September 19, 2008
It was reported on the front page of today’s Oregonian that the City of Sherwood has issued “shoot to kill” orders to its police department for coyotes observed within city limits. If in fact this was the case, Audubon Society of Portland would strongly oppose this policy. Coyotes are common across our urban landscape and, in general, conflicts with humans can be avoided through proactive educational outreach. In some cases coyotes can pose risks to the public, but those instances are extremely rare and should be investigated on a case by case basis and any lethal control should be carefully targeted.
Audubon was contacted this morning by Sherwood City Manager Jim Patterson and Sherwood Police Chief Jeff Groth. Both assured us that in fact Sherwood’s approach to coyotes had been distorted. Based on these conversations and the public statement on their website, we are satisfied that Sherwood is moving forward in a responsible and effective manner. Specifically they informed us that Sherwood has not issued a “shoot to kill” orders. They are addressing aggressive behavior directed towards humans on a case by case basis. They also recognize that predation on free roaming unattended pets is normal coyote behavior best addressed by promoting more responsible pet ownership rather than lethal control of wildlife. We look forward to working with the City of Sherwood on educating citizens about living with coyotes and support their path forward that the City has described.
Go to the City of Sherwood Website to read their statement: http://www.ci.sherwood.or.us/
Go to the following link to read an Audubon letter to the City