More than 9,000 sign online petition calling for end to coyote killing; Calabasas adopts model coyote management plan
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The City Council of Calabasas, California, voted unanimously on Wednesday to prohibit any city funds from being spent on coyote trapping and to instead adopt a coyote management plan that shifts the focus from killing to coexistence.
The news follows a popular campaign on Change.org created by Project Coyote and the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI). The online petition campaign offered to help the city create and implement a humane management program and asked it to support a progressive coyote coexistence plan. By Wednesday’s council meeting, more than 9,000 people had joined the campaign on Change.org.
“We commend the city for adopting the changes that Project Coyote and the Animal Welfare Institute put forth to make this a model plan,” said Fox, executive director of the California-based Project Coyote and wildlife consultant with AWI. “We believe this is one of the best coyote coexistence plans out there and we look forward to working with the city, the National Park Service and other agencies in assisting in public education.” Fox delivered the 9,000 petition signatures and presented testimony on behalf of Project Coyote and AWI at the October 12 public hearing prior to the council’s vote.
Camilla Fox and local Calabasas resident Randi Feilich Hirsch, who first brought this issue to the attention of city council, worked with city officials to strengthen the plan and shift the focus from killing to emphasize long-term education, reduction of wildlife attractants, and implementing hazing for habituated coyotes. The city is already using Project Coyote’s educational resources and airing its film American Coyote: Still Wild at Heart weekly on its public access TV station.
“It really shows that concerned citizens can speak up at the local level and make changes in city policy,” said Feilich Hirsch, Calabasas resident and Project Coyote’s Southern California representative. “We are optimistic that local residents will embrace this plan and become actively involved in coexisting with our wildlife neighbors.” Calabasas Mayor Pro Tem, Mary Sue Maurer, said, “With the expertise of Project Coyote, the Animal Welfare Institute and the National Park Service, Calabasas residents and coyotes will mutually benefit and live more harmoniously together. I encourage all Californians that live alongside coyotes to learn more about these wondrous creatures and how we coexist together.”
“As the gateway to the Santa Monica Mountains, our city is a leading proponent of informed wildlife policies and education,” said Calabasas City Council member Lucy Martin. “Thanks to Project Coyote and the National Park Service for their help in developing a public safety solution that is both humane and effective.”
“Project Coyote started the campaign on Change.org to give a voice to both the people and coyotes of Calabasas,” said Stephanie Feldstein, Director of Organizing for Change.org. “More than 9,000 people from around the world joined their call for coexistence, and the Calabasas Environment Commission and City Council listened. It has been impressive to watch residents, activists and officials come together to take action on this issue.”
To view Project Coyote and AWI’s campaign on Change.org: http://www.change.org/petitions/help-stop-indiscriminate-coyote-killing-in-calabasas-ca
For more information on Project Coyote, please visit: http://www.projectcoyote.org/ Project Coyote promotes educated coexistence between people and coyotes by championing progressive management policies that reduce human-coyote conflict, supporting innovative scientific research, and by fostering respect for and understanding of America’s native wild “song dog.”
For more information on the Animal Welfare Institute, please visit: http://awionline.org The Animal Welfare Institute is a non-profit charitable organization founded in 1951 to alleviate the suffering caused to animals by humans.
For more information on Change.org, please visit: http://www.change.org/about Change.org is the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change — growing by more than 400,000 new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country.