The canis latrans, also known as the ky-OH-tee, Koh-yoh-tay, or as the cowboy would say, ky-OAT; has been spotted in all areas of Tulsa.
Coyotes migrated to the Tulsa area beginning in the early twentieth century, when forest fragmentation and the extermination of larger predators like red and gray wolves lead to their spread eastward.
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 will quickly be repopulated.
Coyotes do provide 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 a majority of their diet, they also feed on fish, insects, blueberries, apples, prickly pears, persimmons, peanuts and carrots.
Although their diet includes a variety of foods, 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
Best practice #2: Remove food attractants
Best practice #3: Remove possible shelters
Best practice #4: Respond appropriately during encounters
Hazing helps keep wild animals wild, as coyotes can become a nuisance or aggressive when they lose their fear of people.
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 Carlos Gomez in Jenks at 918-857-5557
Or Brandon Fulton in Collinsville at 918-640-0316
They can connect you with a licensed Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator. Do not contact the Tulsa Animal Shelter as it does not handle wildlife issues.
By following best practices, you can help limit negative interactions between people, pets and the urban wildlife we live alongside.