village of Liverpool’s reluctance to face the problem while its residents routinely suffer harassment from countless skunks, geese and coyotes. These critters ruin lawns and gardens, raid garbage bags and threaten pets and children.

So, I’d really like to support Al LaFrance and his approach to coyote control.

But there’s one big problem.

Killing coyotes doesn’t work.

Sure, you can fatally shoot a coyote, but others will simply step up to take its place.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, research suggests that when coyotes are aggressively controlled, the animals increase their reproductive rate by breeding at an earlier age and having larger litters. When their population is threatened, coyotes ensure a higher survival rate among their young. This allows coyote populations to quickly bounce back, even when as much as 70 percent of their numbers are removed.

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dpc1222 3 years, 9 months ago

Good story Russ, but we might ask, what is drawing the SKUNKS here?


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