Letters to the Editor

Evidence shows link between coyotes and bird populations | Letter to the Editor

Thank you for your timely story on coyotes. Co-existence with coyotes is possible and has much to do with how human populations behave. Part of peaceful co-existence includes learning about our resident coyotes and their habits. Vashon Nature Center is interested in keeping records of Island natural history, including coyote sightings around Vashon. We’d like to know location, number and time of day that coyotes were seen or heard. Please contact Vashon Nature Center (www.vashonnaturecenter.org) if you see or hear coyotes.

For the reader who wrote a letter to The Beachcomber wondering about feral cat populations and coyotes (“Will cats be affected,” Jan. 11), Soule and Crooks, in their 1999 article in “Nature,” showed that songbird populations strongly increased in semi-urban areas when coyotes were present. This was related to a decrease in use of these areas by smaller predators (including raccoons and cats). They could not determine whether this was due to coyotes actually killing cats and raccoons or whether these animals just started to avoid areas where coyotes were known to be. But regardless, songbird populations rebounded significantly.

 

— Bianca Perla, Director, Vashon Nature Center

 

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