My organization’s constituency was highly vocal in anguish over hearing of the Feb. 7 decision of the Arcadia City Council’s decision to begin trapping and killing the city’s coyotes.
Coyotes are the southland’s ubiquitous rural, suburban and urban wildlife. It is the exception for communities to resort to lethal methods to control coyote behavior and numbers. In most all cases where coyotes become less intimidated and intrusive, these behaviors are systematically reversed by non-lethal management approaches, such as community education in the deployment of implements such as pots and pans, which are loudly struck with a kitchen ladle. This procedure is hard on the coyote’s ears and nerves and invariably sends them running for cover and avoiding further close contact.
This humane approach is so effective it has turned most citizens from fearful, to proudly in control of the situation. Yet, conversely, it is the exceptional coyote that is harassing pets, and trapping is indiscriminate, as it simply traps a coyote – not the troublesome coyote.
The proven animal behavioral science is clear that when coyote pack members are taken out, and pups are left to starve to death, a vacuum in hierarchy is very quickly filled by a bounce-back of pack members from adjoining neighborhoods and hillsides. Further, trapping is indiscriminate and also kills non-target animals, including pets.
We respectfully urge the Arcadia City Council to rescind the decision to trap and kill in favor to adopt a humane campaign of time-tested aversion techniques.
Arnold Newman, Ph.D.
International Society for the Preservation of the Tropical Rainforest
President, Oak Forest Canyon Homeowners Association