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Avoiding Conflicts with Coyotes

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Coyotes (Canis latrans) are highly adaptable predators that have managed to maintain healthy numbers in the Lower 48 States of America despite widespread efforts to eradicate them. Coyotes are still viewed as pests by many people and are removed by wildlife managers as nuisance animals or are removed by coyote hunters.

Many people enjoy watching coyotes though, and do not mind having them nearby. Coyotes can adapt well to living near people and don't usually pose a threat to us. If you live in an area inhabited by coyotes, these tips can help you avoid conflicts with them.

  • Coyotes with pups can be aggressive and have been known to bite when a person gets to close to the den.
  • Coyote pups are cute, but they are wild animals and typically do not make good pets.
  • Coyotes can contract rabies and may be aggressive or appear disoriented when infected. AVOID ANIMALS EXHIBITING THESE SYMPTOMS and report the situation to your local wildlife agency immediately.
  • Keep pets inside when you're not nearby. Coyotes have been known to prey on cats and even small dogs.
  • Keep chickens and rabbits securely penned up at night. You might consider putting an electric fence up around chicken coops and animal cages/pens.
  • Do not feed coyotes - feeding them or other wildlife can result in "habituation" or a loss of the animals' natural fear of people. It can also result in "food conditioning," a condition that results when wild animals begin to associate humans with food sources.
  • Keep in mind that gardens or plants that attract rabbits and rodents may also end up attracting coyotes.