Carolina Beach Exploring Increased Coyote Sightings

Carolina Beach Exploring Increased Coyote Sightings https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/conservation/wildlife/Pages/Coyote.aspx

Carolina Beach Exploring Increased Coyote Sightings Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 13 November 2019 01:19

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH -  Interim Carolina Beach Town Manager Ed Parvin updated the Town Council  during their November 12th, meeting on efforts to address recent sightings of coyotes throughout Town.

Parvin explained he met with officials from the Carolina Beach State Park, U.S. Army (which owns land on the west side of Pleasure Island) and other agencies to discuss the coyote population on the Island.

He explained, "We've reviewed coyote management plants in the coastal areas up and down North Carolina. And this is not a new issue for the coastal areas or anywhere in North Carolina or the country."

He explained, "We've had some issues with them. If you invite them in, put food out or have an inviting atmosphere, they will come into the [area] and they do eat small animals and will eat basically anything from a raccoon, opossum and it could be a cat as well. So keeping those coyotes away from our citizens is possible through education."

Parvin explained, "There are some things we want to get out to the public" and, "We will get information out on social media and our website. Keeping your pets on a leash is one. No outdoor food supply. I've heard some people are working hard to keep animals away while neighbors will actually have food out to feed wildlife. So the message we want to send out is you do not want to have a food supply available for whatever wildlife you are trying to feed. It would not be a good idea."

Parvin said one method that has proved productive in warding off coyotes is "hazing". That's when people make loud noises such as screaming or use a garden hose to spray water on a coyote. He explained, "They will realize that it's not a safe place for them and they will go away. As we have more and more encounters we are going to encourage people to push those coyotes back into the MOTSU buffer area."

The buffer area on the west side of Pleasure Island and is own by the Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point - the largest ammunition depot on the east coast - and is entirely undeveloped woodland.

Parvin said there have been encounters in Town, but on Bald Head Island to the south of neighboring Kure Beach, "They've had much more on the beach and they eat all the eggs out of sea turtle nests."

He explained, "If you are having a specific issue on your property, there is an opportunity to touch base with a wildlife damage control agent or certified trapper. Either one of those can be identified on North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website and they can help trap and remove coyotes. Right now, we are not going the route of the Town doing that type of program, but we are encouraging the hazing and putting out educational materials for our citizens to be aware of."

In a recent review of coyote attacks on humans from 1970-2015, a study documented 367 attacks by non-rabid coyotes in the United States and Canada, two of which were fatal. In comparison, 4.5 million dog bites occur nationwide annually; in 2016 alone, 31 dog bites resulted in fatalities.

Recently some residents of Carolina Beach and Kure Beach have voiced concerns following reports a coyote killings cats in areas such as near downtown Carolina Beach.

The Town of Carolina Beach is currently communicating with the Carolina Beach State Park and the Army - which owns the majority of the undeveloped land west of Dow Road for a buffer zone for the Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point across the Cape Fear River.

However, to date the Town has taken no action on the issue of protecting the public and pets. Several people have reported witnessing coyotes killing animals on Pleasure Island.

Bald Head Island - to the south of Kure Beach - has hired someone to trap coyotes  and euthanize them.

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