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Co-existing With Wildlife – Coyotes

Many species of wildlife are adept at adjusting to changing habitats and the presence of humans, capitalizing on new food sources and nesting opportunities. With the recent report of the unfortunate loss of a small family pet to a coyote, we want to share some resources and tips for making sure your property is less attractive to wildlife such as coyotes, and for keeping your pets safe.

About Coyotes

  • Coyotes are shy and cautious animals and will typically avoid people. Coyotes that approach homes tend to do so because they are being fed.
  • Coyotes that live in urban and suburban environments do not typically travel in packs.
  • Coyotes are most active at dawn and dusk but may be seen during daylight hours.
  • Coyotes are often more active during mating season (January-March) and again once the pups are born (approximately two months later) as they search for food for their growing family.
  • Coyotes typically prey on small mammals such as rabbits and mice but may also prey on small pets if presented with an opportunity.

In areas where humans have tried to reduce coyote populations, coyotes have naturally increased their litter size. In addition, empty territories attract migrating coyotes that then choose to settle in the voided areas. However, if a coyote visiting your yard shows a lack a fear of humans or is presenting a conflict even after removing attractants from your yard, contact a nuisance trapper. Call the Division of Wildlife at 1-800-WILDLIFE (945-3543) for assistance.

Deterrence Tips

  • Remove items such as pet food that might attract a coyote to your yard, and keep garbage securely contained in your trash container or inside your garage until you are able to put it out at the curb for collection.
  • Keep outdoor grills clean.
  • Use motion-activated lighting and sprinklers.
  • Keep pets fenced in or otherwise safely contained (as a reminder, per City ordinance, cats are part of the City’s leash laws and should be kept inside or confined on the owner’s premises).
  • For small dogs, stay with them when they are outside, particularly at night when coyotes are most active.

If You Encounter a Coyote

  • DO NOT feed or attempt to tame a coyote.
  • DO NOT turn your back on a coyote.
  • DO NOT run from a coyote.
  • DO be big and loud.
  • DO move toward active or populated areas.

Additional Resources

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