Recently, Great Parks has received a flurry of coyote sightings and even a few reports of pets being attacked, so we thought it is time for a refresher and update on our largest wild canine.
Coyote have been in our midst for several decades, but are becoming more noticeable as the population increases and wild habitat becomes scarcer. Coyote are naturally more visible at this time of year as they enter their mating season, so we can anticipate more sightings than usual from now through April.
Although coyote are more visible this time of year, there are certain precautions pet owners should take all year. It is not true that coyote will eat pet cats or dogs, but they do view both as competitors for food. So coyote will kill domestic cats and even dogs to reduce the competition. If possible, pets should not be let outside “unchaperoned” or overnight. To discourage coyote from coming around your yard, avoid feeding pets or wildlife outside your house as that will attract coyote looking for a free meal.
Coyote fill a valuable niche in our ecosystem, feeding primarily of rodents but also taking the occasional goose or deer. Coyote are naturally wary of humans, but a rare coyote can pick up bad habits. If you encounter a coyote in daylight that appears unusually brazen – showing no fear of humans – please contact your local law enforcement, the Ohio Division of Wildlife at 937-372-5639 or, if you are neighboring one of our Great Parks, call 513-521-7275, extension 275. Otherwise, please enjoy watching this creature, and all wildlife, from a distance.
For more information on the coyote, please see our previous blog post, Facts About Coyotes.
Bob Mason, Stewardship Manager