A New Brunswick village's plan to hunt down coyotes near populated areas probably won't get rid of the animals, says a wildlife biologist.
"Coyotes are typically in an area for a reason - there's a food resource there," said Jean-Michel Devink, of the provincial Department of Natural Resources.
"If you remove those individual coyotes, chances are there are other coyotes that will move in," he said.
The community of Hillsborough, outside Moncton, has asked its pest control officer to track, trap and shoot the animals that have been coming closer to neighbourhoods and have killed at least two dogs.
The move follows a Richibucto-area woman being attacked by a coyote on Feb.10 when she took her dog out in her backyard in the middle of the night.
When Marie Simon's story about wrestling with the coyote became public, concerned citizens started coming forward, reporting coyote sightings around their homes as well.
The animals seem to be more abundant and more brazen, so Hillsborough council decided to be proactive and deal with the problem, said Mayor Donna Bennett.
But Devink contends the best way to keep coyotes away from populated areas is the same method used for other animals, such as raccoons and bears - not leaving open trash around homes and keeping small pets inside.
Even offering to reward people who kill the animals is not likely to work because coyotes breed to fill their hunting grounds, he said.
"If you remove some individuals, you create space for more to have food and opportunities for territories. So coyotes are going to breed even more to compensate for that loss. So there's just no point."
Devink points to the experience of Nova Scotia, which tried a bounty in the 1980s.
"We were considering it at the time but we sat back and watched what happened there and we know that during the period, I believe it was four years, maybe five, that Nova Scotia had the bounty, the population actually increased."