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Latest Deer Park News

Posted on: January 26, 2024

Coyotes found throughout Illinois

Coyotes

Coyotes are found throughout Illinois—in rural, suburban, and highly urban areas. So if you see a coyote resting in or crossing a backyard, golf course, park, or field—that is normal coyote behavior. It is also common to see coyotes out during the day. As long as they are given their space, and they are not injured or being fed by people, coyotes do not typically pose a threat to people.

For more information about coyotes in urban areas, check out the Urban Coyote Project.

Here are some steps to prevent humancoyote conflicts:

  • Do not run if a coyote approaches you. Safety procedures for dealing with coyotes are different than those for dealing with an unknown dog. Yell, stand up straight, and wave your arms (the goal is to make yourself appear larger), or throw something at the coyote to make it move away (the goal is to scare it away, not to injure it).
  • Teach your kids what to do if they see a coyote. Have them throw their arms up in the air and yell “like a monster” to scare the coyote away.
  • Do not leave small pets unattended when they are outside, especially at night. Consider the use of fencing or kennel runs to protect small pets.
  • Do not feed coyotes. Property owners should limit the availability of unintentional food sources, such as bird food, pet food, ripe fruit, and trash. Research has shown that urban coyotes that eat a diet high in carbohydrate-rich foods provided unintentionally by people (compost, food waste, etc.) have altered microbiomes which negatively affect body condition, potentially increasing their parasite susceptibility and conflict-prone behavior.
  • Comply with local ordinances that require oversight or restraint of pets. Coyotes that are protecting their den or young will vigorously defend the area. Walking your dog in another area helps keep everyone safe.
  • Target the responsible coyote(s) when a pattern of “undesirable” behavior develops. Usually it will be easier to change human and domestic animal use of an area than to capture the coyote(s). Recognize that coyote population reduction (removing some or all of the coyotes in an area) is usually unrealistic and always temporary. Removal of coyotes also requires time, effort, and funding.
  • Alert residents of the neighborhood and the local municipality (e.g., police, public safety officer) if, and as soon as, a problem develops with a coyote.
  • If removal of a coyote is deemed necessary, hire a person with coyote removal experience who is licensed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). Coyote removals approved by the IDNR usually involve the use of cage (live) traps or padded-foothold traps. These animals are humanely euthanized, not relocated.
  • For more information see the Illinois Department of Natural Resources

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