Depending on who you talk to, coyotes are either a tremendous nuisance or a necessary part of nature. Which is it? Let's do some research into the pros and cons of these animals who's numbers seem to be growing.

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My family lives on the outskirts of Quincy and coyotes are a nightly fixture in our lives. I can't remember a night where there isn't a group that is howling at the moon. I'm a fan of wildlife and understand they are a part of the ecosystem that makes our part of America work. But, there are those who would love to thin their numbers.

What are the pros of coyotes?

No better site to turn to for the benefits of coyotes than...Project Coyote. They say that "studies indicate that coyotes limit mesocarnivore populations largely through competitive exclusion, thereby having a positive impact on ground-nesting birds and songbird diversity".  That means skunks, foxes and feral cats aren't good for songbird populations and coyotes help...manage those so to speak.

They also argue that coyotes can help those that live in the city deal with less rodents and by default possibly less spread of disease. I think that's a bit of a reach, but I'll let that be a part of the pro list.

Project Coyote also says that  "the most persecuted native carnivore the Coyote represents all misunderstood & exploited predators."

What are the cons of coyotes?

Wildlife Illinois says that coyotes can be carriers of mange, distemper and rabies. That is a provable fact.

Some pet owners believe that coyotes can lure pets from their yards and ambush them in the woods although most scientists and conservationists believe that simply isn't true. I do remember when I shared news that a coyote had been spotted in Quincy a year or so ago, authorities were warning pet owners to keep track of their small pets so someone in power thinks coyotes at least potentially can be a threat to pets.

I am of the opinion that there's a happy medium somewhere between both groups. I would not want coyotes eliminated entirely from our ecosystem, but I also think there is such a thing as too many.

Can't we all just get along (with coyotes)?

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