Conservationists Want to Ban Hunting of Coyote, Fox at Seashore

Dr. Jonathan G. Way of Osterville, seen here with one of his study subjects - the eastern coyote. Photo courtesy Adirondack Wildlife

Dr. Jonathan G. Way of Osterville, seen here with one of his study subjects – the eastern coyote.
Photo courtesy Adirondack Wildlife

EASTHAM – Wildlife conservationists have gathered over 100 signatures in favor of an effort to ban the hunting of certain predators at the Cape Cod National Seashore.

The letter asks Seashore officials to ban the hunting of all meat-eating predators, including coyote, red fox, river otter and fisher. It could also include the gray fox, bobcat, and black bear, though those are currently not known to be on Seashore property.

Wildlife Biologist Jonathan Way of Osterville said there is no reason the predators cannot be protected.

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The Seashore bans hunting from March 1 through August 31 but follows state hunting regulations the rest of the year.

Way said there is no evidence to support the Seashore’s claim that there is an imbalance of too many of those types of predators at the Seashore. Seashore officials claim the imbalance is caused by human interaction in the form of feeding the animals.

Way said he belives over 100 coyotes have been killed in Barnstable County annually in recent years, despite state records that show only 20 to 30 per year.