Over the years it seems the number of coyote sightings has been on the rise. With the attraction of small animals, discarded food, and trash readily available, these normally shy and secretive animals are making their presence well known, throughout our communities. The best approach to living peacefully with our wild neighbor is to educate ourselves so we may coexist in a conflict free environment.
What is a Coyote?
A Coyote or Canis Latarans is small mammal related to the canine species. Their appearance is similar to a German Shepherd Dog with slender physique. The ears are large standing upright and the muzzle is narrow. Their tails are long and bushy, similar to a fox's tail. The coat is reddish brown usually combined with shades of grey and black.
Coyotes can be found in urban and/or rural areas throughout North and Central America. Studies show coyotes living in urban areas tend to survive longer than their counterparts in suburban areas. You may think living in an urban environment would seem out of the ordinary for a coyote, but the surroundings provide them with an abundance of food and shelter. In suburban areas a coyote's diet would normally consist of small rodents, birds, snakes, lizards, and sometimes livestock. In an urban setting coyotes will eat a variety of things such as, trash, road kill, pet food, and even small pets. By limiting the availability of resources to the coyote, we can decrease the amount of coyote to humane and domestic animal interactions. Here are some ways you can prevent these interactions:
- Feed pets inside instead of outdoors. If you must feed your pet outside, makes sure the food is removed when your pet is finished.
- Remove water resources.
- Manicure your yard, trimming back trees and bushes will help create more open space. A secluded area with lots of hiding places can be very attractive to a coyote.
- Do not leave pets outdoors unattended.
- Spay and Neuter your pets, coyotes will sometimes mate with domestic dogs.