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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Niagra, Ontario City Officials and the advocacy Group Coyote Watch Canada are dead set against the Ministry of Natural Resources Proposal to make it easier to kill wild animals...........They have put a successful co-existence policy into effect and it is working in this part of Canada...........Kudos to the folks up North for having the resolve to "live and let live"

Killing not the answer: Coyote Watch Canada Group speaks out about proposed ministry changes
Killing is not the answer: 

 When it comes to dealing with coyotes, education. not killing "problematic" animals, Coyote Watch co-founder Lesley Sampson says. 

Proposed policy changes being considered by the Ministry of Natural Resources are the wrong approach when it comes to dealing with wildlife deemed "problematic," the co-founder of Coyote Watch Canada says.

"It's a dangerous place to be when your government sees killing as an answer," Lesley Sampson said, who founded the group with Niagara Falls resident Jim Brown in 2008.
Under the current Ontario Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, municipalities require a permit from the MNR prior to hiring a hunter to kill wildlife they deem problematic. The proposals, the ministry said, are "part of MNR's plan to modernize its business where possible, focus more closely on MNR's core mandate, and review programs and services to become more efficient and sustainable."

But Sampson said that making it more efficient to allow for the killing of animals misses the point. "It doesn't matter whether you're in an urban or rural area, you have to be in amongst animals to see it's truly apparent there's a human-wildlife dynamic," Sampson, a Niagara-on-the-Lake resident said.

She said the MNR proposals fly in the face of co-existence programs such as the one developed by her group to deal with coyotes."Coyotes are nothing new here (in Niagara)," Sampson said.She said city staff and residents have bought into the program, dubbed PAWS (Preservation Awareness Wildlife Safety) which relies on education about the habits of coyotes. Residents can report coyote sightings on the city's website at All sightings are mapped and territory trends and population dispersal patterns are tracked.

The group identified areas where coyote feeding was taking place and the City, in conjunction with CWC, developed the first-ever feeding wildlife bylaw in Eastern Canada. That bylaw was approved by council in April 2011."Everybody is so engaged in it -- Niagara Parks, the city, the Parks Police," Sampson said. "The City of Niagara Falls is a leader in getting all these things in place."

City clerk Dean Iorfida agreed..............
"We have done community outreach to educate the public on 'wildlife proofing' and peaceful co-existence with coyotes," Iorfida said. "With the urban sightings, coyotes have been in areas you would expect them (hydro corridors) or they have come to an area because their habitat has been disturbed and a food source has become available. In those instances, we have educated the residents in the area to keep pet food and water bowls indoors, keep trash cans covered and pick up ripened and rotted fruit off the ground, as these are often what attract coyotes."

It's something that just makes sense, Sampson said.
She added that residents can do their part by removing food sources, keeping small animals indoors and obeying municipal leash laws. Most of all, never provide food for coyotes.

"They're adaptable," Sampson said. "They will move on."
Iorfida , meanwhile, said that even if the proposed changes are acted upon, that doesn't mean it will be open season on coyotes or any other wild life in the city.

"The proposed regulation states that 'at the request of the landowner, licenced hunters will be permitted to harass or kill certain species of wildlife if the wildlife is damaging or about to damage the landowner's property, provided that the activity is permitted by municipal by-laws,' " Iorfida said. "The city's Firearms Discharge bylaw and Hunting bylaw restrict such activities to outside the urban boundary."

On average, the city receives about 12 claims a year, locally, under the Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation program "for about 4 or 5 rural properties that have had animals (rabbits, chickens) killed by coyotes," Iorfida said. "Any of these farmers could defend their property or get a 'gun for hire' now. 

 The proposed regulation, from my reading, makes that process simpler; however, I know of no examples where a rural property owner has gone to that step to protect their property from damage."

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