I’ve written about the Project Coyote’s efforts (see end of post for my impression of their leader, Camilla Fox) to promote co-existence with coyotes and other wildlife, and mentioned the estimated half-million coyotes killed each year. I’m not sure if I included that the U.S. federal government – at taxpayer expense – kills 80,000 to 90,000 coyotes annually. Fox has said that changing this practice is their most challenging effort.
Finally, the media is addressing this issue. First, “The killing agency: Wildlife Services’ brutal methods leave a trail of animal death” was part of a three part series (4/29 & 4/30 and 5/6) in the Sacramento Bee. Investigative reporter Tom Knudson reveals the hidden underbelly of the federal agency that kills more than 4 million wild animals each year – including more than 80,000 coyotes and countless non-target animals- at taxpayer expense.
The same week, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a front-page article about Project Coyote’s antidote to this killing- the non-lethal Livestock & Wildlife Protection Program- in Marin County (CA).
What you can do?
Project Coyote urges these things:
1- Write to your Representative and urge him/her to support and co-sponsor H.R. 4214- The Compound 1080 and M-44 Elimination Act- which would ban two deadly poisons used to kill coyotes and other native carnivores by “Wildlife Services.” Take action here.
2- Support Project Coyote’s work in developing the models and materials that promote coexistence instead of killing such as those adopted by Marin County, CA featured in last week’s San Francisco Chronicle and communities nationwide (see website)
For more info, see my previous post: How to Change Coyote Trapping Practices
I had the pleasure of spending some time with Camilla Fox, the director of Project Coyote. A Boston University magna cum laude graduate who has served on numerous government advisory boards, Fox grew up with a family surrounded by canines: her father, Michael W. Fox is a prominent veterinarian, canine researcher and was author of the long-standing animal column in McCall’s magazine. Fox also grew up with a genetic disease that prevented her from having necessary surgery until age 18, and the physical disability she carried attracted unkind comments from some classmates. “I developed an empathy for those who were persecuted. We believe if we can shift away from the harsh treatment of the coyote we can change the treatment of all carnivores – wolves, bobcats, foxes,” she says, quick to discuss the lore of the coyote, the only carnivore native to North America.