Coyotes in the neighborhood

Don’t leave your pets outside unattended.

Recently Woodland Heights residents have reported pets being killed by coyotes including this incident involving a small dog.

An expert helpfully chimed in and shared a ton of great information.

Hey, Woodland Heights Neighborhood! My name is Anne and I run the Urban Wildlife_JRP Facebook page that shares videos and photos of animals we are documenting in James River Park with game cameras ( biodiversity project is entering it’s 3rd year, and we have been getting coyote videos on the north and south sides of the river since early 2015. Your posts about coyotes and coydogs in your neighborhood are what brings me here.

I spoke to VDGIF about them awhile back and would like to share their comments and some other resources with you.

Historically, coyotes arrived in the mountains of southwest VA in the 1970’s and spread across the state, arriving in the Richmond area about 20 years ago. So, they are everywhere, and they are here to stay. So, we need to learn how to coexist with them.

Research has shown that trapping and killing them only increases the problem. They are highly territorial and if some are removed, others will move in. The ones that take over vacant territory will have bigger litters of pups that will have better rates of survival in the short term- to fill the void- so let them work their territories out amongst themselves and their numbers will stabilize. There will only be as many of them as the surrounding habitat can support.

Coyotes will:

  • prey on small dogs and cats, though they are NOT a preferred prey, so keep an eye on your pets, espec. from dusk to dawn.
  • be drawn to bird feeders because of squirrels and to garbage if it is left out.
  • eat Canada goose eggs and goslings. That goes into the plus column!

Here’s a good site with an excellent list of resources at the end.

Another good fact sheet.

Scroll down and click on ‘Coyote Hazing Guidelines’ for tips on how to act if you run across one (go big and loud).
And, of course, don’t leave babies or small children unattended outside.

I say embrace the coyotes and make sure we do everything we can to keep them wild and not eating our garbage or pets, etc etc. It is good for our surrounding wild areas (park) to have an apex predator as it helps to keep a balance. And they are very interesting and resourceful animals.

Just my 2 cents! Thanks….

Image: Urban Wildlife_JRPS

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Richard Hayes

When Richard isn’t rounding up neighborhood news, he’s likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest craft beer.

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