Coexisting with Coyotes
How can we coexist with coyotes?
- Keep coyotes from becoming habituated- remove food attractants from yards and neighborhoods
- Understand the difference between threatening and non-threatening coyote behavior
- Keep pet’s safe-bring indoors and walk on a short leash
- Maintain coyote’s fear of humans – Use noise makers, yell and chase coyotes away from yards and neighborhoods
How do I help reduce coyote habituation to humans?
- Do not feed coyotes/wildlife- even bird seed can attract coyotes
- Keep fruit from trees picked up. Coyotes are omnivores; they eat meat and plants.
- Keep trash cans sealed
- Feed pets indoors
- Bring pets in at night
- Enclose vegetable gardens and compost
How do I help maintain coyote’s fear of humans?
Create an aversion response by scaring coyotes away when they come into the presence of humans. For example when coyote comes into your backyard, visit the playground when children are playing or are walking around through neighborhoods when people are out. The goal of coyote hazing is to reshape a coyote’s behavior to avoid human contact.
How to haze coyotes
- Act Big and Loud, be dominant, wave your arms, jacket, or stick above your head, jump up and down, make eye contact, clap your hands, yell and be persistent until the coyote retreats.
- Noise makers can be effective for hazing: metal coffee cans filled with coins to shake, Air horns, loud whistles, bells, and pots.
- Surprise tools: Popping open umbrellas, garden hoses and supersoaker spray gun filled with water.
- Using variety in hazing is important because coyotes learn to recognize and avoid individual people. Change up hazing tools and ask different people, neighbors in the area to help with coyote hazing.
- Do not actively haze coyotes in their natural habitat, unless they approach you. Keep your dogs on leash; coyotes may view them as competition or even prey.
- Always provide an escape route for coyotes when hazing. Never corner a wild animal.
Common Coyote Responses to Hazing
- Being startled and running off.
- Freezing and staring at you. Keep hazing and increasing the intensity of your efforts.
- Running/walking off a short distance, stopping, and looking back at you. The coyote maybe unsure hazing is directed toward it. Keep hazing until the coyote leaves.
Preventing Coyotes in Your Yard
- Do not purposely feed animals – animals begin to lose their fear of humans and will continue to will return for more easy meals.
- Cleanup possible food resources – pet food, fallen fruits, secure trash, and secure outdoor animal enclosures for pet rabbits and poultry.
- Keep pets indoors at night
- Monitor small children and pets while outside even in a fenced yard
- Install motion activated lighting and sprinklers
- Remove cover and hiding places - Remove thick vegetation, debris piles, trim plants 2ft off the ground
Rock Star changes
- Secure fencing around your yard to minimize unwanted wildlife encounters
a. Jumping animals fence height should be 7-8ft high, with a roller that spins on top of the fence to make it more difficult for animals to get over (can make roller yourself with PVC piping or purchase)
b. Digging animals (this includes coyotes) bury fencing 16 inches below ground or bury L shaped footer 1 foot down and out at a 90 degree angle 1-2 feet out.
c. Add fence extension (1-2 ft) that angles outward to the top of the fence.
- Replace wrought iron (easy to wiggle through) with solid fence
- Regularly check fence line to make sure it’s secure, specifically along the ground
- Move animals including; chickens, rabbits, goats, sheep and miniature horses into a secured enclosure at night when risk of wildlife encounter is highest.
- Close up holes into attics, walls, sheds, under decks and under houses
- Remove trees or branches adjacent to fences that animals can climb.
What if I don’t mind coyotes in my yard?
Even if you don’t mind coyotes visiting your yard don’t encourage behavior that will lead to animals habituating to humans.
- Do not feed coyotes on purpose
- Do not feed coyotes unintentionally; pick up fallen fruit, secure trash and keep pets and food indoors.
- Do not ignore coyotes approaching you; be prepared to haze if they come close.
Something to consider: If you let a coyote become habituated to you, it will lose its wariness of humans, which could lead to increased frequency of visits to urban areas and your neighbor’s yards. Animals that are not afraid of people can quickly become nuisance animals often leading to lethal measure to remedy the problem. Don’t let your good intentions end up being the cause of a coyote’s death.