Marin Independent Journal

Belvedere enlists consultant to aid in coyote strategy

- By Giuseppe Ricapito

Belvedere plans to study coyote denning sites and possible attractant­s as it forges ahead with a wildlife management plan.

The assessment will be conducted by Humane Wildlife Control, a pest control company in Moss Landing, said Mayor Jim Lynch. The project will identify factors that could be drawing the animals into the city.

“It is cyclical, but our vigilance around community hygiene and making this a less attractive place for coyotes has started now,” Lynch said. “It's about how we fix the problem on a long-term and ongoing basis.”

Coyotes have been a major issue of public concern in the city, with several residents attesting to aggressive coyotes and mauled pets.

City Manager Robert Zadnik said in a letter to residents that the city committee on coyotes presented a progress report on its efforts to manage invasive coyote contacts. The city plans to develop a comprehens­ive wildlife management plan that will detail guidelines and policies to reduce human contacts in Belvedere.

The assessment is considered a first step in the developmen­t of the plan. Work is expected to begin this month and results are expected in between 30 to 45 days.

Lynch said the $2,360 contract with Humane Wildlife

Control did not require City Council approval.

The company's website says its approach is “based on strong ethical principles and respect for the intrinsic value of non-human beings.”

“Whereas convention­al pest control companies focus on `getting rid of' the animal(s), our goal is to identify and address the factors contributi­ng to the nuisance, in an attempt to resolve the problem permanentl­y,” it says.

Belvedere plans to integrate additional programs into its coyote response project. The city will add a coyote hotline and a web-enabled reporting system, and it has developed a yard attractant checklist to help residents eliminate food, water and shelter that could draw the animals.

The city is also training its first responders about coyotes and plans to assess its properties to eliminate attractant­s on them.

Camilla Fox, executive director of Project Coyote, a nonprofit organizati­on, said it is committed to advocating for Belvedere taking a “humane course of action with regard to living with coyotes and other wildlife.”

Fox said there is a “once silent majority” in Belvedere who seek to coexist with wildlife.

“We support their emerging voice to help their neighbors do the same,” she said.

The city has considered con

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