Action Alert

Speak Out Against Dangerous Proposal to Allow Night Hunting of
Coyotes in North Carolina
(by April 16)

Coyotes in North Carolina need your help. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) is proposing new rules that would allow hunters to kill coyotes at night. This proposal is dangerous for animals and for people.

Currently coyotes can be killed in North Carolina year round in unlimited numbers- except that it must take place during daylight hours. The night hunting proposal would allow 24-hour hunting of coyotes with the use of artificial lights and hunting on Sundays on private land using archery equipment.

Proponents of the new rule want to expand recreational coyote killing. However, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has expressed concern over the proposed rule, arguing that it will further endanger the imperiled red wolf (Canis rufus)- the most endangered wolf species in the world that exists only in North Carolina.

It is estimated that fewer than 110 red wolves exist in the wild- and shooting is the number one cause of death. Even for an expert in daylight, it is difficult to distinguish red wolves from coyotes, much less for a non-expert at night. This proposal could have devastating impacts on the vulnerable red wolf population, as many more wolves will be killed by hunters who mistake them for coyotes.

Night hunting is also dangerous to hikers and campers who may be outdoors and mistaken for wildlife.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: The NCWRC is accepting public comments on the proposed rules until April 16. Please write to the Commission today to let them know that you oppose the rules allowing for night hunting of coyotes. Points to include in your letter (please personalize and use your own words):

  • Allowing night hunting is ecologically reckless and ethically indefensible. This proposal places the endangered red wolves in jeopardy because night hunting increases chances for red wolves to be mistaken for coyotes and shot. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires that red wolves be afforded the highest level of protection and night hunting would undermine such protections.
  • Night hunting and archery hunting is dangerous for people and their pets.
  • Research has shown that expanding indiscriminate coyote killing may actually be counterproductive as coyotes fill in vacant habitat niches with larger litter sizes, greater pup survival and the egress of coyotes from surrounding areas.
  • Increasing lethal management by allowing for 24-hour hunting is not an effective solution to reduce real or perceived conflicts between people, coyotes and domestic animals. There are many effective non-lethal methods which include education and the implementation of coexistence tools.
  • Coyotes play an important ecological role in controlling rodent populations and cleaning ecosystems of carrion. Coyotes also help to limit mesocarnivores (e.g. foxes, raccoons) thereby boosting bird populations and diversity.
  • Fatal shots at night and with archery equipment are less likely, thus resulting in more animal suffering and pain. Studies have documented that for every animal killed by a bowhunter, another is merely wounded and may die a slow and painful death.

To submit your comments:

NC Residents: please consider attending one of the following five public hearings and voicing your opposition (hearings begin at 7pm):

  • March 20, Iredell County Agricultural Extension Center, 444 Bristol Dr., Statesville.
  • March 21, District Court #1, Buncombe County Courthouse, 60 Court Plaza, Asheville.
  • March 26, Bladen County Courthouse, 106 W. Broad Street, Elizabethtown.
  • March 28, Room 153, Fulford Building, Pitt Community College, 4381 County Home Rd., Greenville.
  • March 29, Centennial Campus Center for Wildlife Education, 1751 Varsity Dr., Raleigh.

For more info.: http://www.ncwildlife.org/News/NewsArticle/tabid/416/IndexID/7806/Default.aspx



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