The Sanibel Arms Vacation Guide
Sanibel Island to Spend $15,000 Studying Coyote Droppings
Sanibel Island condos are popular vacation accommodations for tourists and vacationers seeking oceanfront rentals. Many people come to stay, and about 1,000 people move to Florida every day. Apparently, it's also becoming an attractive destination for coyotes as well. According to the Southwest Florida news source WinkNews.com, biologists in the area are about to begin a $15,000 study on coyote droppings.
The coyote excrement itself isn't particularly what the biologists are interested in, but rather the sea turtle eggs the coyotes are eating prior to getting to that point. Sanibel Island condo visitors and residents alike have been aware of the problem for the last couple years, but it's gotten worse over the last several months.
"Of course one of our biggest concerns is the threat that they have to endangered and threatened species that we’ve worked really hard to protect here on Sanibel, like sea turtles and gopher tortoises, shore birds and a number of other things," said Holly Milbrandt, the city's acting natural resources director.
According to a piece from earlier this spring in Sanibel's local IslandSunNews.com, coyotes naturally migrated to the south and east regions of Florida over the last 25 years or so. They were first spotted on Sanibel Island in 2011, which is an interesting coincidence considering that was the same year an all-time record was set when over 87 million people visited Florida. Today, they can be found in all 67 of Florida's counties. Although they can present dangers and risks anywhere they go, the potential harm to an endangered species like sea turtles is especially concerning.
With an average temperature of 82.7 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer South Florida might seem like an odd place to find coyotes, but contrary to popular belief they've been known to survive and thrive in hot and even desert climates.
Biologists are hoping that by studying their droppings they'll be able to determine how the coyotes navigate the island and come up with a solution to keep them off the beaches away from sea turtle eggs and the babies inside them.