Coyotes (with audio)

December 05, 2016

by Jennifer Bearden

Coyotes can be a nuisance to pet and livestock owners as well as vegetable farmers.  Coyotes are true scavengers and will eat just about anything – sheep, calves, poultry, deer, watermelons, snakes, foxes, cats, rabbits, grass, carrion, garbage, pet food…

Coyotes are mainly active at night but can be seen during daylight hours close to sunrise and sunset.

Coyotes are brownish gray in color with light gray or cream colored belly.  They have erect pointed ears with a slender muzzle and bushy tail.  They weigh between 20-45 pounds.

coyote

Coyote Photo Credit: University of Florida IFAS

Coyotes can live just about anywhere since they are true scavengers.  They are found in deserts, swamps, tundra, grasslands, brush, forests and even in the suburbs.

Coyotes become bolder when living in urban areas and can be a nuisance to pet owners.  Small dogs and pet cats are easy prey.  Garbage cans are another easy food source.

So what can you do to reduce the chance of having a coyote conflict?

  • First, never feed coyotes!
  • Eliminate water sources near your home.
  • Place bird feeders out of reach.
  • Secure garbage containers.
  • Feed pets indoors when possible and store pet food where coyotes cannot access it.
  • Trim any shrubbery near ground level to reduce hiding cover.
  • Fence your yard.  The fence should be at least 6 feet high with at least 6 inches buried.
  • Don’t leave small children unattended outside if coyotes have been seen in the area.
  • Don’t allow pets to roam free, especially at night.
  • Discourage coyotes from hanging around by chasing them away – shouting, loud noises or throwing rocks at them normally works.  Coyotes generally will not challenge an adult human.

For more information click here: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/

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