REGION — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today issued guidance to help prevent conflicts between people and coyotes. Coyote sightings are likely to increase in …
REGION — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today issued guidance to help prevent conflicts between people and coyotes. Coyote sightings are likely to increase in the coming months, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has offered ways to cope.
Coyotes live in many places here, from farmland to forests to human-populated areas.
For the most part, coyotes will avoid human contact. However, conflicts with people and pets can occur, particularly during the spring denning and pupping period, when coyotes tend to be more territorial and protective of pups.
Plus, if coyotes learn to associate food, such as garbage or pet food, with people, the animals could lose their natural fear of humans. That might mean more up-close-and-personal encounters.
The DEC has tips on preventing coyote encounters.
Never feed coyotes.
Do not leave food outside. Pet food and garbage attract coyotes and other wildlife, and increase risks to people and pets.
Feed pets indoors.
Do not allow pets to run free.
Supervise outdoor pets to keep them safe from coyotes and other wildlife, especially at sunset and at night. Small dogs and cats are especially vulnerable.
Prevent access to garbage.
Fence or enclose compost piles.
Make bird feeders harder to get to. Concentrations of birds and rodents that come to feeders can attract coyotes.
Do not allow coyotes to approach people or pets. If you see a coyote, be aggressive in behavior, stand tall and hold your arms up or out to look as large as possible.
If a coyote lingers for too long, make loud noises, wave your arms and throw sticks and stones.
Teach children to stay away from coyotes.
Fence yards to deter coyotes. The fence should be tight to the ground, preferably extending six inches below ground level and taller than four feet.
Remove brush and tall grass from around homes to reduce protective cover for coyotes as they are typically secretive and like areas where they can hide.
Ask neighbors to follow these steps to prevent coyote conflicts.
In spring, coyotes tend to be more active and may be more visible. Just seeing a coyote occasionally is generally not a cause for concern. However, if they seem bold, or have little or no fear of people, or if they are seen repeatedly during the daytime near residences, contact your regional wildlife office or game warden. In emergency situations, contact your local police department.
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