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Need help analyzing my city's Draft Wildlife Management Plan

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by Sun195, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. Sun195

    Sun195 Pugetropolis, WA Well-Known Member

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    So, my city is moving forward with a Draft Wildlife Management Plan. This is in response to an incident last year where coyotes ate some pet sheep. The owners called Washington Fish and Game who came out and shot a bunch of coyotes. A bunch of people went berzerk when they heard of this (how could they shoot these wonderful animals?? - that kind of thing).... and this plan was born.

    I could use some help formulating a rational response to this plan - a response based on scientific studies and Washington State fish & game law.

    Various concerns I have with this plan:

    1) On page 3, it defines "Unattended animal loss or injury" as "Depradation of unattended animals is normal behavior for coyotes". This may certainly be normal behavior, but it's not acceptable (as far as I'm concerned).

    2) On page 4, it states that "When lethal measures are employed, the use of body-gripping traps, snares or poison is not an option and general culling will not occur". Given that "wildlife" is defined on Page 3 as including "All non-domesticated animals", this seems to mean that rat/mouse control is is now limited to....?? Hugs?

    3) Pictures: there are plenty of pictures throughout this document of cute coyote pups. Where are the pictures of coyotes ripping apart the neighbor's cat? Since this is defined as "normal behavior", why not include those also?

    4) On page7, it states that "Coyotes may become more prolific and abundant when members of the group are removed or killed". Is there a study that proves this? WDFW's website says just the opposite - "In suburban areas of southern California, trapping and euthanizing coyotes has been shown not only to remove the individual problem animal, but also to modify the behavior of the local coyote population. When humans remove a few coyotes, the local population may regain its fear of humans in areas where large numbers of humans are found." Are there any other studies on this that I can cite? Are they correct - that more coyotes come from killing/removal than before?

    5) On page 8, they extol the virtues of "hazing" as effective behavior modification without providing any studies to support this. Is there anything that supports this as an effective tool? I have no doubt it may work, but I'm not sure how well.

    6) On page 9, it again asserts that culling coyotes results in more coyotes in the area.

    7) On page 10, it suggests that an "incident" is defined as an animal approaches a human and growls, bears its teeth or lunges, or a leashed animal is injured or killed. The remedy for an "incident" is a public meeting and hazing. I'm not sure about you, but if my kid is out in the yard and a coyote lunges at it, I'm not going to wait for the community meeting to get scheduled. Further, RCW 77.36.030(1) states that "Subject to limitations and conditions established by the commission, the owner, the owner's immediate family member, the owner's documented employee, or a tenant of real property may trap, consistent with RCW 77.15.194, or kill wildlife that is threatening human safety or causing property damage on that property, without the licenses required under RCW 77.32.010 or authorization from the director under RCW 77.12.240." - so, this situation already seems to be covered under State Law and I don't see how my local municipality has jurisdiction in this area. (maybe they do? I don't know)

    Feel free to comment on anything else you see in this plan - maybe they're right and I'm wrong.