09 July 2011|
"These meetings will be open to and designed for the public to have an open discussion on ways for residents to minimize their contact and deal with their new coyote neighbors," said LAWRA Vice-President Beau Gast. "The current management of the population by gunshot has been scientifically proven through extensive study to be ineffective and in many cases results in an increase in the coyote population. It's expensive and simply doesn't work."
The first public meeting, co-hosted with the Humane Society of Louisiana, will be held at the Harahan City Hall on Monday July 11, 2011 at 5:30 PM. The meeting is free and open to anyone with an interest in co-existing with coyotes or wanting more information on minimizing their interactions with coyote.
Additional public meetings will be held in Orleans, Plaquemines and Saint Bernard Parishes by LAWRA over the next few weeks.
The Humane Society of the United States' Urban Wildlife Specialists will be holding two separate trainings exclusively for area animal control officers (ACOs) in coyote hazing techniques that have proven highly effective in other communities. The first ACO training will be held Thursday for the Plaquemines Parish area. The second training will be held in August at the annual animal control officer training in Baton Rouge with ACOs from around the state.
"Coyote hazing has proven effective for eliminating problematic behavior in single coyotes and coyote family groups alike," said Urban Wildlife Specialist Lynsey White Dasher. "Coyotes learn very quickly behaviors that we will not tolerate, and pass these new rules onto their family members and pups."
LAWRA is working with Project Coyote and the Humane Society of the United States to create a comprehensive "co-existing with coyotes" plan to present to local government officials. The plan is based off of a similar successful program in Denver and the HSUS' ACO training will be modeled after the Denver program. LAWRA will have copies of similar successful plans, including the Denver model, available to the public at the meetings.
"Education and sharing information are keys to increasing comfort and decreasing conflict," said Project Coyote Executive Director Camilla Fox. "People are often surprised to learn that with small changes in our own behavior, coyotes can remain good neighbors, contributing ecological benefits to our communities as they avoid people."
"In other communities an effective co-existence plan enacted and followed in cooperation with all the agencies involved resulted in the coyote population remaining wild and very wary of people and their pets," said Gast. "In many areas sightings greatly decreased."
"We are working with our partners at the Humane Society of Louisiana, Project Coyote and the Humane Society of the United States to educate the public and government officials about coyote biology and the best available sound management and co-existence policies and techniques," said Gast.
About LAWRA: The Louisiana Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (LAWRA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is Louisiana's largest wildlife protection organization providing resources for Louisiana's Wildlife Rehabilitators and safeguarding the future of Louisiana's wildlife through the support of sound wildlife management. Our members take in all of Louisiana's injured and orphaned wildlife, including coyotes, for rehabilitation and release and are directly involved in humane nuisance wildlife management counseling on a daily basis.
About the Humane Society of the United States: The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.
About Project Coyote: Project Coyote is a national non-profit organization of scientists and educators promoting coexistence between people and coyotes and advocating on behalf of North America's native Song Dog and other wildlife. More information: www.ProjectCoyote.org
About the Humane Society of Louisiana: The Humane Society of Louisiana is one of the largest animal protection groups in the state, with more than 10,000 supporters. For more information, please visit their website at www.humanela.org or call 1-888-6-Humane.