As 33-year residents of Bluebird Canyon, we deplore the slaughter of the remaining coyote population in the 1100 acre city greenbelt adjoining Morningside Drive.
The simple fact is that this greenbelt is also home to several rodent species including rats, mice, and gophers that are now going to be free of the population control exerted by the coyotes. These rodents can easily cross the street and enter the grounds and homes of residents. We experienced this some years ago when we installed a birdseed feeder in our garden; the birds did indeed arrive, but they were joined by rats feasting on birdseed dropped by the birds.
Effective control of Laguna coyotes was maintained for many years by the police department’s animal control officer, who removed any problem coyotes to a more distant wilderness area, without the need to kill them.
Because of the drought, fewer coyotes are already in evidence. In our area, only three coyotes were in evidence; all of them were trapped and poisoned in the last two weeks. This recent slaughter policy was instituted without the knowledge of anyone in the area whom we have questioned so far. Rumor suggests that the killings were accelerated by the nocturnal entrance of a coyote through the intentionally open doors of a Laguna home; regrettably, the coyote killed a small dog in the house. Any Laguna resident who has seen the numerous press accounts of criminal human entrance through open doors should know that providing easy nocturnal access to a home is a foolhardy practice.
Manfred and Gloria Wolff, Laguna Beach