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Guide to the Urban Coyote

Coyotes have been Tulsa area residents since the early twentieth century when forest fragmentation and the extermination of larger predators like red and grey wolves led to their spread eastward.

 

Coyotes are not nocturnal but are known to be more active after sunset and at night. You may even see and hear more of them during the months of January to March when it is mating season, and from October to January when the young ones disperse from family groups.

 

Many strategies have been tried to rid urban areas of coyotes, but the effort is often costly and ineffective. Coyotes are notoriously hard to catch and don’t survive relocation. Any area cleared of coyotes is quickly repopulated.

 

While they are considered a nuisance, they play an essential role in the ecosystem by helping to control the rodent population. They are predators of geese, squirrels, mice, voles, gophers, opossums, and other small animals. While rodents make up most of their diet, they also feed on fish, insects, nuts, and a variety of fruits and vegetables.

 

In urban areas, coyotes have been known to kill small pets. The best way to protect pets is to avoid attracting coyotes near your home by following these four best practices

Best Practice #1 Supervise Pets

·       While coyotes don’t usually attack humans, your pets can be a target.

·       Coyotes may see large dogs as rivals and small dogs and cats as prey.

·       Always walk your dog on a leash.

·       Keep cats indoors. Letting cats roam free is also a violation of City of Tulsa Ordinances.

·       And the best way to protect your pets is not to leave them outside unattended, especially at dusk through dawn when coyotes are more active. In some cases, coyotes can climb fences.

Best Practice #2 Remove Food Attractants

Best Practice #3 Remove Possible Shelters

Best Practice #4 Respond Appropriately During Any Encounters

If you see a coyote that seems aggressive or if you have more questions, call a Tulsa County Game Warden with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation:

 

Contact Brandon Fulton, (918) 640-0316

or Rylee Rolling, (918) 857-5557

 

They can connect you with a licensed Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator. Do not contact the Tulsa Animal Shelter as they do not handle wildlife issues.

 

By following best practices, you can help limit negative interactions between people, pets, and the urban wildlife we live alongside.


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