LETTER- You can coexist with coyotes

Despite the unpleasant welcome mat rolled out for Albemarle County's newest inhabitants ["Invasion of the doggy snatchers? Uptick in area coyote sightings has residents nervous," April 23.], the fact remains that coyotes are here to stay.

 History shows that even the most steadfast efforts to remove the wily coyote have resulted in failure. Hunting and trapping simply cause females to have larger litters and breed at an earlier age, so the population bounces right back. This is why the current open season on coyotes in Virginia will only produce more coyotes– not fewer.

Residents should also know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doesn't classify coyotes as a human safety threat. 

Rather than live in fear, Albemarle County residents should take sensible precautions such as not enticing coyotes to their property by leaving garbage or pet food outdoors; educating their children about how to respond if they see a coyote; and not letting small dogs or cats roam.

People really can co-exist with coyotes, even in communities that have a far greater number of coyotes than Albemarle.          

Sean Guinan
Urban Wildlife Program Coordinator
The Humane Society of the United States