As human development continues to encroach on wildlife habitat, human-wildlife encounters with coyotes and other predators are becoming more frequent. When communities decide how to best handle these encounters, they often choose to incorporate some kind of lethal option into their plan. FoA, however, advocates for a solely non-lethal approach to resolving wildlife conflict, one that can educate residents on how they can change their behaviors to reduce potential conflict.
One part of Los Angeles is making waves with its new Wildlife Watch program—which incorporates all non-lethal coyote control methods. These kinds of totally non-lethal of programs are still rare in the US today.
The community of San Pedro has set up its program in a similar fashion as that of the well-known Neighborhood Watch programs. The program strives to get neighbors involved in the process of wildlife education, information sharing, and conflict prevention.
According to an article by The Daily Breeze, “Los Angeles City Wildlife Officer Hoang Dinh was among those attending Monday night’s meeting, held outdoors in Point Fermin Park, and said the watch groups offer a more organized approach to deal with coyote concerns. If San Pedro sets up a group, he said, it would be the first within the city of Los Angeles and could provide a model for other impacted L.A. neighborhoods.
The key, he said, is to cut off food sources. In time, this will cause coyotes to retreat and their birth rates to decline.
The problem has grown, Fish and Wildlife Lt. Kent Smirl said, because local communities have inadvertently created a man-made ecosystem that is friendly to coyotes, which are considered to be among nature’s most adaptable animals.
Allowing coyotes easy access to food and failing to haze the animals — using loud noises, shouts and confrontational body language to chase them off — when they are seen leads to problems for both the coyotes and residents, Smirl said.”
San Pedro’s program shows that non-lethal programs can gain public interest, and FoA hopes that other communities will follow suit. If your community is interested in non-lethal coyote control programs, please visit our webpage “Living with Coyotes” in order to download free informational pamphlets.
Jeers to New Jersey’s Fish and Game Council who last week voted in favor of expanding the state’s bear hunting season and jeers to Gov. Chris Christie who has vilified black bears since he was elected in 2009. Christie continues to ignore residents who don’t want black bears baited and hunted—instead cashing in on campaign promises to pro-hunting groups like the New Jersey Outdoors Alliance, who rallied for his election.
The new policy adds a six-day hunt beginning in Oct. 2016 and broadens hunting territories, which will now include most of New Jersey’s northern forests.
Since the New Jersey Fish and Game Council is a volunteer board that is mandated by law to create and finalize hunting and fishing regulations that manage wildlife resources for the benefit of ALL residents—it is time to for the agency to stop favoring pro-hunting groups. Hunters represent a small fraction of New Jersey’s population—in 2011, there were 94,000 hunters, which pales in comparison to the 1.9 million wildlife watchers in New Jersey, according to the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation reports. Furthermore, all hunting-related expenditures in New Jersey totaled $116 million in 2011. But wildlife watchers spent $986 million on wildlife-watching activities in New Jersey in 2011.
You can contact New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin at (609)-292-2885 and tell him not to put his signature on this new policy.
FoA is adamant that wildlife officials should be educating the public on what to do when they encounter a black bear, such as staying together and not running, and teaching them to always carry bear deterrent spray, rather than wasting time spreading bear-hating propaganda. We also encourage people to tell their legislators to support legislation that would prohibit bear baiting and make it mandatory for New Jersey residents to use bear-resistant garbage cans—another solution to human-bear encounters the state has ignored.
Although the list of everything that’s abysmally awful about the Trump family is long enough to fill a book or two, we think that one Trump in particular has dodged the outpouring of public disgust he so deserves. So we have an extra large #jeer for Donald Trump Jr., who committed the same sort of bloody atrocities as Walter Palmer did just a few weeks ago in Zimbabwe, was spared equally deserving shaming during the last few years.
Back in 2012, photos surfaced of the elder Trump’s sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, proudly posing with the carcasses of dead animals they hunted while on a big-game hunting expedition in Africa. The gruesome pictures showed Donald and Eric posing with a lifeless cheetah, Donald displaying a knife along with the bloody, sawed-off tail of an elephant, and the pair posing next to a crocodile hanging from a noose off of a tree.
The photos surfaced again recently in light of the slaughter of Cecil and make us question why these pictures, which are so similar to the ones that forced another man to close his business and go into hiding, haven’t completely derailed Donald Trump’s circus of a political campaign.
When questioned about photographs of his sons with a dead leopard in relation to the killing of Cecil the lion, Trump simply said his ‘sons love to hunt’. He went on to tell the Daily Mail that, “They are members of the NRA, very proudly. I am a big believer in the Second Amendment. But my sons are hunters, Eric is a hunter and I would say he puts it on a par with golf, if not ahead of golf. My other son, Don, is a hunter. They’re great marksman, great shots, they love it. I em, like golf. I don’t do that.”
As benign as he’d like to make it sound, Trump’s sons are hardly run-of-the-mill hunters. The family’s fortune has apparently been used to fund safaris to Africa, targeting beloved animals like elephants and leopards and racking up tens of thousands of dollars in fees from hunting trips.
No matter who you are, what family you belong to, how much money you have or what year it happened…trophy hunters need to be called out and publicly shamed. We have been working diligently to help stop trophy hunting in its tracks and recently held a rally for our legislation,“Cecil’s Law”, that would implement a statewide ban on the importation, possession, sale or transportation of the remains of the five big game species native to Africa (the African elephant, lion, leopard, black rhino and white rhino, all of whom are threatened by illegal poaching and sport hunting and are currently facing extinction.).
You can help take action and ensure trophy hunters, like the Trumps, aren’t allowed to continue their sick “hobby” by contacting NY lawmakers about passing “Cecil’s Law” today.