CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO COYOTE SOUNDS
Everyone enjoys observing wildlife in its natural environment.
However, many well-meaning residents of urban hillside
and rural areas have promoted an unnatural boldness in
coyotes by intentionally or unintentionally feeding them.
The highly adaptable coyote is flourishing
in populated areas, mostly because of the interesting
menu available in the form of handouts, dog and cat
food, or easy-to-open garbage cans.
The animal Mark Twain called "the
most friendless of God's creatures" is also the most
adaptable. Coyotes can survive on whatever food is available,
from rodents to rubbish, from insects to fruit to carrion.
They can also be a threat to family pets, and, in isolated
but tragic cases, have attacked small children.
Essentially unimpeded by control
measures, abundant food has encouraged coyotes to become
accustomed to the sight and sounds of humans. Consequently,
coyote populations and range have expanded enormously
in recent years. There are more coyotes now than ever
before in history!
Where other natural predators have
retreated, rats, mice, and other small animals have
increased. In such a situation, the coyote is beneficial,
if residents wouldn't provide them with even more convenient
DO I KNOW IF I HAVE SEEN A COYOTE?
This native member of the dog family
closely resembles a medium-size German shepherd dog except
it has an elongated snout and bushy, black-tipped tail,
which is carried down as it runs. There are thousands
of coyotes in Los Angeles County consequently sightings
are common. The coyote's larger relative, the wolf, does
not occur anywhere in Los Angeles County. At night, the
coyote's high-pitched, yodel-like yapping can frequently
be heard - especially following the sound of emergency
vehicle sirens. Coyotes frequently make a sound far different
from the Hollywood movie stereotype. Many people who are
unfamiliar with their almost hyena-like yapping incorrectly
think they are hearing animals being killed by coyotes
square robust body
size, very bushy tail
long bushy tail very
DO'S AND DON'TS
DO feed pets indoors or promptly remove dishes
when pets complete their meal outside. Store bags of pet
DO clear brush and dense weeds from
around property. This deprives rodents of shelter and
reduces protective cover for coyotes. Use traps and
rodenticides, if needed, to control rodents.
DO use trash barrels equipped with
tight clamping devices on the lids, which will prevent
spills should they be tipped over by large animals.
DO try to educate your friends and
neighbors about the problems associated with feeding
coyotes. If you belong to a homeowner's association
or neighborhood watch, bring up the subject during one
of the meetings.
DON'T feed or provide water for
coyotes or other wild life. This practice abnormally
attracts coyotes and promotes increased numbers of rodents,
birds, snakes, and other creatures that can provide
major portions of the coyote's natural diet.
It is against the law for residents
of Los Angeles County to feed coyotes, and certain other
wild mammals.(County Code: Section 10.84.010)
DON'T put trash cans out the night
before scheduled pick-up. Put them out in the morning.
This will give coyotes less time to scavenge, and they
won't have the cover of darkness. Coyotes are mainly
active at night or twilight.
DON'T use plastic bags as garbage
containers. Coyotes can readily rip them open and scatter
Always remember: Be kind to coyotes,
don't feed them!
Construct six-foot fences with extenders
facing outward at the top of each post. (Extenders can
be purchased from local fence dealers.) Install two
or three stands of wire, extending out at an angle for
about 14 inches, completely around fence. This prevents
the coyotes from easily climbing. All fences should
have some sort of galvanized wire apron buried at least
4 to 6 inches in the ground, which extends out from
the fence at least 15 to 20 inches. The apron should
be securely attached to the bottom of the fence.
Coyotes are very adept diggers and prefer to dig under
fences rather than jump them.
Keep small pets (cats, rabbits,
small dogs) indoors. Don't allow them to run free at
any time. They are easy, favored prey. Some coyotes
hunt cats in residential areas.
Large dogs should be brought inside
after dark and never allowed to run loose.
Don't leave domestic pet food outside.
Wildlife will soon depend upon it.
PROTECT POULTRY AND RABBITS
Run chicken wire from the bottom of chicken
coop fence, out about a foot, parallel to the ground.
Secure it well. Or bury cinder blocks under fence around
the coop. Outfit a rabbit hutch with a solid bottom.
A hutch standing above ground, with only a wire bottom,
makes your rabbit an easy target.
ALL PROTECT CHILDREN.
Never leave small children unattended in areas
where coyotes are known to be, even in your yard.
If you have carefully followed the
suggestions in this web page, but continue to have coyote
problems, please contact your local Animal Control agency,
or the L.A. County Agricultural Commissioner / Weights
& Measures department for further assistance.
The L.A. County Agricultural Commissioner
/ Weights & Measures department may be able to help
with other wildlife problems, as well. Call (626) 575-5462
for more information.
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