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'Coexisting with Coyotes' topic of educational event

Sat, Mar 18th 2017 07:00 am
This Island coyote was photographed by Cathy Chamberlin from her car on the West River Parkway just south of Staley Road on Nov. 21, 2012.
This Island coyote was photographed by Cathy Chamberlin from her car on the West River Parkway just south of Staley Road on Nov. 21, 2012.

A wildlife educational event on Grand Island next week will feature an international expert to discuss understanding coyotes.

The seminar, "Coexisting with Coyotes," will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, at Huth Road Elementary School, 1773 Huth Road.

 This free educational presentation will provide information on coyote ecology, behavior and coexistence concepts and techniques. Lesley Sampson, a wildlife conflict specialist and co-founder of Coyote Watch Canada, will present on what Islanders can do to understand and prevent coyote conflicts.

Sampson's research has focused on observation and movement analysis of canid pack behavior, and her fieldwork has involved coyote sighting investigations and territory analyses, including work with the Canadian Ministry of Natural Resources. She is a certified educator and has received many awards recognizing her community and environmental initiatives, including being an honored recipient of the Volunteer Recognition Award by the Office of the Mayor in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

The event is co-sponsored by Citizen Coalition for Wildlife and Environment and Animal Advocates of Western New York. The coalition is a citizen group formed to educate, increase awareness, and advocate for topics relating to wildlife and the environment.

Sampson co-founded Coyote Watch Canada, a federally incorporated, non-profit organization that promotes wildlife education to foster coexistence between communities and local ecosystems. In 2001, Lesley and Coyote Watch Canada partnered with the City of Niagara Falls, Canada to pass the very first feeding wildlife by-law in Eastern Canada.

At the presentation, Sampson will present non-lethal solutions for human-wildlife coexistence. She will answer questions about the specific potential conflicts that Islanders may experience in the community.

Local artwork featuring coyotes will also be displayed at the event.

As coyotes have made their homes and raise their families in Grand Island and throughout all of New York state, it is critical to understand the important benefits that this keystone species brings to natural ecosystems and how we can utilize science-based practices to peacefully coexist.

By understanding coyote behavior and ecology and by applying common sense and using proven coyote hazing techniques, conflicts can be minimized or eliminated.

Animal Advocates of Western New York (AAWNY) was founded in 1985 and is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of animal exploitation and abuse. AAWNY is an all-volunteer educational organization with a primary goal to enlighten the public about animal injustices and to promote greater understanding and compassion to all animals.


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