NCWRC Releases Draft Coyote Management Plan

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The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) has released a draft coyote management plan for North Carolina. In addition to outlining statutory changes to address coyote management issues, the Plan provides biological information on coyotes in North Carolina, identifies concerns about coyotes, outlines the challenges of coyote control and provides strategies to minimize impacts of coyotes.

You can download a copy of the draft plan here:

http://www.ncwildlife.org/Portals/0/Learning/documents/Profiles/Mammals/Coyote_Management_Plan_DRAFT_1.pdf

The NCWRC is accepting public comment on the plan through Friday, 9 February 2018. Read more about the public comment process at:

http://www.ncwildlife.org/News/Wildlife-Commission-Seeks-Public-Comment-through-Feb-9-on-Draft-Coyote-Management-Plan

Upon our review, it appears that the plan is not a prescription for the wholesale slaughter of coyotes; it contains a great deal of information that is interesting, science-based, and important. This is a great opportunity to learn about coyotes, and also an opportunity to share your opinions and concerns with the Wildlife Resources Commission.

Here are some issues that seemed especially interesting to us:

  • Intensive removal of coyotes is time-consuming and expensive, and research has yet to show it to be effective. In fact, in areas of high coyote mortality, higher densities of coyotes can occur versus areas with low mortality of coyotes (Page 21);
  • The most effective and least expensive way to increase deer numbers is to reduce doe harvest (Page 15);
  • Because coyotes prey on smaller mammals, including nest predators (i.e., raccoons, foxes, skunks, opossums), coyotes can increase quail survivorship (Page 15);
  • In an examination of 34 studies that conducted intensive predator removal, there was no decline over time in coyotes and other mesopredators (e.g., foxes, raccoons, striped skunks) (Page 21);
  • Historically, bounties have been used with little success to control coyote populations (Page 22);
  • Educating the public about coyote biology and behavior as well as management options is critical to preventing and managing coyote problems, as well as encouraging coexistence with the species (Page 25);
  • Working with partners to ensure that information about coyotes reaches people across the state is critical. (This includes conservation nonprofits.) (Page 27);
  • Expanding understanding and awareness of coyotes and successfully addressing coyote issues at appropriate scales requires a partnership approach between the Commission and a wide range of other governmental and non-governmental entities (Page 45);
  • Page 41 discusses Controlled Fox Hunting Preserves. North Carolina currently allows the establishment and operation of controlled fox hunting preserves for the purpose of training hounds and/or hunting foxes. This may be a topic of concern that some of you will want to address.

Please contact the Red Wolf Coalition if you have any questions about the draft plan or the public comment process on that plan.