There have been recent reports of coyote sightings in the City of Downey. As coyote numbers increase in cities, they become accustomed to the presence of people, especially if the people do not harass them. Studies of coyote attacks have revealed a predictable pattern of change in coyote behavior in these environments. This progression is accelerated when coyotes are provided abundant food, either unintentionally or intentionally; in residential areas. The City is in the process of developing a Coyote Management Plan however; in the meantime in cooperation with Downey residents there are a number of control measures and damage prevention actions that can take place. Please consider the following:
• Never feed or attempt to tame coyotes. The result may be deadly conflicts with pets or livestock, or serious injuries to small children.
• Do not leave small children or pets outside unattended.
• Be aware that coyotes are more active in the spring, when feeding and protecting their young.
• If followed by a coyote, make loud noises. If this fails, throw rocks in the animal’s direction.
• Put garbage in tightly closed containers that cannot be tipped over.
• Remove sources of water, especially in dry climates.
• Put away bird feeders at night to avoid attracting rodents and other coyote prey.
• Provide secure enclosures for rabbits, poultry, etc.
• Pick up fallen fruit and cover compost piles.
• Trim ground-level shrubbery and low level tree branches to reduce hiding places.
• Ask your neighbors to follow these tips.
• Close off crawl spaces by installing secured wire mesh.
Use Negative Reinforcement
Residents who see a coyote in their neighborhood should attempt to frighten it away by shouting, throwing rocks, squirting it with a water hose, blowing portable air horns, or otherwise acting aggressively in order to reinforce its fear of people. Motion-sensitive lights on houses or outbuildings may deter coyotes from approaching.
Take Special Pet Precautions
Cats and small animals should not be allowed outside alone, even in a fenced yard. (A dog or cat can be taken from a backyard enclosed by a six-foot high fence or wall in a matter of moments.) Always accompany small pets when outside. Don't allow your dog off leash. Coyotes generally hunt between sunset and sunrise, but can be observed at all hours of the day and will not pass up the opportunity to attack.
Wildlife Watch Program
The City of Downey is currently working on organizing a Wildlife Watch Program in collaboration with the City's Neighborhood Watch Program to haze coyotes in their neighborhoods and educate their neighbors on coyote hazing. This is part of a larger partnership with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife similar to Neighborhood Watch. If you are interested in providing coyote hazing information to your community and assist the City with hazing efforts, please contact the City's Neighborhood Watch Program at 562-904-2374.
Coyote Information Flyer
Coyote Yard Audit Checklist
California Department of Fish & Wildlife
Humane Society of the United States