Help Save Coyotes in California

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It's time for a more humane form of coyote population management!


Sign the petition to tell the California Fish and Game Commission to stop encouraging the killing of coyotes and better educate people on non-lethal control methods!

In an effort to control coyote populations, some areas are allowing the unchecked killing of coyotes by citizens. The goal of this year-round open season is to keep coyotes from attacking people's pets or children, getting into the trash, and more [1].

However, shooting, poisoning, and trapping coyotes is cruel to the animals, causing severe pain and suffering before death, and these methods aren't cost-effective or efficient in controlling populations or decreasing unwanted interactions between humans and coyotes [2]. On top of that, traps can pose a significant danger to pets and humans who run across them [1].

Killing of coyotes is also ineffectual population control. It takes time, energy, and money to find and kill a coyote, and their populations bounce back quickly. The decreased competition caused by killing coyotes results in plenty of resources for the remaining ones. When there are plenty of resources, coyotes begin breeding younger and have larger litters. New coyotes simply take the nuisance role that other coyotes had before they were killed [2].

Coyotes are a native species to many areas of Central American and North America, including the United States [3]. They are shy by nature, not aggressive, and rarely attack people [4]. According to the Humane Society of the United States, "more people are killed by errant golf balls and flying champagne corks each year than are bitten by coyotes," and only two cases of humans being killed by coyotes have ever been reported [5]. The real problem is that humans are unintentionally drawing coyotes into populated areas.

There's a better solution to this problem that involves both more humane actions towards coyotes and more effective management of their population and behavior toward humans. All it requires is a little education.

People need to be taught not to feed coyotes, either on purpose or accidentally (through improperly contained garbage or pet food) [5]. Keeping yards lit at night, confining pets indoors when they're not being watched, and closing off areas that coyotes can use for resting and burrowing, such as underneath a porch, will keep them from hanging around [1].

It's also important for anyone who may come into contact with a coyote to understand how to "haze" a coyote, which simply refers to the act of re-instilling the coyote's fear of humans [5]. This process does not require any violence, but rather can be done by standing up tall, waving your arms, and making loud noises [4].

These simple methods could change the way humans and coyotes interact and significantly reduce the number of issues coyotes cause to humans and their pets without causing coyotes to suffer.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

[1] Controversy swirls around coyote trapping. (n.d.). Retrieved January 02, 2018, from http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/unleashed/2009/02/controversy-swi.html

[2] Why Killing Coyotes Doesn't Work. (n.d.). Retrieved January 02, 2018, from http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/coyotes/tips/against_killing_coyotes.html

[3] Coyotes 101. (n.d.). Retrieved January 02, 2018, from http://www.coyotesmarts.org/coyotes101/

[4] Coyote Hazing: Guidelines for Discouraging Neighborhood Coyotes. (n.d.). Retrieved January 02, 2018, from http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/coyotes/tips/hazing_guidelines.html

[5] Coyotes and People: What to Know If You See or Encounter a Coyote. (n.d.). Retrieved January 02, 2018, from http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/coyotes/tips/coyotes_people.html

[6] Techniques for Resolving Coyote Conflicts. (n.d.). Retrieved January 02, 2018, from http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/coyotes/tips/techniques_to_resolve_coyote_conflicts.html

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The Petition:

To the California Fish and Game Commission:

California must stop using lethal methods to control coyote populations. These methods are ineffective, costly, and inhumane. They aren't helpful to either coyotes or humans, and they simply don’t make sense.

It is time for California to start educating people on how to properly deter coyotes and deal with any they come into contact with. This system allows humans and coyotes to coexist more peacefully, and natural competition for resources will sufficiently control coyote populations without human interference.

We demand that you stop allowing the unnecessary killing of coyotes and begin implementing better systems for educating the public on this mostly harmless native species.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: