How to avoid coyote conflicts in New York State

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NEW YORK (WWTI) — New Yorkers are being urged to take steps to avoid conflicts with native coyote populations.

Although these conflicts are not common, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation issued guidance on Tuesday to help residents prevent such incidents from happening between people and coyotes; including coyote habits and temperaments.

Specifically for New York, the DEC is focusing on the Eastern coyote, which is found in many habitats from rural farmland and forests to populated suburban and urban areas across the State.

The DEC stated that coyotes are well adapted to suburban and urban environments and typically avoid conflicts with people.

However, according to DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos, “coyotes may become more territorial during the breeding and pup-rearing seasons, which in New York runs from January through March, increasing the risk for potential conflicts with people and pets. While coyotes are an important part of New York’s ecosystem, New Yorkers are encouraged to be aware of the increased risks for conflicts.”

Additionally, if coyotes learn to associate food, garbage or pet food with peoples’ homes, these animals may lose their natural fear of humans and increase the potential for close encounters or conflicts.

The DEC recommends New Yorkers to take the following steps in preventing conflicts with coyotes.

  • Do not feed coyotes
  • Do not leave food outside
    • Do not feed pets outside
    • Prevent access to garbage
    • Fence or enclose all compost piles
    • Eliminate availability of bird seed
  • Do not allow coyotes to approach people of pets. If a coyote is seen, be aggressive by standing tall and holding arms up to look as large as possible. If a coyote lingers for too long, make loud noises
  • Teach children to appreciate coyotes from a distance
  • Do not allow pets to run free. Supervise outdoor pets, small dogs and cats are especially vulnerable
  • Fence yards to deter coyotes
  • Remove brush and tall grass from around homes to reduce protective cover for coyotes

Additionally, New York residents are urged to contact the local police department and DEC regional office for assistance if coyotes exhibit bold behavior and have little or no fear of people, or if seen repeatedly during the daytime in a human-populated area or near residences.

For more information on the Eastern coyote, visit the DEC’s website.

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