From Columbia University’s campus to the woods of Queens’ Rochdale Village, there’s been a spate of coyote sightings this year, and the city may let them move in — if they behave.
“The policy is to attempt to move coyotes to more isolated areas if they pose a nuisance, and if necessary, trap, vaccinate and release,” according to a Health Department spokesperson.
But release where? Asked if coyotes will be allowed to roam free in Central Park if not deemed a public nuisance, the health department said, “Wildlife is a feature of every habitat, including New York City. Our goal is to manage wildlife in a way that is safest for animals and people.”
Reports have been circulating of a coyote couple in Central Park, though no one knows whether they’re using the park as a breeding ground, said Paul Curtis, Cornell professor and wildlife specialist.
When a coyote was caught and tranquilized after a romp through Harlem in January, the Parks Dept. released it in the Bronx’s Pelham Park.
“I think coyotes will survive in Manhattan. Whether or not that’s a wise policy decision, that will take some time … It takes time to know how they will behave,” Curtis said. “Do we leave them there or will they be a threat to small dogs?”