COYOTES IN OUR NEIGHBORHOODS
I went to a presentation at Orange County Animal Services January, 2013 and listened to a national speaker talk about Coyote Behavior and Reducing Conflict with Humans. It was cosponsored by several organizations including The Humane Society of the U.S.
To try and summarize, coyotes are very adaptive, smart and shy. Their diet consists mostly of rodents (mice, rats, rabbits and squirrels), fruit, birds and small deer (fawns). Domestic cats, human garbage and pet food also contribute to their diet. Coyote have been known to eat anything that smells of food including fast-food restaurant bags and Styrofoam containers. Small dogs, cats and chickens are at risk of being killed if they are left outside in unsecure enclosures. Coyote can jump a six foot fence and climb chain link fences. It is suggested that you do not leave pets outdoors unsupervised and that you always use a leash when taking dogs for a walk.
Coyote do not hunt in packs but live in small family units with only the alpha female bearing pups each year. Efforts to control coyote populations through trapping and relocating and lethal extermination have proven to be ineffective. Biologically, coyote reproduction will accelerate and quickly fill an empty niche. Coyotes maybe territorial and react aggressively only if you are taking a dog for a walk and get too close to a den where they are raising their pups.
Habituation. Coyotes will grow accustomed to humans and our neighborhoods as they learn to associate our surroundings as a food supply. It is imperative that we as a community recognize and change our behaviors to discourage coyotes from entering our yards and onto our porches. We can effectively minimize human-coyote interactions by scaring them away (known as hazing) and by avoiding enticements.
Do not leave pet food outside
Keep garbage and compost in secure containers
Small pets should not be left outdoors without supervision, and above all
Do Not Feed Coyotes.
Hazing is a group of simple deterrent practices to re-program coyotes to fear humans and to avoid us and our homes. Hazing methods include making a lot of noise and waving your arms and standing your ground when in close contact with a coyote. Bang on pots and yell ‘Go Away Coyote.’ Throwing sticks and rocks will also dissuade coyote from feeling comfortable around humans. They will not attack you. If you have small pets with you, pick them up and hold them in your arms or put them behind you and face down the coyote. One should never run away from a coyote. It is important to persist in these behaviors each and every time you make contact with a coyote and not let up until they have clearly left a great distance, not just draw back ten or 20 feet. With time these measures will provide sustained results. See, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8OuXTZmwh0
For more information and tips, see: www.humanesociety.org/animals/coyotes
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