September 25, 2011 in Uncategorized By: Dave Emerson
(9/25/2011, Los Alamitos) I just received word of a good sized coyote “patrolling” the streets of Suburbia Estates before 7 Sunday morning.
Coyotes in the City of Los Alamitos
Coyotes look like small dogs, weighing between 20 and 45 pounds. They are omnivores, which means they eat both meat and vegetation. They are highly intelligent and very adaptable.
In recent months, there have been several sightings of coyotes in Los Alamitos. The remains of domestic cats and small dogs that fell victim to these coyotes have been found throughout the City and in Rossmoor.
In urban areas coyotes live in storm drains, vacant lots, parks, military bases, and on golf courses. Their home range can be as large as 12 square miles.
Although the coyotes in Los Alamitos primarily utilize the flood control channels to traverse the city, they are frequently seen running on residential streets.
Coyotes are most active at night but can be seen moving around at any time of the day. Most of the sightings in Los Alamitos occur at, or just before, dawn.
Although coyotes are solitary animals, they may form packs as population densities increase or where food is abundant such as in urban areas.
Reducing human-coyote conflicts:
- Don’t feed coyotes!
- Don’t leave small children unattended outside!
- Keep pets indoors, especially small dogs & cats.
- Don’t leave pet food outside.
- Eliminate sources of water by covering pools or moving pet water dishes indoors.
- When waling a dog that weights less than 35 pounds, carry a walking stick and/or a device that makes a loud noise. Usually, larger dogs are not at risk.
- Fences might deter coyotes, but most can jump over and run along the top of 8 foot high fences or walls quite gracefully.
- Coyotes can run almost 40 miles per hour.
- Trim ground-level shrubbery to reduce hiding places for coyotes or their prey.
- Secure garbage containers and eliminate garbage odors. Make sure garbage container can’t be tipped over.
- Pick up fallen fruit or other food sources. Even bird seed attracts rats, which are a food source for coyotes.
- Install motion-sensitive lighting.
The sudden increase in local coyote sightings is likely due to a disturbance in their habitat, possibly related to changes in or around the wetlands.
Although coyote attacks on humans are rare, they can occur. If followed by a coyote, make loud noises. If that fails, throw rocks in the animal’s direction. If you think you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.
If you would like more information, or if you have a persistent coyote problem in your neighborhood, contact:
California Dept of Fish and Game at (562)342-7100
Los Alamitos Police Department at (562) 594-7232.
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