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Inner City Coyote Problem
Forces Unorthodox Solutions
by Melvin Blanc
     

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A recent study on the impact of the eastern coyote on the wildlife of West Virginia has had some startling results.

According to W.Va. Dept. of Unnatural Resources, the coyote has begun to expand its range from rural areas to municipalities and inner cities.

Research has begun on how to stop this significant predator from destroying our cities’ ecosystems and from becoming a substantial problem for more than farmers, but also shop-keepers, bankers, and city dwellers.

Last week, a new program called DCC (Dept. of Coyote Control) was launched in this field by pioneers known as the Warner brothers.

An interview with the department’s new director, Lou Kneetunes has some concerned.

According to Kneetunes, a search for a natural way of controlling the population has been ongoing.

“Historically,” he said, “the coyote’s habitat was in the Great Plains of western and mid-western states. Today, the coyote occupies every state in the continental U.S. and ranges from Alaska to the Panama Canal. A large coyote recently terrorized citizens until it was tranquilized and removed from downtown New York City. This is causing us to consider unorthodox measures.”

The eastern expansion of the coyote was probably a result of the elimination of its ancient foe, the timber wolf, and the establishment of the deer herd in the east as a food base. It has been said that the coyote’s favorite food is anything they can chew.

The coyote is a carnivore that is able to adapt to the available food supply. According to the Warner brothers, the DCC has no choice but to entice the coyote away from the cities with an addition to its diet.

The announcement of the release of 1,000 roadrunners in our largest cities hit the press at the beginning of this week.

“The plan,” said Kneetunes, “is simple. The roadrunner is a solitary animal. Once released, they will immediately flee the city streets and race away from larger populations, and the coyotes will follow. Historically we know that when it comes to coyotes and roadrunners, the coyote, for some strange reason, shies away from using its natural animal senses and cunning and instead creates absurd contraptions and elaborate plans to pursue his quarry. These contraptions can be quite lethal . . . to the coyote. We hope to see this happening all across the state.”

It should be noted that predation is a natural part of the ecosystem. The addition of the roadrunner to the ecosystem may change ecological balances of predator and prey species. According to the Dept. of Unnatural Resources, it will not eliminate other species from the environment. Predators serve a valuable function to keep prey species in balance with their habitat.

It will be several years before the roadrunner colonizes areas in West Virginia. Therefore, potential densities and impacts are unknown. New changes will most likely occur in many regions. For years, the control of coyotes because of wildlife predation has been considered unwarranted and unnecessary, but on Apr. 1, 2010, times have changed.

New methods to encourage the sport of coyote calling and means to target the coyote as a furbearer and game animal have already begun to be explored.

“The new coyote call,” said Wile E., owner of Acme, Inc., a local outdoor store, “sounds like this . . . ‘MEEP MEEP’.”

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