Page 9 - The Heights of Jupiter - February '19
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North Palm Beach Heights, Page 9
      Northern Notes

      Living With Coyotes                                  The scientific name of the coyote,  Canis latrans,   people,  stalking  pets,  chasing  joggers  or  bikers  or
                                                         literally means “barking dog.” Coyotes use a variety of   attacking leashed pets.
      By O’Neal Bardin, Jr.                              vocalizations such as barking like dogs, but most often     Close off crawl spaces under porches and sheds.
      Executive Director,                                they are heard making shrill yips and howls. Howling   Coyotes and other animals use such areas for resting and
      Northern Palm Beach                                is often a group effort that begins as a simple howl, but   raising young.
      County Improvement                                 quickly increases into a series of group howls and high-    Teach  children  to  recognize  and  not  to  run  from
      District                                           pitched barks.                                    coyotes. If children are approached, have them move
        A local news station                               Coyotes typically are shy and elusive, but they   slowly into a house or climb up on a swing, tree or deck
      recently ran a segment on                          occasionally can be spotted either alone, in pairs or in   and yell.
      coyote sightings in the                            small groups where food is readily available. Coyotes     Educate your neighbors. Ask them to follow these same
      Palm Beach and West Palm                           remain active year-round.                         steps.
      Beach area and residents in                          Coyotes play an important role in the ecosystem by
      our area have commented                            helping to keep rodent populations under control.  Coexisting With Coyotes
      on coyote sightings in the
      past, especially around                            Keep Your Pets Safe                                 Coyotes can be curious but are also timid and generally
      dusk and dawn. The following information is from a                                                   run away if challenged. Just remember that any wild
      publication by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation     Coyotes can and do prey on domestic cats and small   animal will protect itself or its young. Never initiate a
      Commission (FWC) and the University of Florida/Institute   dogs. To protect your pets, don’t allow them to roam freely.   close encounter with a coyote.
      of Food and Agricultural Sciences. It provides information   Most coyote attacks on pets occur either at night or at dusk     If a coyote approaches too closely, immediately act
      on coyotes and their interaction with people:      or dawn. During these times especially, be careful if you’re   aggressively toward the coyote. Wave your arms, throw
        Coyotes are found throughout Florida. This adaptable   walking your pet in wooded areas or in heavily foliaged   things like stones and shout at the coyote. If necessary,
      animal belongs to the dog family and resembles a small   areas where coyotes could hide. Keep your dog close,   make yourself appear larger by standing up or stepping
      German shepherd. In Florida, coyotes typically weigh   on a short leash. Keep cats indoors. When cats wander   onto a rock, stump or stair. Convince the coyote you are
      between 15 to 30 pounds. They have pointed ears, a   freely, there’s an increased risk of them being attacked by   a potential danger to be avoided.
      narrow muzzle and a bushy tail. Males tend to be larger   coyotes. Coyotes are also attracted by garbage. Problems     Where coyote encounters occur regularly, walk pets at
      than females. Coyote fur is usually grayish-brown but   can be significantly reduced if residents remove attractants   other times besides nighttime hours, dusk and dawn. Carry
      occasionally is black. When running, the coyote usually   and secure trash.                          something that will make noise or scare the animal, such
      holds its tail at “half-mast” or straight out behind it, unlike                                      as a solid walking stick or golf club. These things may
      most domestic dogs.                                Preventing Problems                               deter the coyote at close range. Make a “coyote shaker” by
                                                                                                           putting a few washers, pebbles or pennies into an empty
                                                           Never feed coyotes! Don’t place food outdoors that   soft drink can. Wrap the can in foil and tape closed.
                                                         will attract wild animals. Clean up pet food, fallen fruit,
                                                         and seed around bird feeders. Secure garbage cans and   Myths About Coyotes
                                                         compost in animal-proof containers. Don’t try to pet a
                                                         coyote and teach children not to approach any unfamiliar   Coyotes Are Extremely Dangerous: False!
                                                         animal.                                             There have been very few reported cases of Eastern
                                                           Don’t let coyotes intimidate you. Frighten away   coyotes biting people. The coyote’s innate fear of humans
                                                         coyotes by making loud noises and acting aggressively,   tends to keep them from getting too close.
                                                         such as waving your arms in the air, throwing sticks at it   Coyotes Are A New Problem: False!
                                                         or spraying it with a hose. Don’t attempt to hurt it because     Coyotes have been in Florida for many years and
                                                         injured animals are more likely to attack.        will continue to make their homes around the state. This
                                                           Be  aware  of  unusual  coyote  behavior.  Examples  of
                                                         unusual coyote behavior include coyotes approaching   Northern Notes on page 10


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