Coyote information from The Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Society of the United States ("HSUS") have provided the City valuable information concerning the coyote conflicts that residents are currently experiencing in the City of Parkland. The HSUS commended the City for seeking measures to protect the safety of its residents and their pets and children, HSUS urges residents to use proven effective, nonlethal means for these conflicts, rather than resorting to lethal measures. 

The HSUS stated that they completely understand the appearance of coyotes in the community can be alarming, and that the recent coyote attacks on pets have made residents afraid for the safety of their pets and children. However, the HSUS further states that killing coyotes will not solve the problems in the community. Please see the HSUS Coyote Conflicts fact sheet which explains in depth why killing coyotes does not address the root causes of coyote conflicts, and is therefore not effective.

The HSUS recommends that if coyote sightings are become more common in the community and coyotes are exhibiting unusually bold behavior, it is almost certainly because they are being fed by people. Some people intentionally feed wildlife because they like the experience, and some accidentally feed wildlife by leaving cat and dog food outside. Pets such as cats and small dogs left outside can also attract coyotes to neighborhoods. An educational campaign teaching residents the importance of keeping cats inside, not letting dogs outside unattended, and keeping pet food inside is the best way to tackle these conflicts with coyotes at the source.

Coyotes that have become particularly bold and do not run away when encountering people have become habituated to humans. In these cases, a technique called hazing is particularly effective. This involves scaring the coyote away by yelling at it and waving your arms, using noisemakers such as whistles and air horns, or throwing objects such as tennis balls at the coyote. These actions re-instill the natural fear of humans back into habituated coyotes, and these coyotes will stop visiting these areas. Communities such as Denver, Colorado and Vancouver, British Columbia have found a remarkable reduction in their conflicts with coyotes by using a combination of education and hazing.  Please review the Denver’s coyote management plan for more information about the program. 

The HSUS states the bottom line is that killing coyotes will not be effective for reducing conflicts in the area. Research has shown that killed coyotes are quickly replaced by coyotes from the surrounding areas. These coyotes are likely to also become nuisances if the root of the problem (food outside, unattended pets, etc.) is not addressed.

For additional HSUS information please contact:
Lynsey White Dasher, Urban Wildlife Specialist
The Humane Society of the United States
2100 L Street NW Washington, DC 20037
lwhite@humanesociety.org
t 301.258.3175 f 301.258.3080
humanesociety.org