After months of repeated coyote sightings in the Edgemont Condo complex on Martling Avenue in Tarrytown, the property manager decided he needed to take definitive action when a coyote on March 19.
Jason Braun . Hunting and trapping of furbearing animals is permitted with a license in Westchester in season. Coyote hunting in particular gets an extended season which just ended this week; trapping furbearing animals is generally permitted with a license only through Feb. 15. Under such circumstances as a condo with a playground and a perceived threat, exceptions are made.
The end result of trapping a coyote is not transporting it somewhere else but killing it, said Wendy Rosenblatt, of the DEC public relations department. As defined in the DEC's wildlife regulation guide: “To trap means to take, kill or capture wildlife with traps, deadfalls and other devices commonly used to take wildlife, including the shooting or killing of lawfully trapped animals. It also includes all related activities such as placing, setting, staking or checking traps or assisting another person with these activities. You do not need a hunting license to shoot a trapped animal.”
Some commenters here on Patch following the Edgemont story have expressed outrage at this outcome.
I am HORRIFIED that the condo I live in sought after and was granted permission from the DEC to hire a trapper to set traps for one coyote. The license, as noted by Joe above was also permitted to KILL. KILL! I find that horrific. The notice, by the way, omitted any reference to the KILL part.
We walk these woods every day, see the coyote(s) every day, and every day these coyotes behave normally. They do NOT stand their ground, they do NOT stalk us, they do NOT threaten us. It is a disgrace to destroy what little we have left of our natural habitat.
Then there's the Long Island man who reached out to Patch offering to help our community coexist with these animals. Frank Vincenti, founder of the Wild Dog coyote education foundation, has been giving talks on the subject for 20 years, one of which will be held tonight in the Bronx (see below for details).
Vincenti blames the influx of coyotes in these types of areas on the indoor/outdoor cats, and increasing feral community, that come with such a complex and its turnover demographic. But the problem lies not exactly with the cats but the humans. “[Coyotes] are not attracted to the cats but to the excess food left for them," Vincenti said.
“Coyotes want nothing to do with us," Vincenti said, "they have ingrained phobia of humans which you can reinforce not through lethal means but by hazing them." Vincenti has been known to get out of his car and chase after the animals, making a lot of noise.
He also noted how the condo manager had reported that at first there were four animals, then three, then two, now one. “They don't have a good survial rate...it's not an easy life for them,” Vincenti said.
Vincenti said he has reached out to Braun to present a free talk to the condo dwellers, but can't get further than his secretary. He said he also tried to do the same for the Rye community , but “they were uninterested. It could have been prevented. I definitely want to help Edgemont.”
Vincenti has also approached the DEC but said they “don't want any affiliation with a non-for-profit. They have their agenda. Mine is not just hunting and trapping but to coexist.”
The DEC said they too promote coexistence first. Kevin Clarke, DEC wildlife expert, had procedures that make the coyotes want to avoid humans.
“Certainly we always give people alternatives,” said Rosenblatt, “They are part of the landscape; they are going to be there. But we understand people are worried and they did the right thing to call the police. If you act like prey and run, they may chase you; it's an instinct they have.” She added that it's hard in this instance to determine what really happened verses what was perceived, and if the animal was in fact acting particularly aggressive or not.
However, at such times when an animal becomes a safety concern, other measures can be taken. A police officer “can always take an animal out” if there is a threat at any time without a permit. Anyone else can file a "nuisance" permit to do the same, Rosenblatt said.
Tonight: Frank Vincenti, Director of the Wild Dog Foundation, discusses the presence of wild coyotes in the greater New York City area and how to peacefully live with them. Thursday, March 29, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. at the Riverdale Library (Map and directions) in the Bronx.