Several residents have complained about coyote activity in the wooded area to the northwest and north of the Woods Estates Subdivision and in the wooded area owned by the City to the west of the Circle Drive area, north of Fieldcrest. As a result, the City has asked Jason Harkness and his team at River Valley Wildlife to move the snares they had set in the wetlands near the Arconic facility to locations along the north edge of the Woods Estates Subdivision.
Developer Seth Woods was contacted and gave permission to the City and its contractor to set up snares on the land owned by Woods Development.
Photographic surveillance of the area over the last four weeks showed a significant amount of coyote activity in the area and specific paths coyotes were using to travel through the ravine. Harkness and his team have set snares in the area.
When an animal is caught in a snare, River Valley Wildlife is notified and they check the trap – releasing any animal that isn’t a coyote. This includes domesticated dogs as well as rabbits, possum and other woodland creatures. Coyotes on the other hand, are euthanized and then disposed of after their vital information is recorded.
Why Trap Coyotes?
Coyotes have been in the area for a long time and, in all likelihood, will remain here permanently. But reports of conflicts between coyotes and domesticated dogs are on the rise in the area. Residential areas provide food, water, shelter and space for coyotes – many of whom come to rely on garbage, pet food and yard compost as food sources.
The coyotes in Riverdale, Bettendorf and other urban parts of the Quad Cities can’t be relocated to “where they belong.” They were born and raised in urban areas and have adapted to the relatively easy life cities provide. In fact, coyotes often thrive in urban environments.
Studies show that coyote relocation is not effective. In fact, a relocated coyote will often travel long distances (up to 300 miles in some cases) to get back to their capture site. Relocation also facilitates the spread of disease from one location to another.
How Do We Deal With Coyotes?
Trapping coyotes is a short-term fix. Trapped coyotes must be killed once they are captured, but this is not a permanent solution. A community has to remove the “attractants” in order to remove the problem. This means educating ourselves about coyote behavior and modifying our own behavior when it comes to feeding our pets outside, allowing dogs and cats outside on their own, leaving garbage out, and reacting in a more aggressive way when we see coyotes in order to discourage them from interacting with people or pets (a process known as “hazing”).
Here’s a link to a book about coyote management from the Humane Society. If there’s significant interest among residents to deal with this problem more aggressively, bring your thoughts to a Town Hall meeting so we can get the process going.
Not Sure Where We’re Trapping?
Here’s a map provided by Jason Harkness and his team at River Valley Wildlife Specialists showing where they are setting snares to capture the coyotes. Please stay clear of these areas and allow Jason and his crew to do their job for the city.