Rob Ruiz, Marin County Park Ranger and Project Coyote volunteer, spoke at the Civic Center Library to an standing room only crowd about living with coyotes in Marin County.
Ruiz estimates there about 200 to 300 coyotes living in Marin. They serve a very useful purpose environmentally. Coyotes help control rodent and skunk populations and by scavenging clean up other carrion.
The coyote life cycle is predictable.
Jan – Feb Breeding Activity
Feb – Apr Den Site Selection
Apr – May Birthing
May – Aug Raising Pups
Sept – Dec Dispersal Photo taken by randomtruth
Coyotes are protective of their young and we humans should be especially careful not to disturb coyotes during the time they are raising their pups.
Most coyotes are wary people and it is important that humans should not try to tame or feed a coyote. There are very few coyote attacks on humans and most have occurred when a coyote has been fed by a human.
Here are some suggestions Rob made about keeping your yard a coyote free zone.
- Coyote-proof garbage cans and compost bins. Place trash bins inside sheds, garages or other enclosed structures.
- Pick up fallen fruit off the ground.
- Landscape for safety: clear away bushes and dense weeds near private residences where coyotes find cover and critters to feed on.
- Close off crawl spaces under porches, decks and sheds. Coyotes use such areas for resting and raising young.
- Keep your property well lit at night; consider installing motion activated lights.
- Don’t leave cat or dog food or water-bowls outside. Don’t overfill bird feeders.
- Keep companion animals in at night; don’t let them roam from home.
- If a coyote is in your yard, shout, yell, bang pots and pans, spray with water hose -remove the welcome mat!
If you run into a coyote while you’re out on a walk, you should make a loud noise.
- If the coyote does not appear to be wary of people, try to re-instill natural fear of humans- make loud noises – be BIG, BAD & LOUD
- Walk your dog on a leash in areas frequented by coyotes. Carry a whistle to make noise if you see a coyote.
With thanks to Rob Ruiz, Chief Ranger Marin County Parks and Open Space District, Marin County Parks.
For more information about co-existing with coyotes take a look at the Project Coyote website.