Protect the coyote while it raises its young
For the editor:
It’s March; blackbirds stake out their nesting territory and coyotes have young.
Coyotes choose dens, often old, enlarged groundhog dens. Both male and female take care of the newborn pups.
Puppies are totally dependent on mother’s milk for at least the first few weeks of life, so both parents are essential to their survival. Puppies grow rapidly on food provided by parents but take until fall to reach a size where they can be independent and acquire food on their own. Typically, young are moved to multiple dens over the summer.
The coyote is a cousin and very close to our companion dogs. They are very intelligent, excellent parents and sensitive to the needs of their young.
They should not have an open hunting or trapping season during this time. It is inhumane to kill coyotes in the spring and summer. In the rare cases where coyote predation occurs on farm animals, special permits may be granted to farmers to kill a few coyotes.
The coyote is an animal very similar to our pet dogs and has its sensitivities; they are good parents who should be protected while raising their puppies.
It’s time to save the coyote and highlight its importance for ecology and the balance of nature. We should no longer tolerate the killing of wildlife that results in unnecessary inhumanity to the species and that is exactly what happens when you have open hunting season for coyotes during their calving season.
May the New York summer nights long have the characteristic mournful but beautiful sounds of adult coyotes punctuated by the enthusiastic but unqualified voices of juvenile coyotes.
Dr. Ward Stone