DEC Issues Annual Guidance to Avoid Conflicts with Coyotes
|The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today issued annual guidance on preventing conflicts between people and coyotes as winter gives way to spring.
“This time of year, DEC sees an uptick in questions from New Yorkers regarding coyotes and their behavior,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “While coyotes are an integral and beneficial part of our natural ecosystem, we strongly encourage all New Yorkers to do their part and follow our common-sense tips to ensure coyotes remain wary of people and minimize the chance of conflicts.”
With the onset of warmer weather, many of New York’s resident coyotes will set up dens for pups that will arrive this spring. Coyotes are well adapted to suburban and even some urban environments, but for the most part will avoid contact with people. However, conflicts with people and pets may result as coyotes tend to be territorial around den sites during the spring through mid-summer period as they forage almost constantly to provide food for their young.
To reduce or prevent potential conflicts, DEC recommends the public:
The Eastern coyote can be found in rural farmlands and forests and occasionally in populated suburban and urban areas. In fact, coyotes can provide many exciting wildlife watching opportunities from a distance. In most cases, coyotes avoid people as much as possible. However, if coyotes learn to associate people with food, such as garbage or pet food, they may lose their natural fear of humans, and the potential for close encounters or conflicts increases.
It is important to keep pets safe. Cats allowed to roam free are at risk. To protect cats from coyotes, other wildlife, and hazards like automobiles, keep cats indoors. Owners of small dogs also have cause for concern. Small dogs are at the greatest risk of being harmed or killed when coyotes are being territorial during denning and pup-rearing. Small dogs should not be left unattended in backyards at night and should remain supervised. Owners of large- and medium-sized dogs have less to worry about but should still take precautions.
If coyotes are seen repeatedly during the daytime in a human-populated area or in proximity to residences, follow the above recommendations to reduce or prevent potential problems. If coyote behavior remains unchanged or becomes threatening, please report this to the local DEC office, as this may indicate that some individual coyotes have lost their fear of people and a greater risk for problems could occur.
For additional information about the Eastern Coyote and preventing conflicts with coyotes, visit these DEC websites: