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Maine’s coyotes are a keystone carnivore. And what does that mean? It means that as wild hunters they have the capacity to affect the health of Maine’s landscape in positive and important ways.
Their presence can protect the habitat of our birds, butterflies and bees. Their presence can protect our forests from overgrazing of large herbivores. Their presence can protect so many lives from disease, and that includes us.
So I ask? Why is it that this important carnivore is subjected to year round exploitation, day and night? And this killing is fun for those who participate in it.
My answer is that there still remains the ugly vestiges of European ignorance and hatred of the carnivore that they brought over the ocean to this new land. Our coyotes cannot do their important work as a carnivore when they are so heavily persecuted.
I suggest that we free ourselves of the old world, and colonial hatred and violence to carnivores. It is time! We owe this to our children. Nothing has been passed down to us from those who came before, so often all that is left is fear. So it is time to let go of the fear and educate ourselves and show our children a completely different relationship, one of respect.
The free for all permitted in Maine regulations is nothing more than permission for crime. Let us show our children another way.
Carnivore conservation biologist