Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Coyote Information

Watch the February 23rd Community Seminar: Living Safely with Coyotes here.

Since the early 2000s, Eagan Animal Control has been receiving reports of coyote sightings from residents. In recent years, the number of calls has stayed about the same. The frequency of sightings increases annually around November as the foliage drops and the animals are more visible. Another bump is seen in February during mating season. Several attacks on unleashed pets have been investigated.

Coyotes have adapted to the suburban lifestyle because city environments support them. Coyotes have adequate food supplies and are capable of surviving in Eagan without our help. A coyote that becomes dependant on humans for food may become too bold and acclimated to humans. Minnesota coyotes are opportunistic and generally take prey that is easiest to secure. Their primary foods are rabbits, mice, other small mammals, birds and fruit sources. The presence of coyotes in Eagan is an indication of a healthy ecosystem that is capable of supporting all types of wildlife.

It is not normal for coyotes to attack or pursue humans. Rare attacks on humans have been documented in other parts of the United States. The one common factor in almost all wild animal bites is that people were attempting to feed or lure the animal with food.

City of Eagan ordinance prohibits the trapping or shooting of wildlife in most circumstances. State law prohibits poisoning of all animals.

If you feel a coyote or other wild animal is posing an immediate threat, please call 911.

As coyotes have become a part of everyday life in Eagan, the Police Department is no longer tracking routine sightings.  Te report a situation where a coyote is directly threatening the safety of pets or people, please call 911.  Click here for a map of recent coyote sightings in Eagan.

Protecting Pets from Coyotes

Cats

The only way to guarantee your cat's safety is to keep it indoors. City ordinance prohibits cats from roaming at large. Roaming house cats could attract coyotes into your yard.

Dogs

If you are aware of coyotes in your neighborhood, you can reduce the risk of conflict if you:

  • Keep your dog on a leash while on walks.
  • Supervise your dog at all times, especially near wooded areas or parks.
  • Use caution when walking in heavily wooded or brushy areas.
  • Keep your dog in front of you. If your dog stops, keep an eye on it.

Tips for Keeping Coyotes from Hanging Around Residential Areas

  • Keep garbage properly contained.
  • Do not feed pets outside or keep pet food outdoors.
  • Keep grills cleaned and covered.
  • Remove standing water sources, such as old tires or watering cans.
  • Dispose of fruit that has fallen from trees.
  • Remove bird feeders. Coyotes are attracted by both the bird seed and the birds.
  • Dispose of dead wildlife. Contact your waste removal company for animals on private property or the city for animals on roadways.
  • Keep shrubbery trimmed and clean up brush areas that provide habitat to animals that coyotes prey upon.
  • Secure areas under decks and sheds, and enclose crawl spaces.
  • Fencing yards can discourage coyotes.
  • Motion-sensor lights may alert you to coyotes in your yard.

Other Coyote Facts

  • Coyotes are found in all of the United States, except Hawaii. Their range now extends from Central America to Canada.
  • Adult coyotes weigh between 20 and 45 pounds.
  • Coyote pups are born between early April and late May. The average litter contains 4 to 5 pups.
  • Coyotes are active both day and night, but most sightings are close to sunrise and sunset.

Many of the coyote pictures on this page were contributed by Eagan resident Deb Aune