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Neighbors say developments are displacing wildlife in Riverview, commissioners consider moratorium

Posted at 5:33 PM, Nov 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-06 05:19:47-05

RIVERVIEW, Fla. — Video of howling coyotes in Riverview shows how the animals are losing their habitats, residents say. Meanwhile, commissioners are considering a pause on new developments.

The new video shows a pack of coyotes howling in some of the only undeveloped land left off Rhodine and Balm Riverview Roads.

Michelle Quessenberry lives in Riverview and shared this video of coyotes howling.

“This pack of coyotes have been pushed into the wetlands directly behind my house now due to all the building going on off Rhodine,” she said.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission tells ABC Action News the video sounds like a family group of coyotes.

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“They will howl like that for a variety of reasons,” a spokesperson wrote, “sometimes sirens or train whistles will trigger them to howl, too.”

As south Hillsborough loses its untouched land and wildlife habitats, FWC says it’s important to know how to coexist with coyotes.

“To prevent conflicts with wildlife including coyotes, it is important for people to avoid intentionally or unintentionally feeding urban wildlife by securing trash or other artificial food sources,” FWC said.

However, two moratoriums could soon be placed in two growing areas in south Hillsborough County that could stop new developments.

County commissioners will hold two public hearings on Wednesday about stopping new rezoning applications.

Last month, Commissioner Stacy White requested a moratorium on rezoning applications in an area known as RP-2, the Balm Riverview area.

RELATED: Moratorium puts rezoning in south Hillsborough county on pause

This move will stop developers from rezoning open land in that zone.

Commissioner White told ABC Action News that there’s still thousands of acres in that area that could go up for rezoning.

This will be White's second public hearing on the moratorium.

“So, if a property is already rezoned they already have their density entitlements, we can’t stop them from getting their permitting and building, so anything that’s already rezoned will move forward but we still have thousands of acres in that area that’s not yet rezoned,” White said last month.

Moving forward, Commissioner Mariella Smith wants a public hearing on a moratorium for the Wimauma Villages area in the county as well. This area will have it's public hearing at 9 a.m. Wednesday as well before county commissioners.

As for coyotes in urban areas, the FWC said it’s important how to exist with them. For information from FWC click here.