2016 October Report – Coyotes: From the Wilderness to Main Street

Coyotes: From the Wilderness to Main Street

Presentation given by Dr. Chris Mowry 

Dr. Mowry, and his colleagues at Berry College, have been studying the coyotes in the metro Atlanta area, with the goal of understanding more about thismail-attachment-jpegintriguing species now common in our backyards.  The Atlanta Coyote project website provides a comprehensive source of
orical distribution of the Coyote and other members of the North American Canis family, the characteristics of the Coyote – how he looks, his life cycle, family arrangements, what he eats, etc. , information about the various ongoing research topics, and news around the country about Coyotes.  The site provides access for people to report Coyote sightings and opportunities to participate as a citizen scientist.  Most importantly, it gives excellent suggestions about how to coexist in an urban environment with this elusive creature.  http://atlantacoyoteproject.org.

mail-attachment-1-jpegA major take-away from Dr. Mowry’s  presentation was that with proper precautions, it should be possible to live with the coyotes in our woods and backyards, without trapping them, shooting them or generally attempting to dislodge them from their territories.  In the first place, it does not work very well, because others will arrive to take their place.  (His talk explained very well why this is so).  In the second place, they are interesting animals that are fun to know about.  In the third place,  there are precautions we can take to decrease any conflicts we may encounter.  These are suggestions taken from the website.



What To Do/Recommendations:

Preventive measures and passive management are the best ways to avoid coyote conflict.

Never feed coyotes and always prevent their access to food around your home.

Do not leave pet food outside.

Make trash cans inaccessible and secure them with tight lids.

Control small mammals from feeding in and around bird feeders,  which can attract coyotes.

Clean and store grills when not in use.

Properly dispose of dead animals, including any nearby roadkill.

Do not allow pets to roam freely and take them indoors at night.

If pets must be kept outside, consider installing fencing and motion-activated lights to discourage predators.

Keep small livestock and poultry in enclosed or sheltered areas.

If you see coyotes near your home and feel uneasy about their presence, make loud noises, spray them with a hose, and generally make them feel unwelcome.