NCC is over-reacting to coyote spotted on Greenbelt

NCC is over-reacting to coyote spotted on Greenbelt
Posted on February 7, 2015 | Donna DuBreuil | Written on February 6, 2015
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Ottawa Citizen

You would expect the National Capital Commission, responsible for a large natural area like the Greenbelt, to be more progressive when it comes to wildlife. Sadly, its over-reaction to a coyote spotted on the Greenbelt this week is par for the course — like the young lynx that was trapped and euthanized by the NCC in Gatineau Park a few years ago for no legitimate reason, resulting in much public anger.

It appears the NCC is attempting to blame this coyote for attacking a horse, even though the horse’s owner and another neighbour have said “whatever attacked the horse, it was no coyote.” They’ve lived with coyotes for years, so would know.

The NCC has closed several trails and installed traps. Traps are a danger to pets and the public and killing coyotes is an ineffective and inhumane practice that progressive cities have stopped years ago. The NCC should consult cities like Oakville and Niagara Falls to learn about best practices in living with coyotes.

Coyotes are regularly seen on the Greenbelt; it is their habitat. Tenant farmers should welcome their presence given that 40 per cent of a coyote’s diet consists of mice and voles, keeping damage to crops and silage under control. As an apex species, coyotes are essential to healthy ecosystems.

Ottawa residents would be better served with less irrational fear-mongering and more practical tips for understanding and co-existing with wildlife.

Donna DuBreuil, Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre  

About The Author

Donna DuBreuil is the co-founder and president of the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre. The Centre, founded in 1987, was established to support a better understanding and respect for wildlife in the face of rapid... More