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Posted on: June 11, 2019 at 6:00 pm
Last updated: August 3, 2019 at 12:51 pm

Wolves were not only terrifying and dangerous predators, but they were also annoying menaces that made life unbearable for Eastern farmers. Coyotes are naturally afraid of wolves. Usually, if a coyote treks too closely to a pack of wolves, it winds up dead. Naturally, the weaker animals don’t have a say in whose territory is whose.

When state governments began to sanction the killing of wolves and commissioned paid hunting programs for hunters to earn upon killing, the wolves were massacred and their numbers dropped throughout every state east of the Mississippi [1]. Unfortunately, the authorities made the wrong call. Attempting to adjust nature’s laid-out plans and animal domination schemes has proven to be a huge mistake. Red and grey wolves have been listed as endangered species all over the country, and in some parts of Eastern and South Central United States, red wolves have become totally extinct [2].

Now the coyotes are swarming in freely, heavily, and totally unbothered. Coyotes are everywhere in Canada, Mexico and in the United States, (except in Hawaii) making their most solid habitat in states west of the Mississippi. They are beginning to surge east and multiply rapidly in their thousands with the decimation of wolves in the region [3].

State governments are running out of viable options to deal with the menace

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Coyotes have been ruled uncontrollable, and the programs commissioned by the government to reduce the infestation have proven to be a total waste of time. They are like soldier ants. Kill ten and find a hundred more.

According to North Carolina’s state management plan, “To cause a decline in the coyote population, 90 percent… must be removed. However, the population can recover in less than five years without continued intensive removal, coyote management plan.”

In Georgia, researchers from the forestry department of the state university have estimated that even with the 40,000 coyotes killed in Georgia and North Carolina annually, about 90,000 coyotes would still roam the wilds in their state only [4]. Of course, this figure could be much higher.

Wolves and foxes don’t have to be completely extinct for coyotes to thrive in an area. A reduced number of wolves would make coyotes dominant predators, and they’ll most likely begin to attack the wolves in packs. In Maryland, people were initially excited by the presence of coyotes, but now, they’ll sacrifice anything for the vermin to be gone.

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Red foxes in the state have nearly been pushed out the territory due to the influx of countless numbers of coyotes, flipping positions on the food chain.

Approaches employed

The affected states are working hook, line, and sinker to get the coyote situation under control, and different methods are springing up every hunting and breeding season to this effect. According to Dr. Stan Gerht, director of the Coyote Research Project in Cook County, Illinois, the state is trying to control the infestation of coyotes with scientific methods. The county is currently dealing with an estimated 4,000 wolves.

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“How do you limit coyotes? You don’t,” Gerht said to the Washington Post. “We haven’t been able to do that, and people have tried for a very long time. Every year we try to locate the den where the coyotes are trying to raise a litter. If we are successful in finding the den, we can extract the pups, microchip them, and put them back.”

Coyotes thrive so abundantly because they are adaptable. They can eat anything and everything except grass. They don’t have to exclusively hunt, stalk and maim large animals in packs to feed themselves and their young. They can eat anything from crops and fruits to rabbits and vole, and according to Gehrt, they have an exceptional love for vole meat [5].

“The state’s perspective is every coyote needs to be a dead coyote. Trap them, shoot them . . . however you want to get rid of them,” said Sen. Goldfinch of South Carolina to WMBF news. “This is now about going to war with the coyotes. They’re eating our cats and our dogs and our deer and turkeys.”

According to Sen. Goldfinch, bills would soon be passed in the state to permit the unlimited and uncontrolled killing of coyotes throughout.  

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Jonathan Way, founder of Eastern Coyote/Coywolf Research in Massachusetts explained that indiscriminate killing has never been a solution to wiping out coyotes. The same old hunting programs and contests usually result in discouraging failure after massive budgets have been expended.

“All told, 500,000 coyotes per year are killed by hunters, state agencies and federal wildlife services,” Way said. “The reason why they still come back is because of their body size. They can survive on just about anything.”

The Federal government made plans to reintroduce red wolves into rural areas of North Carolina, but farmers and landowners have been against the program. Despite the fact that coyotes are annoying pests, wolves are more dangerous to both humans and livestock.

“We wanted to remind people of all the tools they have to keep them away,” said Charlie Killmaster, the state’s deer and feral-hog biologist in Georgia. “A number of states have shown that government-sponsored programs to eradicate coyote populations are huge money pits that result in failure.

  1. Staff. Hunters Kill Hundreds of Wolves in the US. Live Science. https://www.livescience.com/24942-wolf-hunt-begins.html. Retrieved 11/06/19
  2. Admin. ENDANGERED SPECIES SPOTLIGHT: RED WOLF. Green Global Travel. https://greenglobaltravel.com/endangered-species-spotlight-red-wolf/. Retrieved 11/06/19
  3. Fears, Daryl. The relentless slaughter of wolves paved the way for a predator that refuses to die. Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2019/06/03/killing-wolves-was-supposed-solve-problem-created-one-that-will-last-forever. Retrieved 11/06/19
  4. Blankenship, Grant. Seeing Coyotes Everywhere? New Science Explains Why. GBP News. https://www.gpbnews.org/post/seeing-coyotes-everywhere-new-science-explains-why. Retrieved 11/06/19
  5. Dudley, Ron. A Coyote Hunting, Then Killing And Eating A Vole. Feathered Photography. https://www.featheredphotography.com/blog/2014/04/21/a-coyote-hunting-then-killing-and-eating-a-vole/. Retrieved 11/06/19
  6. Eastern Coyote/Coywolf Research. Official website. http://www.easterncoyoteresearch.com/.

 

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