Living With Coyotes

Wildlife and Biodiversity

Coyotes are native to Indiana and were often called “prairie wolves.” Before the European settlement of Indiana, coyotes were primarily restricted to prairie regions of the state. Today, coyotes are found throughout Indiana, including urban areas. Clay Township residents are fortunate to live in a biodiverse area with many species of plants, birds, amphibians and reptiles, mammals and fish. We also have coyotes living amongst us.

Coyotes are found in Carmel and Clay Township. Seeing a coyote here is not necessarily cause for alarm. Coyotes are not considered a significant risk to people. They are usually wary of humans and avoid people whenever possible, however, they are wild animals and we should avoid contact. Most negative coyote interactions are preventable.

Avoid Conflicts With Coyotes

The Urban Coyote Research Project suggests these six easy steps to avoid conflicts with coyotes:

1. Do not feed coyotes
The number one most effective way to prevent coyote attacks in your neighborhood is to eliminate wildlife feeding. Coyotes that are fed in residential neighborhoods can lose their fear of people and may eventually test humans (and pets) as possible prey.

2. Do not let pets run loose
Coyotes probably live nearby, even if you don’t know it, so do not let pets run loose. When hiking in parks, keep dogs on leashes. Pets left outside, even with fencing, remain at risk for predation and unnecessary conflict.

3. Do not run from a coyote
When you encounter a coyote, shout or throw something in its direction. Do not run away. Do not play victim if you can help it.

4. Repellents or fencing may help
Some repellents may work in keeping coyotes out of small areas such as yards, although these have not been tested thoroughly for coyotes. Repellents may involve remotely activated lights or sound-making devices.

5. Do not create conflict where it does not exist
If a coyote is acting as a coyote should by avoiding humans and pets, do not seek out opportunities to haze or otherwise aggravate the animal. Embracing communal respect is key.

6. Report aggressive, fearless coyotes immediately
When a coyote fails to exhibit fear of humans or acts aggressively, the animal should be reported as soon as possible to the appropriate officials.

A Coyote On Your Property

The following is an excellent video produced by the City Of Oakland, Ontario Canada.  It explains what to do if you encounter a coyote on your property, and shows you how to haze or scare them away. If embraced by the entire community, repeated hazing ensures coyotes maintain their fear of humans and know our homes are off limits. Be “Big, Bad and Loud!”

Make our community wildlife aware.

The following are additional resources for living with coyotes:

The UW Urban Canid Project

Urban Coyote Research Project

Project Coyote

Living with Urban Coyotes

(Compiled from Indiana Department of Natural Resources, The Urban Coyote Research Project, and Oakville, Ontario, Canada website: “Wildlife and Biodiversity”)

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