Speaking of coyotes

A coyote on the north shore of Martha's Vineyard. — Liz Olson

If coyotes have been on your mind, a talk with Dan Proulx, problem animal control agent and wildlife rehabilitator at Dan’s Wildlife Rescue, may be able to answer your questions. In an event co-sponsored by the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society and Tisbury Animal Control, Proulx “will discuss what he’s learned about coyote behavior and describe how to keep yourself and your animals safe,” according to the announcement. 

The announcement states that “coyotes have been spotted on trail cams across the Island, from Edgartown to Aquinnah.” When the coyote was spotted in Aquinnah in early January, Island naturalist Gus Ben David told The Times that this was one of an estimated five individuals that are on Martha’s Vineyard. However, he was unsure if they were breeding. 

“Coyote Talk with Dan Proulx” is a free event that will take place at the Martha’s Vineyard Ag Hall on Saturday, Feb. 4, from 10 am to 11:30 am. The event is free. To RSVP, send an email to 4h@mvagsoc.org or call 508-693-9549.


  1. From what I have read about the coyote is that they can be dangerous to human children, cats, dogs, and other wildlife here on the Vineyard. I haven’t heard anything about if there had ever been a predator spieces, as such, on the island other than man. If not then coyote’s need to be stopped.
    Just like our domesticated pets the chances of rabis should be startling enough to not be inclusive of them. As well, the Elizabeth Islands have had this issue on going for years, it would be a good idea to have a investigative reporter find out more what they are doing to cope and as well, what other off island communities are doing to protect and make their citizens aware of the pros and cons of this animal.
    Let’s be pro active not reactive before things get beyond safe measures.

    • You would rather kill them than coexist?
      Naushon has had coyotes for 25 years.
      They have lost one lamb.
      Naushon used to have a small sickly deer herd.
      Now they are much bigger and healthier.
      Ticks love sickly deer.
      Gus BenDavid at Felix Neck is a regular Naushon visitor, no need to send a reporter.
      Gus knows a thing or two about wildlife and their interaction with humans.
      Heny Penny, the sky is not falling.

  2. I am originally from Northeastern Vermont and have a background in managing woodlands for wildlife. We do not have packs of coyotes, and the loss of livestock would be ever so minimal. I raised chickens, ducks, turkeys, pigs, etc. in the far reaches of the north country and never had a predation from a coyote. Never had a dog or friends dog killed by a coyote either. Coyotes are opportunistic feeders and are often found eaten carcasses of deceased animals. They will if in numbers single out weak or sick dying deer, which is great seeing as our deer have no natural predators on this island. Education is important here and not assuming these animals just go around picking off peoples pets. We have so many turkeys and deer on the island much into the thousands, that they would only balance it out not wipe it out. With all the tularemia found on this island I welcome coyotes to eat up thousands of them. Let’s remember turkeys, rabbits, mice, and deer are major carriers of tick born illnesses so I don’t shed any tears for a coyote doing what mother nature intended for it to do, which is to keep an ecological balance. Don’t worry dog owners….Labradoodles aren’t on the menu of the Eastern Coyote. If for some reason the Eastern Coyote establishes itself here in greater numbers, then having a management plan would be needed. Also we must be reminded that hawks, skunks, rats, and raccoons are responsible for MIA Chickens. Let’s welcome these beautiful creatures to our island, and stop making assumptions that they will wreak havoc.


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