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Nuisance coyotes and fox

Coyotes and fox can be beautiful yet intimidating animals to have in your area. Over the past few years there has been an increase in these animals inhabiting urban neighborhoods due to the destruction of their habitat by the ever increasing number of housing developments in the suburbs and farther out. Due to this habitat loss these animals are forced to learn to live around human developments and our activity.  Although they rarely will pose a threat to humans unless approached, coyotes can pose a threat to small dogs and cats that are outside unmonitored or free-roaming. If you have a fox or coyote in your neighborhood it is best to alert your neighbors to their presence, teach children to respect wildlife, never approach or harass them, and follow the tips below.

To discourage coyotes or foxes from coming around your area:

  • Do not feed the coyotes or fox.
  • Keep all dog/cat food inside, especially at night.
  • Secure garbage cans with tight fitting lids; preferably keep them in a garage or enclosure so they cannot be tipped over.
  • Keep compost in a fenced area or a large secure container, not open piles.
  • Clean up around bird feeders — coyotes will eat spilt bird seed.
  • Don’t let your pets free roam outdoors; occasionally coyotes will eat small dogs or cats. Also watch your pets while outside if you know coyotes are present in your area.
  • If you see a fox/coyote make lots of noise and scare it away — do not let them become habituated to people.
  • Fences greater than 6’ tall with no gaps at ground level (they are good diggers) will help keep them out of your yard.

We strongly discourage live trapping for the following reasons:

1. It is futile. Studies have found that an area or habitat will hold a limited number (carrying capacity) of any one species of animal. It will hold no more than that because the over-abundant population is reduced by food scarcity and predators. But the fact that is even more significant is that the area or habitat will also hold no fewer than the established number. So, by live trapping and taking some animals from the area other animals of that species will move in.

2. Live trapping frequently results in the death of a trapped and relocated animal due to the stress and trauma of the situation, carrying capacity of habitat introduced to, resident animals defending their territory, and food scarcity. Also, another special concern is the spread of disease by unnaturally relocating animals. Add to that death count the fact that the trapped animal may be a lactating female who leaves behind babies to the painful death of starvation and dehydration.

3. We have seen an increase in animals that injure themselves frantically trying to escape live traps. This injury is not the intent of the trapper and often that animal then needs medical attention, rehabilitative care and occasionally surgery to repair the injury.