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Coyotes in Westchester

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Coyotes live in parts of North America and roam areas of Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Central America.  Until now, they have lived in harmony, but due to humans taking over more and more of the countryside, coyotes have increasingly moved into the cities.

Coyotes are very territorial, so as they keep expanding their territory, they move closer and closer to cities.  Since they adapt easily to different environments, they have no trouble settling into their new city homes. They scrounge around for scraps of food on the streets and in garbage cans.  About 400,000 coyotes are killed each year, but that doesn’t stop them from reproducing. Unlike other predators, they have thrived for the past 150 years. Once restricted to the plains, they have taken over our continent and have invaded farms and cities.  They have also expanded their diet to include squirrels, household pets, and discarded food.

As coyotes become more comfortable in urban settings, city employees are teaching different techniques to scare away the coyotes. These techniques include loud noises, such as blowing a whistle, clapping your hands, shouting, and for those in cars, honking the horn.   These are attempts to make coyotes fear humans again, but it is not easy. This process might also include humans changing their own behavior.  In an interview, Scott Gilmore, Deputy Executive of Denver Parks Recreation said: “People have to change what they do to make sure coyotes don’t see us as a food source or just to get what they need: food, water, or shelter.”  

Here in Westchester, New York,  there are increasing numbers of coyotes!  We will have to start learning to implement more control, remember to keep at a distance and take whatever measures necessary to make sure everyone stays safe.

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