enjoys observing wildlife in its natural environment. However, many
well-meaning residents of urban hillside and rural areas have promoted an
unnatural boldness in coyotes by intentionally or unintentionally feeding
Recognize that the coyote is indigenous to
Calabasas. We built our city in the coyote's backyard and the coyote has
adapted to this environment. We should adapt to the presence of the coyote.
There are precautions residents should take to mitigate unwanted
Watch "Coyotes: Villain or Vilified?" produced by the
County of San Diego.
Coyote (Canis Latrans)
The coyote weighs 20 to 30 pounds and stands 23 to 26 inches at the
shoulder. In appearance, the coyote looks similar to a tan colored shepherd
type dog with long pointed muzzle, large ears and long legs. The coyote is
an extremely intelligent predator that has adapted to living in close
proximity to humans. Coyotes, whose natural habitat is the Los Angeles
basin, have adjusted to the shrinking habitat by living closer to humans,
sometimes in residential areas, parks, and on the landscaped areas of the
freeway system. Coyotes use the flood control channels, freeways, hillside
erosion gutters, city streets, and sidewalks as convenient means of travel.
They find an abundant source of water from swimming pools, gutters, leaking
hose faucets, and sprinkler heads, bird baths and pet water dishes in
Although the coyote is an excellent hunter, feeding primarily on rats, mice,
ground squirrels, rabbits, insects, carrion and fruit, it will not hesitate
to kill cats, small dogs, poultry, sheep or goats, given the opportunity.
They learn that domestic animals are easier to catch than wild prey and will
prowl neighborhoods in search of unattended domestic animals.
You Can Do to Protect Your Family, Pets, Poultry and Livestock?
Coyotes are capable of scaling fences up to
six feet high. They will also dig under fences. They can be deterred by
solid fence with no visibility to inside, increasing the
height of fencing and facing it outward at a 45 degree angle. Bury the
bottom of the fence at least six to twelve inches
underground to prevent the coyote from digging underneath. A covered
enclosure set up with a pet door will permit your pet to go safely outdoors.
Coyotes are wild animals and should be treated
as such. No attempt should be made to pet or otherwise make contact with
Chicken, rabbits, and other small animals often kept outside should be kept
in well-protected areas and in sturdy cages at night. Cages made of chicken
wire will not keep desperate coyotes or other predators from entering.
Stronger gauge wiring is a necessity in protecting these small animals. City
residents are advised to give special attention to the following do's and
Keep your cat or small dog
indoors at night or any other time when a coyote is known to be in the
Accompany your small dog in a well lighted area at
night for comfort walks
Walk your dog on a leash whenever you take it off
of your property
Confine poultry and rabbits in covered enclosures
constructed with heavy mesh wire. Coyotes can break through ordinary
Keep all outdoor trash can lids securely fastened
to trash containers
Pick backyard fruit as soon as it ripens and
keep rotten fruit off the ground
Don't feed wild animals.
Don't leave pet food outside, particularly at night
pets to roam from home--especially at night.
Don't leave water bowls for pets outdoors
Don't leave garbage containers open
Don't leave water in
birdbaths or bird seed outdoors for songbirds
Do not let cats run freely in
neighborhoods. Keep small dogs in close proximity when
outside. Keep all pets inside at night (or in a completely
enclosed kennel) when coyotes are most active.
Maintain fences so coyotes cannot slip
underneath. Add deterrents to the tops of fences that reduce
a coyote’s ability to grab on and pull themselves up and
over. Coyote rollers and wire extensions can discourage
animals attempting to breach fences.
Install motion activated lights in back
yard. Keep lights on when dogs are outside.
Visually inspect yard before allowing any
Communicate with local officials. Report
the following (include the date and location of incident):
Coyote biting or attacking dogs; Coyote killing cat or dog;
Coyote biting a person; Person feeding coyote, either
accidentally or purposefully; Open trash cans and dumpsters
at local businesses.
with many wild animals, the coyote, when left alone, will regulate its own
numbers. If coyotes in a certain area are killed, die, or are relocated, the
remaining members will fill the vacancies, either with larger litters or by
allowing outsiders to
move into the area. Flashing lights, tape recorded human noises, scattered
moth balls, and ammonia-soaked rags strategically placed may deter coyotes
from entering your property. Coyotes and all other predatory mammals are
considered "opportunistic" hunters. It is your responsibility to afford
fundamental protection for all of your domestic and companion animals.