February 7, 2013

Dear Vinings Village Community:

When residents began to express safety concerns after observing coyote activity in the Vinings area, the Vinings Village Homeowners Association ("VVHA") responded quickly, as the community did a few years ago, by contacting a coyote trapper.  A communication was distributed to residents regarding the funding required to contract with the trapper.  As a result of this communication, several people and organizations familiar with coyote behavior and trapping practices contacted the VVHA.  The information they presented led to questions regarding the effectiveness/impact of coyote removal and the practices of many in the trapping business.

The VVHA decided to put the trapping initiative on temporary hold, pending further investigation.  We read everything we could find on the topic, spoke with other civic and homeowners associations, and attended a DeKalb County town hall meeting on coyote trapping where three experts addressed coyote behavior and various community responses.  At this meeting, it was learned that Mt. Paran Rd and Druid Hills Associations, after an experience similar to the VVHA's, chose not to support trapping. Instead, these associations adopted alternative programs, informing their communities of the reasons behind increased coyote sightings and offering ideas to address the issue.

Below are some of the more pertinent facts which emerged from the VVHA's investigation:  

* It is illegal in Georgia to relocate trapped coyotes.  Trapped coyotes are either killed or very often are sold to penning facilities for dog attack "training" or sport. 

* Coyotes mate for life.  Normally, only the alpha female breeds.  If the alpha female happens to be trapped and killed, other females become eligible to breed.  This has the unintended effect of increasing the size of the coyote population in an area.

* Killing coyotes can temporarily reduce the population in a given area, but other "transients" will quickly move in to fill the void.  That is why trappers must be hired year after year to be effective.

* Wildlife trapping must be done on private property, according to state law.  Other homeowners associations have experienced unintended consequences from setting traps such as the trapping of family pets, other wildlife, and on occasion, injuries to humans.

Based largely on this new knowledge and the fact that coyotes in the Vinings area are not acting so aggressively as to represent a high level threat to our community, the VVHA has decided not to support a trapping initiative at this time.

IF YOU MADE A DONATION TO THE COYOTE FUND, THE VVHA WILL RETURN YOUR CHECK BY MAIL.  IF YOU USED  PAYPAL, THE CHARGE WILL BE REVERSED AND CREDITED TO YOUR ACCOUNT.


 Sincerely,

Vinings Village Homeowners Association


 
 
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