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6th
Nov 2015

UPDATE: BEWARE OF COYOTES

 

a special informative article from councilwoman Judy Noonan

 

   The coyote is one of the most adaptable animals in the world. It can change it’s breeding habits, diet and social dynamic to survive in a wide variety of habitats.
 

   Although the coyote has been observed killing sheep, poultry and other livestock, it does not subsist on domestic animals. Food habit studies reveal that the principle diet is composed of mice, rabbits, squirrels other small rodents, insects even reptiles and the fruits and berries of wild plants.
 

   Though coyote attacks get a lot of publicity, they are extremely rare given the size of the coyote population. But to coexist we need to make sure coyotes don’t get too comfortable around us, for both our safety and their own. They are very smart and trainable. Every encounter teaches them how to act around us.
 

   In order to avoid dangerous encounters, experts recommend “COYOTE HAZING”which is knowing how to scare coyotes off so they learn to avoid people. According to the Humane Society of the United States hazing consists of using deterrents, such as noisemakers, small projectiles or a hose to move the coyote out of an area.  The Coyote Hazing field guide recommends that you stand your ground, make eye contact and advance toward the coyote with your hazing tools making yourself as big and noisy as possible and don’t stop until the coyote is gone. The coyote may run away but then stop after a distance and look at you, it is important to continue to haze the coyote until he completely leaves the area. You have to teach the coyote that he is not welcome to reinforce boundaries.
 

   Teaching the local coyotes to avoid us is more effective than trying to eliminate them for a number of reasons. If you kill the stable resident population, transients will come into the territory that don’t know to stay away from people. In fact given the coyote’s social structure, killing can actually increase the population. Coyotes normally only have one mating pair that breeds annually but if one of them is killed the rest of the adults in the group may breed. Leaving things alone and learning to coexist, we have a more stable population.
 

   A coyote who has learned to avoid humans can actually be good to have around. If the coyote is trained to avoid people, that coyote is going to keep other coyote away as well as other nuisance rodents.
 

   The most important key to coexisting is to not tempt coyotes closer with trash cans full of delicacies and other edible attractions. Secure your garbage cans. You can even tape a stocking full of moth balls to the can lid to throw off the scent. Clean up around your bird feeders.  Everything that falls to the ground is eaten by other small animals and rodents that attract the coyote. Do not leave food outside for stray cats. Pick up your water bowls. If you have a fruit tree, pick up the fallen fruit. Coyotes love fruit. And Never intentionally feed the coyote !!!
 

   It is important to remember that hazing will not keep coyotes from another temptation, your wondering cats. Cats are not a major prey item, only about 1% of their diet, but if it’s your cat even 1% is too many.
Although we can’t control wildlife , we can control our pets, so that’s the only sure solution. Keep your cat’s indoors and your dogs leashed under adult supervision at all times.

 

   And if the coyote is in the woods or common area not bothering anything, treat it like any other wildlife. If it is minding it’s own business, leave it alone, don’t approach don’t feed don’t do anything to engage, just appreciate it. If it’s in your driveway or someplace else where a coyote should not be, then you want to teach it boundaries. Staying out of our neighborhoods is an important message for coyotes to understand.

 


 

COYOTE PRECAUTIONS

Coyotes are typically secretive, nocturnal animals. However, they can be seen anytime of day. Following these Guidelines can help reduce the likelihood of conflicts with coyotes.

The Eastern Coyote looks like medium sized German Shepard, with long thick fur, a full bushy tail, and pointed ears.

•    Never feed or attempt to tame coyotes
•    Chase away coyotes by making loud noises or clapping.
•    Leaving cat or dog food outdoor feeding can attract coyote.
•    Put garbage in tightly closed containers that cannot be tipped over.
•    Remove sources of water.
•    Pick up fallen fruit and cover compost piles.`
•    Do not leave small pets or children outside unsupervised.
•    Install motion-sensitive lights around the house.
•    Clear brush and dense weeds away from dwelling.

 

 
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