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Over the years, hundreds of thousands of coyotes have been slain, in an attempt to wipe out these highly adaptable intelligent creatures. It has been proven that the coyote is a very important part of our eco system , that becomes out of balance without them. In one state in particular,  this beautiful creature was almost wiped out completely through a very violent eradication program. With only a trace of the coyote left, the rodent population exploded to such an extent ,that crops were devastated the agricultural business ruined. Guess who was reintroduced to fix the problem and balance nature? The Coyote.

In some areas, the urban coyote has grown in numbers, and sightings can be a daily occurrence. This behavior, that is said to  be "bold and Brazen" by some, is merely what we have taught the coyote to do with our actions as humans. The basic survival instinct for the coyote is to find food. The amount of food that becomes available will determine their territory and breeding habits. When food is scarce and times are rough, fewer pups are born as they cannot be provided for by their parents. The hunting range is then widely spread making them compete for a meal.  When food is abundant, they travel less distance, claiming a smaller territory, and females will have larger groups of pups. This results in a much higher number of coyotes per square mile. So when you drive down the street at 7am on your way to work and a coyote stops to watch you go by, who is at fault here? Wildlife officials say"it is not a coyote problem , its a people problem".

Avoiding human coyote conflicts depends on two things.

Keeping the coyote fearful of people

Not providing the coyote with a meal.

Most neighborhoods are divided into people who hate coyotes, people who love all animals and want to feed them, and people who dont know or dont care.  The following tips should give you a plan of action that will satisfy the haters, educate the wildlife feeders, and create some awareness to those that dont know what to do.

A Tame Coyote is a Dead Coyote


What you can do to reduce the problem

Keep all pet food indoors.

Cut down the rodent population a coyote favorite(without using poison). Eliminate their food using only small amounts of bird seed in your feeders. Keep fruit and nut trees picked clean. Take away their places to make nests such as wood piles and un secured sheds. Make sure they are not squeezing into and outside pet cage and dining on its food.

Bring you cats and small dogs inside at night. Any pet left outside is fair game for a hungry mother trying to feed her pups.

Secure chicken coops with a roof and rocks around the perimeter as coyotes can easily dig under a fence. Hot wire can also be installed inexpensively as an additional deterrent.

Spay your female dogs. Coyotes are attracted to a female in heat and it is possible for them to breed. In addition, an un neutered male can follow a female coyote in heat where upon a pack may be waiting for a meal.

Secure your trash cans if you are unable to keep them in the garage until trash day. Bungy chords can  keep a lid in place.

Report any neighbors that are intentionally feeding coyotes or any other wildlife after you have explained that this unhealthy source of food creates a dependancy ,that will teach youngsters to look for a hand out instead of hunt, encourage females to have larger litters due to food availability and that people equal food

Whenever you see a coyote, bang pots and pans or create some sort of loud noise to reinforce their fear of humans.  A hungry coyote may think twice before approaching a small child with food in its hand after having an air horn blown in its presence..

When walking small dogs on a leash early in the morning, carry an air horn or a pole that is inserted into a tennis ball. Meter reader's use these poles as a humane way to keep guard dogs from getting too close.

Never trap or try to kill coyotes!!!

It has been proven not to work and putting one coyote through the terror of  a trap will only create a space for the next coyote to move in.

Additional yard deterrents can include ammonia soaked rags, cayenne pepper, motion detector lights with  a scare crow and talk radio.

2 Pups

The mother of these pups, was shot by a citrus grower. He did not realize what a wonderful job she was doing by keeping his gopher and ground squirrel population under control who constantly chew through his irrigation lines and eat the roots of saplings. He was very upset that his kitten was missing that he let wander loose in the grove, and wanted to kill all the coyotes in the neighborhood. The pups rolled out of their den and were found by a neighbor. When we checked the den for siblings, all four were huddled together..... dead.

At least a happy ending for these pups. This picture was taken during their release. The coyote in the front of the pet carrier is the same female pup, licking her lips in the above picture. They were taught how to hunt and forage for the right kinds of foods .Great care was taken so that they will be weary of people and hopefully stay out of trouble.

mange 002
Shot Coyote

This coyote was suffering from rodenticide poisoning and since he was so weak, he was unable to get away from a tractor that ran him down.  Because in some areas, 80% of the coyote diet consists of rodents, we see many animals come in with secondary poisoning. Even small doses that are put out for rodents can be lethal to a much larger animal. Consider putting up barn owl boxes instead of using poisons .

Keep your pets indoors

Don"t feed wildlife

Never trap or use poisons

And we just might all get along!


Orphaned Pups

Each year we receive orphaned pups, injured adults and juveniles. If your dog should corner a mother with a pup in her mouth and she drops it and runs, there is still the chance of reuniting her with her baby. As long as the mother and pup are unharmed, you can place the pup in a box that it cannot climb out of ,or in a pet carrier held shut with a piece of wood that can easily be knocked out of place. The mother will return during the night to claim her pup especially when she hears it calling for her. Make sure the area will not be disturbed by pets or children. As you can see, pups are extremely cute and you may be tempted to keep it. Coyotes DO NOT make good pets and keeping one will only make it more difficult for the pups chances of survival once you realize it was a mistake to try. Coyotes have it difficult enough already so there is a select group of volunteers that have a special permit to rehabilitate coyotes in the south coast region of California. Please contact them with if you need help.

Chuck Traisi 760-789-2324

Nicky Thole 805-482-4127

Anna Reams 805-581-3911

CWC  818-222-2658

A tough life runs full circle

Sleeping Pup02 Old Coyote02

Copyright © 2004 Nicky Thole/Karin Beer-Koller
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