The second presentation by Dr. Eric Strauss of the Loyola Marymount Center for Urban Resilience for the proposed coyote studies began with an apology. “For all those who listened to me speak at City Hall, this is a bit of a rerun.”
A crowd of almost a hundred filled the Kaizuka Room at the Vets Memorial Building, listening to Strauss’ presentation of the LMU/LA proposed plan for studying the local coyote population with an eye towards educating the residents and controlling – and possibly culling out – the animals.
With ‘denning season’ coming from April to June, the coyotes will be looking to feed their new litters, and that means they will be hunting both day and night. “A coyote travels fast, they can easily make 10 miles in a night,” noted Strauss, and that means they will be hunting large areas.
While emphasizing that the program did not yet have the city’s approval, Strauss presented a three tiered approach:
Short-Term – Removal of problem coyotes
Mid-Term – Determine coyote behaviors [tracking animals for data]
Long-Term – Educate the community in the science of urban animal behavior
Once the conversation was opened with the audience, several points came up; How to define a problem coyote? Would people agree to keep their cats indoors as a preventative? Are coyotes a threat to children?
In responding to questions and trying to ameliorate the fears in the room, Strauss told the residents, ” You are the ones deciding what the outcome will be.”
While the city decides whether or not to fund the study with a focus towards updating the Coyote Management Plan, the coyotes most active hunting season is almost on us. Following the suggestions on city’s website can help to keep domestic animals off the menu.