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Removing native wildlife may cause more problems

Foresters learned long ago that denuding an area of trees was an unhealthy and unwise practice for the forest ecosystem. The indiscriminate trapping of any fur-bearing wild animal in Blasdell is not a balanced approach to a perceived “nuisance” wild animal situation. The public has been told that the reason for having traps set on village property was to reduce the number of “pesky” skunks and coyotes. Explain that to the “by-catch” of raccoons, opossums, foxes and potentially domestic house cats. Humane traps are routinely used by animal control professionals to catch domesticated animals. If a trap is set for a cat and a skunk is accidentally caught, can’t the reverse be true?

Nuisance control officers are typically hired to respond to a specific problem, commonly caused by an individual animal to a private homeowner. Ethical nuisance wildlife control officers do not respond to calls such as “I just spotted a (fill in the blank) walking through my yard. You need to come set a trap for it because it might return one day.” I am guessing that this is why the mayor resorted to offering the work to a wildlife trapper.

Since when does the sighting of a native wild animal that looks healthy and is behaving normally in a suburban environment require an all-out affront to furred kind? Yes, at times, the work of a nuisance wildlife professional may be necessary. But often times humane methods not requiring trapping can be employed. I do not see their case that the coyote was being a nuisance. It seems to me that he was simply being.

What I do see is this could set a precedent for other communities, suggesting it is OK to go into wild animals’ natural habitat and remove them simply because they are there. Like most times when humans try to manipulate nature, this could cause unforeseen consequences. We know that the main diet of the coyote is rabbit, rodents and sometimes a fawn. Villagers may need to prepare themselves for increased attacks on their expensive ornamental plants. Perhaps a plastic bubble would be better.

Beverly Jones

Olean