City of Woodland

~Settled in 1882~

Coyotes in the City

The following information is provided by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

General Information

Coyotes are nomads. Males may roam over territories as large as 36 square miles, though females usually stay within a six square mile area. Adult male coyotes may share the territory of two or more females, which may overlap the ranges of other males. Coyotes normally move two to three miles per day. They are found throughout the state. They are increasing in southern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities area. Coyotes prefer a combination of farm land and forest habitat, but survive well in the prairie or dense forest areas.

What Attracts Coyotes?

Coyotes are drawn to urban and suburban neighborhoods for two reasons: human encroachment into native habitat and the availability of food. Take the following steps to prevent coyotes from being attracted to your home:

  • Secure garbage cans by fastening lids with rope or bungee cords.
  • Dispose of especially attractive food wastes such as meat, cheese and eggs by adding a small amount of ammonia to the bag.
  • When composting, use enclosed bins rather than exposed piles. Avoid adding dog or cat waste, meat, milk or eggs to compost.
  • If you have fruit trees, pick the ripe fruit and keep fallen fruit off the ground.
  • Clear bushes and weeds away from your home. Dense vegetation provides attractive habitat for animals on whom coyotes prey.

Keeping Pets Safe

Cats and dogs may be seen as prey to the coyote and larger dogs could be injured in a confrontation. To avoid these situations consider the following:

  • Keep pets in at night. Coyotes are primarily nocturnal.
  • Keep cats indoors where they are also safe from cars, other animals and from getting lost.
  • Don't leave pet food outside.
  • Spay or neuter your dogs. Coyotes are attracted to and can mate with unsterilized domestic dogs.

If You See a Coyote

Coyotes are usually wary of humans and will avoid people whenever possible. Aggressive behavior toward people is not normal and is most often a result of habituation due to feeding by humans. If you encounter a coyote, remember the following:

  • Never feed or attempt to "tame" a coyote.
  • Avoid direct eye contact.
  • Do not turn your back or run.
  • Attempt to leave the area calmly.
  • If followed, make loud noises and make yourself look big. If this fails, throw rocks or sticks in the direction of the coyote, being careful not to hit the coyote.

Coyotes are not considered a disease threat. Outbreaks of rabies in coyotes are rare and not commonly implicated in the transmission of the disease to humans or pets.

Please click on the link below to find additional information from the United States Humane Society.