A six year coyote study in Chicago was recently completed and is continuing. The Chicago study brings to light some good information to pass along to your towns who are implementing rat control, goose control – and coyote control- all at tax payer expense.
There is some very good information in this study, regarding personal pets and the fact that people blame coyotes when their pets disappear, whether or not the coyote was really to blame.
Cars, domestic dogs, Great Horned Owls, diseases, neighbors who are tired of roaming pets in their yards…. are all reasons why pet dogs and cats don’t come home. Yet people point the finger at the easiest target to persecute- the coyote.
“…Gehrt bases his 2,000 estimate on the 350-400 “nuisance” coyotes trapped each year in the region. Coyotes get reported as nuisances when pets disappear, whether or not they’re responsible.
“There have been no attacks on people yet,” he said. “But if someone tries to protect their pet, the coyote may stand its ground and growl and bark.”
Problem coyotes are a small minority. “We’ve marked over 200, and five became nuisance animals,” Gehrt said. ….”
The major findings include:
- Coyotes help control Canada geese populations. It appears that coyotes are helping to curb the booming Canada goose population in urban areas by eating the eggs from the birds’ nests.
- Most coyotes pose little threat to humans. The problems generally start when people feed coyotes, even if that feeding is unintentional.
“A coyote may eat the food that’s left outside for a pet,” Gehrt said. “It’s not uncommon to see a coyote pass through an urban or suburban neighborhood.
“But most coyotes aren’t thrilled about being seen by people,” he continued. “Urban coyotes are more active at night than their rural counterparts, so humans don’t see a lot of their activity. In many cases, coyotes are probably doing us favors that we don’t realize – they eat a lot of rodents and other animals that people don’t want around.”