The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today issued guidance to help prevent conflicts between people and coyotes.

DEC Commissioner Seggos said:

Coyotes are an integral part of our natural ecosystem and provide many benefits to New Yorkers. Coyotes will naturally avoid interacting with people if their fear of people is maintained, but if coyotes learn to associate people with food, conflicts can occur. New Yorkers are encouraged to follow DEC's guidance to prevent coyote problems from occurring.

The Eastern coyote is found in many habitats, from rural farmland and forests to populated suburban and urban areas in New York State. Coyotes are well adapted to suburban and even urban environments, but for the most part, will avoid conflicts with people.

However, conflicts with people and pets may result, particularly during the spring denning and pupping period. If coyotes learn to associate food, such as garbage or pet food with peoples' homes, they may lose their natural fear of humans and the potential for close encounters or conflicts increase.

To reduce or prevent conflicts with coyotes, New Yorkers are encouraged to take the following steps:

  • Do not feed coyotes. Discourage others from doing so.
  • Pet food and garbage attract coyotes and other wildlife and increase risks to people and pets.
  • Do not allow coyotes to approach people or pets. If you see a coyote, be aggressive in your behavior: stand tall and hold your arms up or out to look large. If a coyote lingers for too long, then make loud noises, wave your arms and throw sticks and stones.
  • Teach children to appreciate coyotes from a distance.
  • Do not allow pets to run free. Supervise all outdoor pets to keep them safe from coyotes and other wildlife, especially at sunset and at night. Small dogs and cats are especially vulnerable.
  • Fenced yards may deter coyotes. The fence should be tight to the ground, preferably extending six inches below ground level and taller than four feet.
  • Remove brush and tall grass from around your home to reduce protective cover for coyotes. Coyotes are typically secretive and like areas where they can hide.
  • Contact your local police department and DEC regional office for assistance if you notice coyotes exhibiting "bold" behaviors and having little or no fear of people, or if you see them repeatedly during the daytime in a human-populated area or near residences. Seeing a coyote occasionally throughout the year is not evidence of bold behavior.
  • Ask neighbors to follow these same steps.

Additional information can be found on the DEC website.

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