Specializing in the rescue and rehabilitation of orphaned and injured wildlife in Colorado.
Due to our ongoing conflict with coyotes in Douglas County, we must learn how our actions have helped create this situation, and then we must learn techniques and habits which will help alleviate the problem.
First, we must become informed about coyote behavior.
This wild member of the canine family acclimates easily to its environmental surroundings. This adaptability allows it to live in all habitats, ranging from grasslands, deserts, mountains and urban areas. Where there is little food supply, the coyote produces fewer pups, where the food supply is great, the packs increase rapidly. Where the coyote is threatened either by humans or prey, the coyote maintains cautious behavior and nighttime hunting methods. In urban areas, where humans provide an easy food supply such as domestic pets, garbage, pet food and water the coyote population quickly increases, loses its fear of humans, increases its aggressiveness and audacity toward humans and will hunt during daylight hours.
They can mate with dogs. Coyotes exhibit very clever hunting methods when hunting alone or as a team. The larger the available prey, the more cunning the tactics they use as a pack to take their prey. The coyote then teaches its young this behavior.
Our responsibility and actions in this equation become increasingly important as the conflict increases. Once again the wily coyote forces us to review our responsibilities as residents living in their territory. They certainly know how to live with us; do we know how to live with them?
As the coyote teaches it’s young to survive, we too must teach our children the important rules for living safely in coyote territory. The destruction of an entire pack will not solve the problem. Another pack simply increases to take its place and they continue to teach their young assertive behavior.
Do not provide an accessible food supply, keep pets on leashes and/or monitored when outdoors (even when, within invisible fences,) use loud voices and hostile noises to create discomfort for the coyote. RO-PEL ® an animal, rodent, and bird repellent, may help discourage coyotes from entering your property. Eventually, the coyote will adapt to our efforts to make them less welcome and revert to their more cautious attitude towards humans.
While the coyote becomes less frequently sighted in Douglas County, though occasionally heard in the darkness, and our voles, rabbits and mice once more become their favorite food source, then we can congratulate ourselves for creating an appropriate habitat for the coyote while setting an example for living in peaceful coexistence with wildlife.