The City of Montgomery receives periodic calls from citizens about the presence of coyotes in our community. Coyotes have been a regular feature of the suburban environment for a long time, and while they tend to be elusive creatures, it is not uncommon to see one lurking around our neighborhoods and open areas. Most people recognize the difference between them and domestic canines. Their population exists and thrives due to the abundant opportunities to conceal themselves from humans, yet access a steady diet of small animals. Despite urbanization and reduction of wooded areas where these animals can exist, the modern coyote is comfortable in the suburbs, and especially in an area that boasts nature parks and open public areas such as Montgomery.
Problems associated with coyotes include:
- They hunt small animals including squirrels, mice, rats, rabbits, and groundhogs. Uncontrolled, coyotes will decimate an area of small animals and then move on.
- Coyotes range for up to 20 miles and therefore are hard to pin down and control. Coyotes know no bounds and are frequently reported by citizens and business employees on their properties, and sometimes as close as on homeowner’s decks and porches. They can easily access any property regardless of fences or common landscape barriers.
- During mating (late January through March), coyotes may bring in other coyotes to the area, including aggressive males that may not scare off as easily.
- While these animals tend to stay aloof, they are seen scampering around in the daylight, and especially when they are hunting more frequently when they have pups.
While the City of Montgomery will investigate aggressive coyotes or any animal that has attacked humans or other animals, the City does not hunt or trap coyotes. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is responsible for wild animals in Ohio and referrals are made to them where coyotes become a nuisance or a danger to the public. For more information please visit the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website.
What to do about coyotes
If you spot a coyote in your neighborhood, relax: Most coyotes avoid people. “Seeing a coyote out during the day is not a cause for alarm, especially in the spring and summer when they’re looking for food for their pups,” says Lynsey White Dasher, HSUS director of humane wildlife conflict resolution.
If a coyote displays no fear of people, he’s probably been fed. You can reinstill fear by raising your arms and yelling to drive him away. This is called hazing. Unlike trapping, which sometimes catches pets or other wildlife but rarely the coyotes who are causing problems, hazing works.
Coyotes may mistake small, unattended pets as prey or attack large dogs they view as threats to territory or dens. To keep your animals safe, take two simple steps:
- Watch your pets. Keep cats indoors, and never leave small dogs outside unsupervised or let any dog out of your yard off leash.
- Secure food sources. Store garbage in wildlife-proof containers and feed pets indoors.
For more information, please visit http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/coyotes/tips/solving-problems-with-coyotes.html
Urban Coyote Research Project
The Urban Coyote Research Project has been taking place in Chicago, IL for several years and they have gathered a significant amount of information about coyotes in urban settings. Visit their website to learn about their project and how people and coyotes can coexist in a safe manner.
The Urban Coyote Research Project is a collaboration between Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control, Illinois, Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation, and The Ohio State University – School of Environment and Natural Resources.