DEM: Take these steps to reduce risk of coyote confrontations

Coyotes are exceptionally active in the spring, and they’re looking for food. The DEM wants you to know what you can do to prevent unwanted encounters.

By: Tim Studebaker

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Coyote sightings are not uncommon here in southern New England.  And this time of year, they’re hungry.  Charlie Brown is a wildlife biologist with the Rhode Island Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Brown says, “Most of the food resources, especially for predators, has been reduced over time.  We haven’t seen that big flush of baby rabbits and squirrels and things like that.  You know, prey items for them.”

Brown says the coyote population is pretty widespread across the state, except for Block Island and some of the smaller islands in Narragansett Bay.  Sightings tend to go up in springtime.

Brown says, “Those coyotes that are just about to turn a year old are getting displaced from the family.  So, you get this pulse of transient juvenile coyotes moving around the landscape.”

He says you can reduce your chances of coming into contact with coyotes by limiting outdoor food sources and keeping your pets, like small dogs and cats, indoors, especially at night.

Brown says, “It’s a risky, risky business leaving your cat out, especially at night.  They’re just the right size for a meal for a coyote.”

He also suggests putting trash out the morning of trash collection day, not the night before.  And, be careful to keep animal products, like meat and bones, out of your compost pile.  He also says if you have livestock, take steps to protect it.  Additionally, coyotes will tend to stay off your property if you make sure they know you live there.

Brown says, “If your presence is known, and you appear to them as being a threat, that’s going to be very effective in keeping them off your property.”

For more information, visit the DEM’s website.

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Categories: News, Rhode Island