By conducting whole-genome sequence analysis on 28 canids—including gray wolves, red wolves, eastern wolves, coyotes, and even domestic dogs—the team found that the red wolf is about 25 percent gray wolf and 75 percent coyote, while the eastern wolf is about 50 to 75 percent gray wolf, and roughly one quarter coyote.
Laboratory tests conducted by the Georgia Department of Public Health confirmed that the rabid coyote that was involved in two altercations in Roswell, Georgia’s Leita Thompson Park on July 10 and 11, 2016, did indeed harbor the raccoon variant of the virus.
In other words, this coyote contracted the disease from a raccoon, which is the primary reservoir for the rabies virus here in the southeast.
Raccoons and coyotes are generally antagonistic towards one another, which we discussed in a previous post, so none of this is surprising. Rabid animals generally only live for a short time (5-7 days), so we are almost certain that the same coyote was involved in both incidents and it was killed after the second attack.
As far as we know, rabies in Georgia is a rarity, particularly in coyotes, but we will continue to help monitor the situation in Roswell.
South Carolina has initiated a coyote bounty program. The state’s Department of Natural Resources is incentivizing hunters to kill coyotes with the hopes of reducing coyote populations.
This is yet another sad example of a misguided attempt at controlling predator populations.
The accompanying graphic, which was produced by the Humane Society, shows why killing coyotes as a way to reduce their numbers doesn’t work.
Living With Coyote, a short documentary by Priya Shelly, follows generational sheepherders and urban biologists in the American West who share a common topic of concern: coyote presence.
With rural coyotes predating on lambs in the Rocky Mountain ranges and urban coyotes feasting on garbage, small pets and fruit trees in suburban/urban areas, killing the problem coyote seems like a great quick fix. Contrary to this belief, there is no simple solution.
Living With Coyote delves into the complexities of keeping our wild neighbors on the land that we share and raises awareness on the importance of human responsibility and stewardship. You can watch the 18-minute film here (http://www.priyashelly.com/livingwithcoyote/).
Coyotes Captured and Euthanized in Sandy Springs
This story on CBS46.com is a prime example of what we call a “vicious cycle of trapping and killing,” which we hope can be minimized or avoided with the help of public education and awareness.
There are better and more effective ways to address human-coyote conflict.
Read the comments on our Facebook page to see how these type of situations generate strong emotions among people.