*FIRST: Coyote Coexistence Guidelines and Safety Information


A ONE-STOP INFORMATION VIDEO on urban coyotes: coyote behavior and how to coexist with them, how to handle encounters, and why killing them does not solve issues.  Press https://youtu.be/euG7R11aXq0 to go directly to YouTube. [Condensed version: http://youtu.be/1Kxl31nX0rc]

Para la versión en Español, haz clic aquí: http://youtu.be/FjVGKwLiYG4;

In Mandarin Chinese 普通话: http://youtu.be/aFWyegSrNHw

*Please note our protocol change (not in our video) for when walking a dog: The best policy is TOTAL AVOIDANCE: Whether you see a coyote in the distance, approaching you, or at close range, leash your dog and walk away from it, avoiding any kind of confrontation or engagement. This will minimize the potential for dog/coyote interactions. If you feel inclined to shoo it away — following the guidelines in the videos,  you may try this, but our preferred approach now is TOTAL AVOIDANCE.



*A Quote Worth Pondering

“If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other.  If you do not talk to them you will not know them, and what you do not know you will fear.  What one fears one destroys.”      Chief Dan George

Charles Wood, a frequent contributor to Coyote Yipps, adds: “I want to try and express Chief Dan George’s words a little differently, though I believe the meaning is the same: ‘If you talk to the animals they will talk to you and you will come to know them. When you come to know them, you will love them, with respect, without fear. What one fears one destroys. What one loves one defends.'”


Four Years Later, by Charles Wood

Protector 1

About four years ago the pair of coyotes I watched for several years were supplanted by their daughter Mary when she pledged herself to an older scallywag male coyote that I named Rufous. The new couple kept different hours than the ousted Mom and Dad coyote I had been watching. Recently I saw coyotes in the same place as before. Now I am trying to get their story.

Protector 2

I suspect that the two coyotes pictured together are mother and child. I assume the mother is the one looking into the camera and I suspect she is the mother because she looks like she is showing, this being the time of year where she would be showing. The protector coyote is a male and there is no reason yet to be sure that he is the presumed mother’s mate as opposed to being her son. Likewise, the presumed mother’s stare reminds me of Mary’s, but I can’t yet be sure that it is her.


I wish Rufous would have showed up to do the protecting. But I haven’t seen him. Had he shown up I would have recognized him because he is a big handsome fellow and four years ago he looked like he had a blind left eye.

Protector 3

It may be wishful thinking on my part, but the protector coyote has a reddish coloring and Rufous was a markedly reddish coyote. I know there is a fourth coyote among these three, and there may be more than four. Also, the protector coyote has eyes that remind me of Mom coyote from 4 years ago. The showing female has a harsh stare. The protector coyote, like Mom, has something tentative in his expression. Yet despite Mom’s shyness, like today’s protector male, both get the job done in good form. The job is to make their claim to the territory known and to nudge Holtz and me away. We did leave, very slowly because Holtz is now about 15 and wobbles when he walks.

Posting written by Charles Wood. Visit Charles Wood’s website for more coyote photos from LA: Charles Wood. His work is copyrighted and may only be used with his explicit permission.

RAT POISON in Smaller Doses — When It Doesn’t Kill Right Off

Rat poison kills by use of the ingredient warfarin, or a second generation thereof, which thins the blood. In small doses, humans take a similar drug known as cumaden to prevent strokes. In high doses, these kill by causing the organism to bleed internally — massively. It’s a horrible, tortuous death. It should not be allowed. Rats can be eliminated in a more humane manner if need be.

Very small doses of rat poison may not immediately kill the owl, hawk, or coyote that consumes the poisoned rat, but the effects are just as insidious over a longer period of time. The poison accumulates and compromises the ability to live in various ways, most notably by slowing them down. They are not as alert or as fast or as acute as they once were, so living becomes more difficult and even dangerous for them.

One of the effects of rat poisons on coyotes is that it compromises their immune systems, leaving them particularly vulnerable to parasites, including mites of all types. The worst, of course, is mange. Rat poison doesn’t cause mange, of course, but it can be a highly contributive factor because it weakens the immune system which fights off these mites. If you see a coyote whose fur is riddled with mites, or who has mange, it may very well be rat poison which allowed the mite infestation to take hold.

Please don’t use rat poison. Also, please try and help any animal that has an ailment — they can be helped: Here’s How These Alhambra Residents Handled a Sickly Coyote That Showed Up In Their Neighborhood.

Rats can be eliminated in a humane way. The best way is by exclusion and removing the attractants: plug up the holes in your home and remove/contain food sources. Within two weeks, they’ll leave. Alternatively, there are high-frequency devices which drive the animals away (but probably also the birds). Lastly, you can call a pest-removal service that uses humane traps. Please note that most private pest-management companies will either drown the rat or suffocate it to death with industrial strength carbon dioxide – both methods are extremely painful. The animal needs to be killed humanely.

To find a trapper in your area, please Google “humane trapper”. For rodent control alternatives, please visit www.wildcarebayarea.org/rodenticide or www.wildlife.ca.gov/Living-with-Wildlife/Rodenticides.

Killed by RAT POISON

killed by rat poison

My friend found her, having been led there by her dog, CC, who is an incredibly inquisitive, active explorer, even on-leash. And my friend lets her dog lead the way. This time she was lead to where a dead coyote lay hidden in the bushes. My friend knew it was a canid, but when she wrote me about it, she referred to it as a *creature*, knowing that a coyote death would upset me, especially where I knew all the coyotes.

She told me its general location and sent me a photo showing tree branches. I was able to find the coyote because of the photo. The type of tree under which the coyote lay would be found only in a certain area. That is the area I searched until I found the critter. I was crushed when I first saw it. It was a young coyote with very ruffled and light colored fur — I’ve seen yearlings with this coloring. This coyote must have recently dispersed from another area, because she was not from the territory in which she had been found. I know those coyotes well, and this one was not one of them, and I had not seen her ever before.

She was wedged in there, held in by a broken branch poking into her neck. It was a tangle of branches, and I had to bend over, and go over and under, being careful to avoid getting branches in my face. I wondered if this animal might have become trapped there, but I was able to move this branch without too much effort, so probably not. On the other side of the tree limb which she was under, her face could be seen with the eye facing up being opened. It was a gorgeous blue. Young coyotes often have blue eyes.

Most coyotes in cities are killed by cars, but this coyote was found right in the middle of a park, past the backyards of a row of houses, not close to any streets, so she probably would not have been hit by a car. I didn’t see any trauma to her body.

What to do? I thought about it only a moment and decided on a necropsy. Those on the sidewalk watching me were very happy about this decision. We all wanted to know what had killed this coyote. I walked to a store which was only 2 minutes away to get 55 gallon bags. I was able to bag the coyote by pushing it into the large bag with another smaller plastic bag over my hand. A man who was there offered to carry it to the car.  This young coyote must have weighed a mere 25 pounds at most.

I got home and called Wildcare, and after some back and forth conversation, my husband drove me up to San Rafael where Wildcare is located. Initially they did an X-ray which showed a VERY full stomach. But there was no trauma to the body — no broken bones or ribs. What could have killed her?

Several weeks later, I was called with the results of the necropsy report: She had died of massive internal bleeding due to rat poisoning. There were actually four different types of rat poisons found in her liver, with the highest poison concentration being Bromadiolone, so she had eaten bad rats from at least four sources, and she may have eaten the poison pellets herself. Each brand of rat poison only carries ONE of the poisons. Different people buy different brands. This shows that many people in the area are using rat poisons. Wildcare is finding rat poison in most of the animals it treats — isn’t this incredible? I’ll be working with Wildcare to help get information out about poisons — and hopefully folks will become aware of the harm poisons cause to our wildlife, and hopefully they’ll stop using them.


killed by rat poison


Bites Off A Twig That’s In The Way

This branch is definitely in the way so it'll have to go.

This branch is definitely in the way so it’ll have to go.

Let's try from this angle? It didn't help, the coyote ends up leaving empty mouthed. :((

Let’s try from this angle? It didn’t help, the coyote ends up leaving empty mouthed. :((

These Small Dogs and Coyote Are Respectful of Each Other

These two small Yorkies — one weighing a mere 7 pounds and the other 18 pounds even though they are full siblings — are used to this visitor. These dogs bark regularly at this coyote when they see it while they are out walking on their leashes. The coyote understands the barking and keeps a respectful distance away. In their own yard, too, on several occasions, as seen in this photo, they have barked viciously at the visitor to proclaim ownership of their turf, and the coyote, again, always gets the message by not getting too close as the owner, in this case, shoots the photo and swoops in to grabs her two tiny dogs to take them indoors.

Owner Rachel never lets these two roam free and always supervises them out-of-doors. About a year ago the coyote showed up and replaced the raccoons who used to come around. What attracts the coyote to her yard? Possibly the pond, but maybe not — the water level is really low and the coyote could not reach it. In the Spring, there are persimmons in the yard, but not now.

Most of the residents in this area are perfectly happy with this visitor — it adds to their enjoyment of their neighborhood, they tell me! They know there could be issues between their pets and the coyote, so they have educated themselves, and they have taken the proper precautions to keep them apart always. Yay for the community!

How To Coexist With Wild Coyotes — From SF’s Own ‘Coyote Whisperer’ — by Alisa Scerrato


This article by Alisa Scerrato is full of information about coexisting with our urban wild coyotes. Press here to be taken to the article in Hoodline, an online journal covering the news in all of our San Francisco neighborhoods: http://hoodline.com/2017/02/how-to-coexist-with-wild-coyotes-from-sf-s-own-coyote-whisperer

URGENT ALERT: Please help stop the COYOTE KILLING CONTEST in Georgia

coyote-baby_lhp0345Dear Community —

On Thursday, February 16, 2017 the Georgia Department of Natural Resources announced a Coyote Killing Contest. http://www.georgiawildlife.com/node/4325. This coyote killing contest which is to begin in March is ill-advised and inhumane.

If you agree, here’s what you can do to let your opposition be heard.

*post your opposition on your FaceBook page or whatever social media you use
*email GA DNR (http://www.gadnr.org/sendemail)
*call the GA DNR Commissioner’s office at (404) 656-3500
*email GA DNR – Wildlife Resources Division (http://www.georgiawildlife.com/InformationRequest)
*email your friends and ask them to voice their opposition through the above resources

If you are in Georgia:

*email your GA state representative (https://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/)
*email your GA state senator (https://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/)

Here are talking/email points that can be used.

  • What is the reason for this inhumane contest?
  • Removing coyotes does not reduce their population over the long term. In fact, the number of coyotes will increase as competition for resources is reduced. And, coyote populations will not increase beyond the carrying capacity of an area. So, they will not over populate, as some other species may do. To prove this point, the USDA Wildlife Services kills an estimated 70,000 coyotes each year and the number of coyotes has not diminished.
  • Recent studies in South Carolina show that coyotes have minimal impact on deer populations (Kilgo et al., 2016). Most of their diet is rats, mice and other small rodents. Without coyotes, these prey populations would increase.
  • Is it simply because they are not “native”? The reason that they now thrive in the southeast is that we removed wolves from this area. Each impact on a species has consequences. We often don’t recognize this impact until sometime in the future. And, what does native vs. non-native have to do with it anyway? Coyotes have been in Georgia for decades and are here to stay regardless of efforts to remove them.
  • By killing coyotes in March, which is when pups begin to be born, these pups will be left to slowly starve to death. Would you want to watch a domestic dog’s pups slowly starve to death? Why not treat them with the same dignity?
  • This contest also teaches people that it is ok to hold contests with the intent to kill life. In this case, there is no purpose to the contest as these dead coyotes will not be used for food, clothing, etc. Why do we want to teach people that senseless killing is ok?
  • Even the GA Wildlife Resources Division Coyote Fact Sheet says: “Overall, the coyote is a largely misunderstood creature and despite its nuisance reputation proves to be an asset in maintaining the balance of wildlife in Georgia.”
  • The mission of Georgia’s Wildlife Resources Division of the DNR is “to conserve, enhance and promote Georgia’s fish and wildlife resources and outdoor heritage through science-driven research, management, regulation and education.” This contest is not science-driven and is not conserving, enhancing and promoting wildlife resources. So, how does it support the Wildlife Resources Division’s mission?
  • How does this contest support the Georgia Department of Natural Resources? DNR’s mission is “to sustain, enhance, protect and conserve Georgia’s natural, historic and cultural resources…that utilize sound environmental practices”. This contest is not sustaining, enhancing, protecting and promoting Georgia’s natural resources and does not utilize sound environmental practices. Killing contests do not support the GA DNR mission.

Thanks for supporting wildlife through your actions and for spreading the word to friends and colleagues and asking for their participation.


Linda, Meta and Janet

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