Coyotes in your neighborhood
Lately, I have been hearing more and more reports of coyote sightings all over Cuyahoga County. I wanted to share some information and clear up some misperceptions about the resilient Coyote, a mammal sighted regularly in the watershed.
Coyotes are in the watershed, but there are no wolves living in the wild in Ohio. Coyotes have a bushy black-tipped tail, overall are gray in appearance and have yellow eyes. They are found throughout the state in both rural and urban areas. Coyotes were seen in Ohio as early as 1947 and expanded into the state due to loss of other predators in the Eastern U.S.
Coyotes eat small prey, primarily small mammals such as rabbits and mice. Interaction with domestic pets does occur sometimes—your best bet is to keep pets indoors before sunset and do not leave cat or dog food or water bowls out overnight. Adult coyotes weigh between 25-35 pounds, so most dogs weigh the same or more and are seen as a ‘hassle’ for coyotes to deal with. There have been no known, verified attacks by a healthy coyote in Northeast Ohio on a human.
Coyotes live in family units usually consisting of 5-6, but they are solo hunters. In the Spring and Fall you are likely to see them out during the day as they are spending more time finding rodents to feed their pups. Coyotes living in urban environments are used to normal noises of City living and they will usually pay no attention to people. If you notice a coyote that looks sick (e.g. hair loss, loss of balance, or approaching people) contact your police department immediately.
Ways to avoid interacting with coyotes are to remove any ‘attractants’ from your property, by removing garbage, pet food or cleaning a dirty grill before nightfall. If a coyote is inquisitive and watching you, clap your hands and shout and it should move on. The main take-away is that coyotes are here to stay in Ohio and we need to learn to live with and respect them.
For more information and resources, click here:http://www.cuyahogaswcd.org/EuclidCreekFiles/EC%20Projects&Plans_files/LacustrineRefugeDocs/Coyotes%20in%20Euclid%20Creek.pdf
Euclid Creek Watershed Coordinator, Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District