One of the misconceptions that many people have about coyotes is that their mere presence leads to a loss of other species. The assumption is that coyotes are eating everything in sight and/or they are causing other species to relocate out of fear. The Georgia DNR’s recently enacted Georgia Coyote Challenge perpetuates this myth by encouraging hunters to kill as many coyotes as possible because they are “negatively impacting native wildlife.” We do not concur with this statement and continue to find rich biodiversity within urban coyote territories. Yes, coyotes are predators who eat other animals, but predators are a necessary component of any healthy ecosystem. And the coyote diet is also heavily dependent upon invertebrate animals and plants.
Our latest video collection was filmed over the past few months at a site in metro Atlanta. Here you will see coyotes, deer, a bobcat, a rabbit, a great blue heron, a great horned owl, a juvenile red-tailed hawk, a snapping turtle, and North American river otters all utilizing the same habitat. (Squirrels, chipmunks, weasels, raccoons, and opossums are also common at this site.) The film ends with a magical view through a well-placed spider web. Nothing was done to lure all of these animals to this site other than the natural resources provided by the riparian landscape. It underscores the vital importance of protecting our precious water resources for the many species that depend upon them. This is where your tax dollars should be spent – not on wildlife killing contests.
If you feel strongly about supporting and enjoying ALL species of wildlife, please share this film and its message widely.