At a meeting on Isle of Palms concerning the coyote population, I was amazed to hear speakers say that the coyotes would hurt the elderly, discourage tourism, harm or kill dogs running loose without a leash and generally make it difficult to go out of the house day or night.
Their answer? Shoot or trap and remove all coyotes.
Another idea was to remove all brush on vacant lots where coyotes might hide. And the IOP officials are unfortunately going to acquiesce.
Does no one have the insight to see that clearing out brush on vacant lots makes the problem worse? Coyotes need a place to live and hide. They want food and shelter, just as we humans do.
The coyotes have continually had their habitat diminished by more build-out on the island, so they are more visible now. More homes, more pavement and more non-diverse landscaping have already changed a natural island into something otherwise.
Tearing out natural vegetation would send the coyotes looking for new shelter, and it will invariably be in someone’s backyard. Clearing out natural vegetation will also take away the homes of other native species like birds and rabbits.
If these people want a sterile environment where their chihuahuas can walk unleashed without being eaten by a bird of prey or a coyote, they should move to Chicago.
People transplant or vacation here in part for a “natural environment.” That means accepting and cohabiting with other species, some of which may be inconvenient neighbors.
I am a frequent visitor to the Isle of Palms and Wild Dunes. My brother’s cocker spaniel was eaten by an alligator. This was awful, but a fact of life. We did not yell at officials to drain all wetlands, kill all alligators and stop tidal flow to eliminate alligators.
The coyote haters need to get over themselves and not further harm and homogenize the Isle of Palms with their personal agenda.