Coyote hazing video.
Services we offer:
- Live removal of animals from inside structures
- Predator-proof enclosures, barriers and fencing
- Safe repellents and deterrents
- Aversive conditioning and hazing
- Yard and neighborhood audits
- Educational presentations
Bobcats, coyotes and fox are essential to healthy ecosystems and beneficial to humans in controlling rodent populations. They have a natural fear of humans and will not attack unless cornered or otherwise provoked or habituated.
Most people believe that if they get rid of the animal(s), they'll get rid of the problem, but that's not the case. When animals are removed, it's not long before other individuals from the surrounding area move in and the problem starts back up again. Removing the animals is rarely the solution, and, in some cases - like with coyotes, it can actually exacerbate the problem.
In California, wildlife cannot be moved or relocated - for good reason. Studies have shown most relocated animals die trying to get back home. Relocation is neither kind or effective.
When trappers are called to remove wildlife, the animals are trapped and killed. Typically, the animals are shot or destroyed in a CO2 gas chamber - a cruel and inhumane method of killing animals larger than mice.
Lethal response should only be used to remove individuals that have attacked a human, unprovoked.
The answer is relatively simple
Like other wild species, bobcats, coyote and fox are attracted to urban areas by food resources. Their presence is a clear indication that they have been successful in obtaining food from one or multiple sources.
The key to reducing their presence, then, is to eliminate the food resources or their access:
- Poultry and livestock must be housed responsibly in predator-proof enclosures or otherwise protected from predators.
- Small dogs and cats must not be allowed to roam free.
- Feral cats must be housed in predator-proof enclosures.
- Garbage must be contained securely.
- Ripe and or fallen fruit should be collected.
- Pet food must never be left outside, day or night.
- Birdseed feeders attract rodents which attract predators, and should be eliminated.
In addition to taking away potential food resources, the area should be unwelcoming.
- Thin brush and remove hiding spots.
- Install motion-activated light and sound repellers, like this one, HERE.
- Place tall "scare sticks" made of flashy mylar ribbon around the yard.
A little bit about coyotes
Coyotes are very closely related to the domestic dog. If you're a dog owner, think of the coyote as your dog's genius cousin. They are truly brilliant. If nothing else, they should at least be admired for their intelligence.
Coyotes do not see humans as prey - not even small children. Just like the jackals in Africa follow lions, waiting to scavenge a kill, coyotes will follow humans because they have learned we lead to food. Smart.
Coyotes have a natural fear of humans and are easily chased off. In most cases, when a coyote stands its ground and stares, it's basically waiting for the human to make the first move so it can go the opposite direction. Wise.
However, like dogs, they can be trained - conditioned - habituated, to enter urban areas and approach people for food, and, they can be as easily trained to stop.
More cool facts about coyotes:
Coyotes are native to North America. There are 19 subspecies. The Western species typically weigh 20 - 35 pounds. Coyotes often live in small family groups, with usually 6 or fewer individuals. Within the family group, or clan, there is a dominant male and dominant female - the king and queen. Only the alpha pair - the king and queen, reproduce, and, they are strictly monogamous - until death do they part. Coyotes typically hunt alone or in loose pairs - not as a pack. They are territorial, defending land from other coyotes. Urban territories are smaller maybe a few square miles, than rural or wild territories. Coyotes are omnivorous scavengers and predator of small animals, eating just about anything that's not too much trouble. In an urban setting they help control rodent, deer and resident goose populations. They do not see humans as prey. Attacks on humans are extremely rare - most if not all cases of bites have been associated with people feeding the coyotes. It is normal to see a coyote during the day and not unusual to see one in an urban area - it just means there is a food resource nearby.
Attacks on people
In the U.S., there has only been one fatal attack blamed on a coyote. Statistically, domestic dogs are more dangerous. In a ten-year period - 2005 to 2015, there were 360 dog-related fatalities and over 40,000,000 documented dog bites, compared to about 60 poorly documented scratches and bites blamed on coyotes.
Pet and livestock losses
Responsible ownership is key to preventing injury and loss of pets and livestock. The onus in on small pet owners and livestock produces to protect their animals from predators, just as they would (or should) protect their animals from the weather.
Safety tips for small dog owners
Prepare to encounter a coyote and learn to haze them properly. Check out this instructional video on hazing, HERE.
Consider predator-proofing your yard or kennel.
When walking with a small dog, keep the dog on a leash no longer than 6 feet, and carry one or more of these items with you:
- Survival whistle, like this one, HERE.
- Small air horn, like this one, HERE.
- Penny can or other loud noisemaker.
- Scare stick made with mylar ribbon, like this, HERE.
A little bit about bobcats
Bobcats do not consider humans as prey. They will not attack unless threatened. Attacks on small dogs is rare - they mostly eat rodents and small mammals.
Bobcats vary in size from as small as a large house cat to about 23" at the shoulders. They have short "bobbed" tails. They are mostly solitary and territorial. Females defend territories of about 5 square miles, males tend to disperse farther and hold larger territories.
It's common to see a bobcat in the middle of the day, and, although they have a natural fear of humans, unless they feel threatened, bobcats usually move away slowly. However, if a bobcat appears sluggish, ill or injured, please report it, HERE - it could be suffering from anticoagulant rodenticide from eating poisoned rodents.
Bobcats with mange
Mange is a skin disease caused by mites, resulting in itching, hair loss and crusty scabs. In bobcats, research suggests a link to rodenticides. Read all about it, HERE.
Check back for more, soon.