Legislation seeks coyote management plan from DEC

An eastern coyote. Photo courtesy of ForestWander.com

A bill passed by the Senate on Wednesday (S.2100) would require the state Department of Environmental Conservation to respond to the increasing presence of coyotes in urban and suburban areas across New York state.

The bill sponsor, Shelly Mayer, D-Yonkers, says a rapidly growing number of coyotes has posed new challenges for those living in urban and suburban areas, as well as law enforcement.

“My own experience in my district in Yonkers points to the need for a highly sophisticated response to address understandable concerns of suburban homeowners,” Mayer said.

Specifically, this bill would require the DEC to prepare a report on both current and potential coyote management practices, as well as other effective methods of preparing residents for managing the growing coyote population.

The bill is sponsored in the Assembly (A.3199) by Anthony D’Urso, D-Port Washington.

A recent study conducted by researchers at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry estimated that there are about 14,500 breeding pairs of coyotes in New York during the summer months.

According to the DEC, coyotes readily adapt to living close to people and human development makes surprisingly good coyote habitat. The abundant coyote food supply, which includes mice, voles, squirrels, rabbits, deer and many fruiting plants, makes living close to people possible.

About 30,000 New Yorkers participate in coyote hunting each year in upstate New York and another 3,000 are licensed coyote trappers.

The bill sponsored by Mayer and D’Urso includes a number of number of guidelines and key points that the DEC must include in its report.

For example, the report must state the measures that the department currently uses to help minimize conflict and dangerous interactions between humans and coyotes. The DEC would also be required to review and compare New York’s approach to the problem against other states with significant coyote populations.

The legislation seeks a response about why the DEC maintains the current coyote management levels and a full evaluation of possible coyote control methods that may be employed to reduce coyote populations, which may include capture and euthanization, capture and removal, and fertility control.

The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 49 to 13.