homepage logo

Time to take action on coyotes

By Staff | Jan 14, 2020

To the editor:

As coyotes begin to populate our island it seems everyone is suddenly an expert on coyote behavior. I wonder how much real experience they have with coyotes or have they just read about coyote behavior in books. Having lived in a wilderness area in the western U.S. for many years, I believe I have more real life experience with coyotes than the so called experts.

I have seen first hand the havoc they can wreak. The experts claim that when coyote populations are lowered through “culling” that compensatory reproduction will take place with larger litters. Basically they are saying, the smaller the population of coyotes in a given area, the larger the litters will be. If that were true the relatively small population on Sanibel would already be in the compensatory reproduction stage bringing larger litters with every season.

My experience is that coyote populations increase proportionately to the food source available. It has nothing to do with compensatory reproduction. With our overabundance of rabbits and other rodents on Sanibel we can expect to see a large growth in the coyote population. Over time they will become more and more aggressive toward our pets and even toward humans.

The Jan. 8, 2020, edition of the Island Reporter had a guest commentary about coyotes from Ryan Orgera, chief executive officer of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation. Instead of taking action, their response was that “we must finish Sanibel’s Coyote Management Program.” The same day CBS news had an article about a 5-year-old boy taken to the hospital with multiple coyote bites. The boy was bitten in the head while standing outside the Nature Museum in Chicago. This was in the middle of an urban area.

Coyotes can become very aggressive. This is what happens when the population becomes larger than the food supply. I have seen it first hand. The experts want to continue to study the coyote population on Sanibel. They have been “studying” for the last few years since coyotes were first discovered on Sanibel. What’s to study? It’s time to stop studying and time to take action to reduce the population.

Bill Reece