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Here's How You Can Help To Avoid Conflicts With Coyotes

A coyote.
A coyote. Photo Credit: Marc Zoldessy

With winter slowly transforming to spring and temperatures warming up, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has released its annual guide on how to avoid conflicts with coyotes.

DEC officials released the guide on Monday as warmer weather will soon bring coyotes out from the wild to set up dens for pups that will arrive during the spring.

"This time of year, DEC sees an uptick in questions from New Yorkers regarding coyotes and their behavior," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in the statement. "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."

The complete list of tips released by the New York State DEC this week includes:

  • Not feed coyotes and discourage others from doing so;
  • Reduce the risks of making unintentional food sources available to attract coyotes and other wildlife and increase risks to people and pets, including:
  • Not feed pets outside;
  • Make any garbage inaccessible to coyotes and other animals;
  • Fence or enclose compost piles so they are not accessible to coyotes; and
  • Eliminate the availability of bird seed. Concentrations of birds and rodents that come to feeders can attract coyotes. If you see a coyote near your bird feeder, clean up waste seed and spillage to remove the attractant.
  • Not allow coyotes to approach people or pets;
  • Teach children to appreciate coyotes from a distance;
  • Be aggressive in behavior if you see a coyote: Stand tall and hold arms out to look large. If a coyote lingers for too long, then make loud noises, wave your arms, and throw sticks and stones;
  • Do not allow pets to run free. Supervise all outdoor pets to keep them safe from coyotes and other wildlife, especially at sunset and at night. Small dogs and cats are especially vulnerable to coyotes;
  • Fence yards to help 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 your home to reduce protective cover for coyotes. Coyotes are typically secretive and like areas where they can hide;
  • Contact local police department and DEC regional office for assistance if coyotes are exhibiting bold behaviors and have little or no fear of people. Seeing a coyote occasionally throughout the year is not evidence of bold behavior; and
  • Ask neighbors to follow these same steps.

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