Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Living With Coyotes

HELP KEEP COYOTES WILD                

Coyotes help the environment.  They help keep populations of rodents and other small mammals under control. They also feed on raccoons, birds, insects, fruits/vegetables, human garbage, outdoor pet food and small pets left unprotected (even in your backyard). 

Attacks on humans are very rare.  When coyotes become accustomed to humans they can lose their shyness and become more demanding.  An average adult coyote is about 35 pounds and will be intimidated by people. While they may stop and observe, they will eventually run.  Coyotes can be seen any time of day but are typically most active at night; some have even become year round residents of urban areas.  They also become very active and visible during the pup-rearing season (May – July).

Associating urban areas with food.  To coexist, it is important that coyotes do not associate urban areas with food.  Coyotes are naturally fearful of humans, however they readily lose that fear when people intentionally (or unintentionally) provide food/water or shelter for them, or otherwise do not try to deter them from visiting. Eliminating sources that attract coyotes can go a long way in addressing the situation. 

What can you do?
  · Do not feed coyotes and other wildlife.
  · Make sure outside garbage is secured and fallen fruit from trees and bird seed from bird feeders is picked up. 
  · Do not feed your pets outdoors or leave pet food and water outdoors unattended, especially at night. 
  · Do not allow pets to roam free outside (including in your backyard), especially at night; make sure to keep your dog on a leash during walks.
  · Keep your landscaping trimmed and open so that they don’t provide hiding places for coyotes or other wildlife.
  · Make sure that fencing around your yard is secure –six-foot tall and buried six inches deep is recommended to prevent digging underneath it. 

If approached by a coyote or if one is in your neighborhood:
  · "Haze” them. Stand tall, yell, wave your arms, blow a whistle or horn, bang pots or pans together, spray water or throw rocks.
  · While they may stop and observe, they will eventually run.
  · Do not run away or turn your back on them. Stand your ground and then back   slowly away while practicing hazing techniques.
  · If you feel your personal safety is immediately at risk, call 911.

Informative links and contacts:

City of Whittier:  http://www.cityofwhittier.org/depts/clerk/coyotes.asp

California Department of Fish and Wildlife: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/keepmewild/

Police Department: 562-567-9200 (non-emergency)                        

LA County Animal Control: 562-940-6898 (dead animal pickup)