2017-02-16 / Letters to the Editor

Coyotes are threatening native species’ existence

To the editor:

In your Feb. 9 article on coyote attacks here in Jamestown, Lt. Angela Denault was quoted as saying, “There have always been coyotes in Jamestown.”

Not true. Coyotes are an invasive species, and invaded in large numbers in 2005, I suspect because of the new Jamestown Bridge.

For thousands of years, coyotes were restricted to the American West in part because of competition with wolves. With the wolves gone, coyotes began to expand their range. As young, lone coyotes went in search of new territories, they sometimes encountered remnant populations of eastern timber wolves and reproduced. These hybrids are larger than western coyotes and smaller than eastern timber wolves.

Now, due to misguided thinking and ignorance of Jamestown’s flora and fauna prior to the opening of both bridges, our coyote packs have expanded to every area of this island. Because of their hybridization, they have much less fear of humans, and they are breeding at a phenomenal rate.

Coyotes already have taken out countless cats and small dogs from owners’ yards. As these predators multiply and get more used to living on our island, they will get bolder and more habituated to hunting closer to homes. It is no use culling just a few as they just have more pups to make up for lost numbers.

I applaud the Taylor Point restoration organization, who are fighting to maintain our native flora by eradicating invasive flora species. Jamestown needs a fauna restoration organization to totally eliminate the coyote (and their favorite food, deer), because they are an invasive species, just like plants. It needs to happen before our native foxes, skunks, woodchucks and especially the endangered New England cottontail are driven to extinction — that is, if it’s not too late already.

Stacey A. Lyon
Marine Avenue

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