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REQUEST FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF A POPULATION CONTAINMENT PROGRAM
FOR THE EASTERN COYOTE ON THE ISLAND OF NEWFOUNDLAND


The following listed Associations/Federations are submitting this request on behalf of its members:

Newfoundland and Labrador Outfitters Association:
Ron Parsons, President

Newfoundland and Labrador Wildlife
Gordon Cooper, President

Federation: Newfoundland Sheep Breeders Association
Howard Morry, President

Rural Rights and Boat Owners Association:
James Morgan, President

 

FACTS ABOUT COYOTES
(Canis Latrans) (Translation - Barking Dog)

1.         There are 19 recognized sub-species of coyotes on the continent of North America.
2.        Coyotes mate once per year, and deliver litter sizes of 4 to 17 pups. Litter size dependent on availability of food.
3.         Coyote females will mate before they are 1 year old. Gestation period is between 60 and 63 days.
4.         Coyotes are suspected of mating with domestic dogs and with wolves thereby producing hybrid offspring. Eastern coyote confirmed as a wolf-coyote hybrid.
5.         Adult coyotes typically weigh in the 15 to 18 Kg. range, with males weighing approximately 2 Kg. heavier.(Largest verified weight of coyote in PEI is 25 Kgs.)
6.         Coyotes are active both day and night, with peak activity occurring at sunrise and sunset.
7.        Studies have shown a correlation between group size and size of prey pursued. The coyote body size, bio-energetics, and flexible social behaviour enable them to prey on animals of all sizes.
8.         In both western and eastern North America, big game constitutes a significant portion of coyotes diet, as does livestock, especially sheep.
9.         The number of coyotes in groups travelling and hunting is largest during the winter.
10        Coyotes communicate by smell (urine deposits, and scat); by sound (vocalizations - yips, barks and howls), and by visuals - posturing.
11.       When coyotes colonize new areas, they occupy open areas first (fields, barrens, clear-cuts) and then move into forested areas.
12.      Rabies is not a common disease in coyotes. The most significant infections are distemper, canine hepatitis, parvovirus enteritis, and sarcoptic mange.
13.       The coyote is North Americas most studied and wide ranging Canid. (Member of the dog family)

Source:    Wild Fur bearer Management and Conservation in North America. Report to Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources(1987) by D.R. Voigt and William E. Berg. March 15, 2003
 
The attached "Petition", circulated on behalf of the submitting Associations/ Federation is being submitted as evidence of the level of concern amongst many residents of our province about the negative impacts of the eastern coyote on other wildlife species, and on the livelihood of sheep farmers, outfitters, resident hunters, and others. There are serious coyote related safety concerns, and fears amongst many residents who up to now have enjoyed the many wilderness experiences available to them as residents of the province; there are major concerns amongst sheep ranchers about the high level losses of valuable animals; and all want their fears and concerns addressed through an effective coyote population containment
program.

The petition was positioned in a relatively small number of communities only, because it was/is believed that the responses provided would not only represent the sentiments of the respondents but would also be a barometer of responses to be expected from the remainder of the province. You will note that the petition was designed as a democratic vehicle, whereby provision was made for both a positive or negative response to the prescribed actions. No advertising or awareness campaign was waged to entice participation or to sway opinions. Respondents were left to respond in accordance with their best judgement.
2437
2443
99.8% .2%
Number of Respondents Supporting Petition
Number of Respondents NOT Supporting Petition
Total Number of Respondents
Percent Respondents Supporting Petition
Percent Respondents NOT Supporting Petition

Discussions about the arrival of the eastern coyote in Newfoundland (the how and when) has occurred, and continues on the VOCM Open Line program, VOCM Niteline, in the various print media, and amongst hunters, and farmers, and other outdoors people at many venues across the province. The theme has been consistent - people are concerned, and increasingly so, about the impacts of the coyote, and the lack of actions being taken by or considered by government to mitigate the many negative impacts of this voracious and prolific predator.

The predation levels of the eastern coyote upon game species, fur bearers, and livestock in Newfoundland is not merely a speculative or irrational conclusion. The evidence of this predation is spread across the land, and is being seen by increasing numbers of outdoors
people and farmers. Some people have suggested that the sight of coyotes feeding on dead animals is, in itself, not prima-facia evidence of predation on these animals. While some margin can be allowed for "other causes" , there is also ample evidence that coyotes are in fact effecting heavy mortality on wildlife and farm animals. There is irrefutable evidence, and it is at an unacceptable level.

This Petition has been brought about because there is no knowledge of a government action plan to effectively intervene in the ongoing serious negative impacts being imposed on important game and agricultural species by the eastern coyote, irrespective of representations that have been made by concerned individuals and groups. At this stage in the coyotes raid upon our land, the members of the submitting associations believe that we collectively do not have the time, the resources, nor the inclination to endure further infringements from this predator, nor do we have the time, the resources, nor the inclination to await the gathering of more non-utilitarian science. The science info heap is high enough and wide enough, coast-to-coast, and is readily available for study by the so inclined. Besides, any studies deemed desirable can be carried out in parallel with a population containment program.
 
We are losing on a daily/seasonal basis:
1.    Woodland caribou adults and calves
2.    Adult Sheep and Lambs
3.    Ptarmigan and Grouse
4.    Adult Moose and calves
5.    Fox, Mink, and Beaver
6.    Arctic Hare and Snow-shoe Hare
7.    Pine Martin
8.    Waterfowl adults, eggs, and young.

Further delays in the implementation of a population control program for the eastern coyote is not an affordable option.

In Fall 2002, coincident with the opening of hunting seasons, persons in possession of a valid small and/or big game license were permitted to hunt coyotes. This, the first hunt, ran in parallel with the ongoing harvest of coyotes by licensed trappers. Collectively both programs,
as is, are not having any discernible impact on the burgeoning coyote population. The allowance of hunters and trappers to harvest coyotes under the current regime have the following drawbacks, and limited impacts:
(1) Big game hunters are not focussed on hunting coyotes, and the hunting style for big game is not effective for hunting coyotes.
(2) Big game hunters do not want to interfere in their big game hunting success by targeting coyotes and subsequently disturbing big game.
(3) Hunting regulations render a big game license invalid upon successfully harvesting of big game, thus preventing any further pursuit of coyotes.
(4) Firearms permissible for hunting small game are ineffective for hunting coyotes.
(5) Effective firearms for hunting coyotes are not permissible for use under current hunting regulations.
(6) Local hunters need instructions/training and experience in effective ways to hunt coyotes.
(7) Current hunting seasons are closed or closing during the expected most productive time for hunting coyotes in Newfoundland.
(8) Trappers will only specifically target coyotes when expected fur prices warrant the effort.


Elsewhere on the North American continent, Natural Resource Management Authorities are using a variety of coyote population containment measures as illustrated in the following respective "Summary Regulations":

1.         Province of Nova Scotia: (Barry Sabean - Tel. 902-679-6139)
1)        Season on coyotes is open year round, with some firearm restrictions for part of the year- Shotguns only during "off normal" hunting seasons.
2)        Trapping permitted during October 15 to February 28*
3)         No bag limits
4)        Coyotes "shot on site" in farm areas. Nuisance wildlife license required.
5)        Poisons not permitted.
6)        Wildlife officers will assist if humans or farm animals threatened - Farmer to demonstrate that reasonable animal/livestock protection in place.
7)        No bounty system. Not recommended. Open to abuse.


2.         Province of New Brunswick (Libby Cade. - Tel: 506-453-2440) Coyote is classified as Fur bearer, as Varmint, and as a Nuisance Wildlife Species.

1)        Hunting of coyotes is open year round with exception of a two week period in September.
2)        Trapping is permitted during the period October to February. Fur harvesters license is required.
3)        No bag limits.
4)        Private property owners may hunt, trap, or snare coyotes year round.
5)        Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator license available for anyone who wishes to offer this service.
 6)        Varmint license available for anyone wishing to hunt coyotes outside normal hunting seasons.
7)        During "off normal" season, hunters are permitted to use Rifle of less than .23 calibre, shotgun, muzzle loader, and bow. Certain restrictions on shot sizes.
8)        Coyotes can be taken on any license, other than moose license, during normal hunting seasons.
9)        Poisons not permitted.
10)       No bounty system.


3.         Province of Prince Ed. Island (Randy Dibblee Tel:902-368-4666) Management approach is to attempt population control only at specific problem sites. No specific provincial population targets established. Coyote is classified as a Fur bearer, and as a game animal under the PEl Wildlife Conservation Act.

1)        Hunting and trapping is permitted. Hunting season extends from October 01 to March 31. Trapping season runs from November 01 to January 15th.
2)        Hunting and/or trapping license is required.
3)        Nuisance animal permits are issued to hunters and trappers to handle nuisance animals outside normal seasons.
4)        No daily or season Bag Limits.
5)        Poisoning is NOT permitted.
6)        Firearms restricted to shotguns and rifle of .22 calibre. Maximum is 22-250 centre fire cartridge.
7)        There is NO bounty system
8)        There isn't a shoot on sight policy.
9)        Nuisance wildlife permits can be issued for coyotes after investigation by qualified personnel.
 
4.         Province of Manitoba (lan McKay - Tel: 204-945-7758)
1)         Coyote is classified as Fur bearer.
2)         Taken only during prescribed seasons by licensed trappers.
3)        No hunting (shooting) by general population.
4)        No established bag limits.
5)        Pilot program involving trappers in place to deal with coyotes preying on livestock.
6)        Pesticide poisoning program discontinued due to safety concerns and public pressure.
7)        No bounty system.
8)    Shooting is permitted, if in possession of trapping license.


5.         Province of Saskatchewan (Mike Gallop - Tel: 306-933-5767)
No Specific Management Plan, and No Population Target. Balance between the needs of Trappers, and the needs of livestock ranchers.
1)        Managed as a fur bearer in the Northern Fur Conservation Area (Northern 2/3 of the province). Fur license required.
2)        Shot on sight on land where resident hunter has permission to hunt - Southern 1/3 of the province.
3)        No license requirement, and no requirement to salvage the hide from coyotes taken outside the NFCA.
4)        No bag limits.
5)         Poisons used only by Conservation Officers. Special Situations.

6.         Province of Alberta (John Bourne - Tel: 780-853-8225)

1)        No specific management plan. No specific population target.  Coyotes classified as Fur bearer on public lands (non-farmland), and Subject to regulations under the Wildlife Act. Regulated hunting and trapping seasons on public land.

2)        Fee payable by licensed trappers on both private and public lands
3)        Hunting with and without hounds on private property year round. No-charge permit required.
4)        Hunting permitted on public lands during big game hunting seasons. Included on big game license. No extra license fee.
5)        Year round hunting under Provincial Coyote Predation Management Program (CPMP) of Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development.
6)        Poisons and toxins managed and administered under CPMP by Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Department. Applications only after other alternatives assessed and ruled out. le barking coyote, stealing dog food not nuisance activity. Livestock injuring, killing or harassment is.
7)        Private individuals can be authorized to act as "nuisance" animal Controllers. Under control of municipalities. Before animal/animals are designated as "nuisance", must meet criteria.
8)        No restrictions on firearms types for hunting coyotes.
9)        No bag limits.


7.         State of Montana (Brian Giddings - Tel:)
No specific management plan or objectives.
1)         Coyote is classified as a predator.
2)         Shot on sight.
3)        Hunting and trapping permitted year round.
4)        No bag limits.
5)        No firearm restrictions.
 
8. State of Maine (Wally Jakubas Tel: 204-941-4471)
Management plan being developed, but in abeyance at this time. Harvesting effort targeted towards special areas on a "needs" basis, ie where deer herds are below management target levels.
1)        Coyote classified as Fur bearer.
2)         Trapping permitted during the October to December season.
3)        Recreational hunting is permitted year round.
4)        Hunting with dogs and night hunting permitted January to April
5)        Directed snaring programs under "Animal Damage Control Program" near deer wintering areas - December to March.
6)         Special license required for "Night" hunting.
7)        Certified "snarers" can be deployed as Animal Damage Control agents.
8)        No special regulations for "nuisance" animal control.
9)        No restrictions on firearms types used for hunting coyotes.
10)      Certified "snarers" can be deployed as "paid" animal control officers. Officers paid by DNR.
11)      No daily or seasonal bag limits on coyotes.
12)      No bounties paid.


In the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, we have the highest public participation rates in wilderness recreation in all of Canada. This high level of enjoyment of wilderness activities is tied inextricably to healthy game and fish populations, to availability of clean water and clean air, to the availability of wild fruits and berries, and to the availability of expansive public lands . Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, who hunt, who fish, and who gather wild berries truly enjoy these aspects of their heritage, and the unique table fare these activities afford.
Some derive considerable enjoyment from wilderness hiking and wildlife viewing. And, not by any means the least, a growing number of others strive to earn a living, outdoors, through livestock
ranching, a livelihood that is highly dependent on the continued availability of "safe haven" pasture lands.
Nearly all of these pasture lands are bordered by or surrounded by wilderness. And nearly all wilderness, and a growing amount of "non wilderness" is being occupied and dominated by coyotes. While we as hunters and farmers are not intent on, nor under any illusions about, eradicating the eastern coyote from the island of Newfoundland, we are looking to see an effective containment program - one that affords significant reductions in predation on wildlife and on farm animals. Such a containment program, because of the tenacious, and reproductive characteristics of the coyote, must be robust, and must be sustained for the long
term.


As listed earlier, there is a plethora of coyote population containment programs in effect across the continent. Within this list are many features that can and must be incorporated into our "Built In Newfoundland" plan - a plan that reflects our unique wilderness conditions; our unique cultural interdependence with this wilderness eco-system; and, the unique circumstances of those striving to extract a livelihood from the land. To encapsulate - the overall plan objective must be to reduce to absolute minimize levels the impacts of coyote
predation on other wildlife species, and livestock, and to preserve as much as possible the wilderness comfort and safety levels that our people have become accustomed to.


In order to accomplish this important objective, the containment program, and related regulations must encompass, at least, the following features:
1)         12 months per year, every year, application period, island wide.
2)        Education program on tools and techniques for successful hunting and trapping.
3)        Remove restrictions on "centre fire" light caliber rifles (222, 22-250, 22-243, 22 Hornet, 220 Swift, etc.). Allow use of light caliber "centre-fire" rifles for hunting only coyotes. Introduction of a "bounty" system as a means of "nuisance animal" control.
5)        Targeting of hunting and trapping effort by Wildlife Officers to environmentally and economically sensitive areas - caribou and moose wintering concentrations, and caribou calving areas, and livestock pastures.
6)         Continuance of the recently introduced coyote hunting program.
7)        Special Coyote hunting license, for "off season".. Costs to be established.
8)        Establish or empower "special" hunting and trapping groups to target coyote populations in environmentally and/or economically sensitive areas.
9)        Authorize municipal animal control officers to capture and dispose of coyotes within municipal boundaries.
10)       Allow snaring of coyotes by all who hold a valid hunting and/or trapping license and who have completed a one day "snaring techniques and apparatus" program.
11)      Allow sale of or donation of legally taken coyote pelts
12)      Train provincial wildlife officers in use of poisons, and allow such use in areas, and during times of coyote predation on livestock..
13)      Allow use of trained dogs in and around pasture land where "problem" coyotes effect livestock injury, harassment or losses.


Implementation of, at least, the above approaches will provide the following benefits:
1)         Provide additional hunting opportunities, especially for younger hunters.
2)         Provide a measure of intervention in the coyote population explosion, and its impacts on valuable wildlife species.
3)        Provide farmers with a means of protecting valuable livestock.
4)        Encourage legitimate hunters to be afield during the whole year thus affording a measure of deterrence against poaching.
5)         Increase "spin-off' revenues to the province through sales of licenses, and sale of equipment and supplies.
 
(6)        Diminish the feelings of hopelessness amongst farmers, hunters, and other outdoors people who now feel that we are unwilling or are being prevented from preserving our livelihoods and heritage.
7)        Help diminish or slow the spread of rabies and other viral diseases by reducing potential carrier numbers.
8)        Provide additional needed protection for woodland caribou and moose in known sensitive calving and wintering areas.
9)        Restore the sense of safety previously felt by all wilderness users.
 

PETITION FOR THE CONTROL OF THE EASTERN COYOTE POPULATION - ISLAND OF NEWFOUNDLAND
HOMETOWNS OF RESPONDENTS

Port Blandford
River of Ponds
Terra Nova
St. John's
Stephenville Crossing
Musgravetown
Noel's Pond
Gander Bay
Cold Brook
Bunyans Cove
St. Georges
Clarenville
Robinsons
Swift Current
Kippens
Buchans Junction
Flat Bay
Shoal Harbour
Highlands
Paradise
Lock Leven
Charlottetown
Black River
Mount Pearl
Garnish
Bloomfield
Garden Cove
Doyles
Upper Gullies
Gander
Gambo
Botwood
Cupids
Corner Brook
Spaniards Bay
Campbellton
Bay Roberts
Cow Head
North Harbour
Parsons Pond
Conception Bay South
Port Saunders
Arnolds Cove
St. Anthony
Shearstown
Portland Creek
Marystown
Three Mile Rock
Burin
Howley
Terrenceville
York Harbour
Jacques Fontein
Roddington
Rushoon
Lark Harbour
Gooseberry Cove
Stephenville
St. Andrews
Hillview
Traytown
St. John's
Long Harbour
Port Saunders
Harbour Round
Daniels Harbour
Brents Cove
Port au Choix
La Scie
Codroy Valley
Baie Verte
O'Regans
Woodstock
Pasadena
Port au Port
Bishops Falls
West Bay
Leading Tickles
Francois
Lewisporte
Burgeo
Grand Falls/Windsor
Summerside
Goose Bay
Grey River
Jacksons Arm
McCallum
Appleton
Goulds
Milville
Salvage
Glovertown
Note:   Please note that "Petitions" were placed in only a small number of the towns listed


REQUEST FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF A POPULATION CONTAINMENT
PROGRAM FOR THE EASTERN COYOTE ON THE ISLAND OF NEWFOUNDLAND

Submitted to:

Hon. Julie Bettney,
Minister Tourism, Culture & Recreation
And
Hon. Rick Woodford,
Minister Forest Resources and Agro-foods

Submitted By:
Newfoundland and Labrador Outfitters Association
Newfoundland and Labrador Wildlife Federation
Newfoundland Sheep Breeders Association
Rural Rights and Boat Owners Association


Prepared By:
W.D. Holloway
Date: March 15 2003

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