Coyote Sighting Increase Between Now and February

Coyote Sighting Increase Between Now and February

Coyote sightings may increase between now and February as young leave their parents in search of mates and territories to call their own.

That news comes from a press release from the Forest Preserve District of neighboring DuPage County, but the same holds true here in Kane County. You can read more about coyotes on the Kane County Animal Control website.

“These young, inexperienced coyotes may not be as wary of us as older animals, but that doesn’t mean there’s reason to be concerned,” says Dan Thompson, an ecologist in the DuPage district’s Office of Natural Resources. “Even if you see one following you along a trail, chances are it’s merely keeping a cautious eye on you as you pass through its territory.”

If a coyote does appear bold, “Remain confident, and wave your arms and make loud, intimidating noises,” says Thompson.

For people with pets, there are additional recommendations.

“Follow forest preserve regulations and keep your pets leashed when you’re in a preserve,” says Thompson. “It’s smart to stay with your dog and keep it on a leash in your back yard, too. It’s uncommon, but coyotes can target dogs, not necessarily for food but to eliminate animals they think are competing for space. Smaller dogs that bark a lot seem to elicit this kind of response the most.”

A hungry coyote, Thompson says, is going to be more interested in unsecured garbage cans, pet food, open compost piles, bird feeders or fallen fruit piled under trees and shrubs. Keeping yards clean can limit these attractants.

Of course, it’s always important to remember the vital role coyotes play in ecosystems.

“Coyotes are amazingly adaptable and learn quickly,” says Jack MacRae, a naturalist with the District’s Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn. “They’ve found urban areas offer adequate shelter and more food than rural farmlands ever did. As such, they’re very common in our area and play an important role by keeping populations of smaller animals and rodents in check.”

SOURCE: Forest Preserve District of DuPage County