You could see – and hear – more coyotes this fall

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Encore - BY AB­BIE BEN­NETT aben­nett@new­sob­server.com

North Carolini­ans could ex­pect to see — and hear — more coyotes this fall, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent re­port from the N.C. Wildlife Re­sources Com­mis­sion. Data col­lected by the com­mis­sion about coy­ote­hu­man in­ter­ac­tions in 2017 shows that the num­ber of sight­ings or en­coun­ters rise in Oc­to­ber and Novem­ber. That means peo­ple need to keep an eye on small pets and learn strate­gies to avoid or scare away cu­ri­ous coyotes, the com­mis­sion said in its re­port. Coyotes usu­ally avoid peo­ple, Owens said in the re­port. “Stand­ing your ground and shout­ing, wav­ing, or throw­ing small ob­jects can be an ef­fec­tive way to en­sure these wild animals de­velop and main­tain a healthy fear of hu­mans,” the re­port said. “Coy­ote at­tacks on peo­ple are rare,” Owens said. “The high­est risk from coyotes in neigh­bor­hoods is as­so­ci­ated with un­su­per­vised small pets — espe­cially out­door cats — so we ad­vise peo­ple to keep their cats in­doors and their dogs, par­tic­u­larly small dogs, on a leash when out­side, or in a fenced area.” Peo­ple also should re­move any­thing that might at­tract coyotes, Owens said, in­clud­ing “unse­cured garbage, pet food and bird feed­ers.” “In the ab­sence of at­trac­tants, they will likely still pass through the area, but won’t make them­selves at home,” Owens said in the re­port. “This can send the mes­sage to coyotes that they are un­wel­come. You can ef­fec­tively in­tim­i­date a coy­ote by throw­ing small ob­jects to­ward it, mak­ing loud noises, or spray­ing it with a water hose.” Other tips to avoid coyotes, ac­cord­ing to the com­mis­sion, in­clude: Use trash and re­cy­cling bins that have tight­fit­ting lids or lids that can be se­cured. Feed pets in­doors or re­move food when your pet is fin­ished eat­ing out­side. Use bird feed­ers that keep seed off the ground and clean the area when bird­seed ac­cu­mu­lates on the ground. Clear brush along the edges of your yard. Re­move fallen fruit from around fruit trees. Ed­u­cate your neigh­bors about coyotes and best prac­tices to min­i­mize con­flicts with them. It makes sense for coyotes to be more ac­tive in the fall, experts said. “In the fall we see young, ‘teenaged’ coyotes leav­ing their par­ents’ ter­ri­tory to find a mate and es­tab­lish a ter­ri­tory of their own,” Fa­lyn Owens, ex­ten­sion wildlife bi­ol­o­gist with the com­mis­sion, said in the re­port. “Early in their wan­der­ings, young coyotes of­ten travel with their sib­lings, and their char­ac­ter­is­tic yip­ping, howl­ing and bark­ing may be heard as they keep track of each other, and other coyotes whose ter­ri­to­ries they are pass­ing through.” Re­ports in­cluded in the com­mis­sion’s data range from “pos­i­tive wildlife ex­pe­ri­ences and sight­ings to com­plaints.” Most of the 2017 re­ports were from Wake, Meck­len­burg and Gas­ton coun­ties dur­ing late fall.

SUB­MIT­TED File

A coy­ote walks on Pinck­ney Is­land. Coy­ote at­tacks on hu­mans are rare, but experts ad­vise keep­ing an eye on pets.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.