A coyote captured and killed a domestic cat in the area near Alhambra Apartments in east Davis on Tuesday.
Coyotes have been a topic of conversation in town ever since a Department of Agriculture specialist killed five of them near Wildhorse Golf Course this summer. A Facebook page called Project Save Davis Coyotes was even started. They encourage hazing coyotes to discourage them from getting comfortable in residential areas and becoming a threat to domestic pets.
The City of Davis shared this on their Facebook page Thursday in response to the above-mentioned cat killing.
Although coyotes have been observed in the agricultural fields to the north of Alhambra Apartments for the last several months, they had been keeping their distance from the residential area and exhibiting acceptable behavior. This recent incident marks a new and unfortunate change in foraging behavior for these coyotes. Coyote management volunteers are currently attempting to locate the coyotes and implement hazing to move them out of the area.
The city would like to remind all residents of the urban/ agricultural transition areas that coyotes are a present and important wildlife species. Coyotes help to keep the populations of potential pest species like rats and mice down to a minimum. However, they are opportunistic, and will eat other available food items including trash, pet food and small pets. Access to these food items brings the coyotes closer to our neighborhoods. This closer contact reduces the coyote’s natural fear of humans and increases the risk of conflict.
It is important to understand that lethal removal of coyotes is not a sustainable solution to reducing conflict with them, nor is it an appropriate response to the recent incident. We as a community must embrace the fact that coyotes are abundant in the region and will never go away. We must also work together to prevent undesirable coyote behavior by eliminating access to food resources and implementing hazing methods to reinforce their natural wariness of people.
Tips for living with coyotes:
• Remove attractants from around your home: pick up fallen fruits, pick up trash, secure trash bins, and feed pets inside. Don’t leave food or pets outside at night. Don’t let your pets roam from the yard.
• Keep coyotes from hopping the fence into your yard by installing deterrents. Motion activated sprinklers, “fence rollers”, and angled fence top barriers work very well (see resources below).
• Walk dogs on leashes, especially during coyote pup season (Apr-Aug). Pick up your small pets if you see a coyote.
• If approached by a coyote or see one in your yard, don’t panic. Stand your ground, wave your arms, make noise and walk toward the coyote until it retreats. Be the dominant species!
• Avoid areas where coyotes may be denning or feeding/ hiding pups.