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WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT IN PKS; COYOTE MSG #1///P.R.E.A.C.H.

Scott Sherrill - Thursday, November 30, 2017

The sighting of coyotes in PKS continue in the cooler weather months.  Earlier this week the Wildlife Action Committee met and adopted a campaign plan that continues the focus on public education, as well as management practices focused on human behavior.

Members of the committee will act as contact points for different areas of PKS.  Look for an email later this week for your Committee representative.  These volunteers will provide NC Wildlife Resource Commission literature on coyotes, reporting instructions for our tracking program, and help collect any other information to help deal with wildlife concerns in Pine Knoll Shores.

Our campaign plan is called Operation P.R.E.A.C.H.  This message focus on the first letter of our campaign’s acronym. 

P”-PETS

  • Pets are an owners responsibility
  • Small pets should not be left to roam unattended by a human
  • Pets should not be fed outdoors
  • Feral animals are not pets---feeding them (e.g., leaving food outside for feral cats) invites predators into our neighborhoods

Key points from NCWRC Staff Biologists at the Coyote Workshop on 16 Aug 2017

  • Coyotes are now present in all 100 counties of NC, and they will never be eradicated.  This is due largely to their incredible ability to adapt to different environments. 
  • Coyotes travel, and travel quickly.  Radio-tagged coyotes moved 160 miles in 6 weeks in one case, and 260 miles in 3 months in another.
  • Eradication of coyotes will not work.  Their adaptability and numbers prevent this.
  • Coyotes that are removed from an area will soon be replaced by another group (and then another if that group is removed).  There is a possibility that new groups will increase their litter sizes as that group adapts to its surroundings.  The eventual size (i.e., numbers) of a given group will adapt to the area in which it settles.
  • Coyotes can swim.  And cross bridges.
  • Coyote issues in NC are not caused by coyotes, but by human behavior.  Examples: unsecured trash, pet food left outside, bird feeders, fruit trees and unsecured small pets.
  • The best tools in managing the presence of coyotes is public education and changes to human behavior.
  • Trapping is allowed during the normal authorized season, normally 1 Dec through the end of Feb (see our 17 April 2017 email below for information in trapping in PKS). A landowner does not need a hunting license to trap on his/her own property.  A credentialed NC Wildlife Management Agent must be utilized for trapping.
  • In addition to trapping during the normal authorized season, a homeowner may trap at any time over the year if issued a depredation permit (these permits are normally issued to farmers who lose young livestock----you must have suffered damages to be used such a permit).
  • There has never been an unprovoked attack on a human in NC.
  • Coyotes present a very small chance of transmitting rabies relative to other animals that are already here in great abundance (first among this group, raccoons).  See the depiction below for a breakdown of confirmed positive cases of rabies in animals that were tested by the state public health lab.