Let’s try co-habitation before coyote cull

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I was appalled to hear the Eastern Kings Sport Council calling for the destruction of the Island’s coyote population as a way to encourage more people to get out and exercise on the Confederation Trail.

Only in a human-centric society could we build roads and trail systems through Mother Nature and then eradicate the very creatures whose habitats we have invaded.

I am not trying to minimize the potential for coyotes to do harm to pets and small children. 

I live in a rural area and have lost several beloved cats over the years – quite possibly to coyotes on occasion.

But I can say with certainty, I have lost more pets to vehicular traffic, and I don’t hear anyone calling for a ban on cars.

Destructive human activities have led to a rate of species extinction which is a 100–1,000 times higher than the natural rate.

This has impacts far beyond the potential cultural loss of iconic species such as tigers, rhinos and whales.

Species and the ecosystems provide essential goods and services that make human life possible and contribute to our health and well-being — breathable air, clean water, food, fibers, building materials, medicines, energy, fertile soils, climate regulation, transport, and recreational and spiritual values.

We, as humans, have forced coyotes into public spaces by destroying their homes and their food supply.

We have created enormous hardships for these intelligent and fascinating animals and their tenacity is testimony to their will to survive.

I would also suggest, in the 21st century, we should not be a province or country that allows wild and domestic animals to be brutally killed or injured by a mediaeval device, such as a snare.

Before the Sport Council starts promoting snaring coyotes as the “only” option, they should consider, 70 per cent of animals caught in snares are the unintended targets and, the animal caught in the snare can endure hours, even days, of a slow, agonizing death.

People have the right to protect their homes, families and farms from intruders – human and animal alike.

But I would suggest, when humans venture into Mother Nature’s backyard, we educate ourselves on ways to co-exist peacefully (much like other parts of the world that live with bears, cougars and wolves).

Coyotes have a positive impact on our world’s biodiversity and ecological integrity.

It is time humans start seeing them as co-habitants of the Earth, rather than as adversaries.

Jana Hemphill


Organizations: Eastern Kings Sport Council, Confederation Trail

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