The Town is responsible for over 500 acres of native/natural open space areas in the community. Much of the land is maintained in its natural state—often comprised of long vegetated drainage ways providing valuable habitat and travel corridors for a wide variety of wildlife. With the close proximity between homes and many of these areas, the likelihood increases of people and pets encountering wildlife such as coyotes. Residents notice coyotes more frequently during this time of the year, when coyotes span a larger territory to forage and sometimes enter populated areas.
The coyote (Canis latrans) is a member of the dog family that resembles a small German shepherd with the exception of the long snout and bushy, black-tipped tail. Coyotes feed on rabbits, mice, birds and other small animals, helping to maintain an ecological balance among wildlife populations.
In an urban setting such as Superior, coyotes have habituated to people, meaning they have changed their behavior in response to previous human interaction. People tend to leave food sources along the trail and in yards, especially pet food dishes. This becomes a learned behavior as it does not take long to teach a wild animal to associate people with food.
Citizens frequently ask why the coyotes are not relocated. Removing habituated coyotes unfortunately does not solve the problem. If one is removed, another will generally take its place. Addressing the concern of coyote encounters begins with altering our behavior.
December 2016 Winter Coyote Activity
Tips for Discouraging Coyotes near Homes:
- Frighten coyotes with loud noises or use unnatural odors, such as ammonia, to clean trash cans.
- Remove pet food, table scraps on compost piles, fallen fruit and spilled seed beneath bird feeders.
- Remove vegetation and brush that provides cover for coyotes and prey.
- Use yard lights with motion detectors to frighten coyotes.
- Always keep your pets on a leash and do not allow them to roam.
- Do not feed coyotes or leave food items accessible.
- Keep your distance and do not approach.
- Throw rocks or sticks to keep coyotes away.
- Make yourself appear to be big and use a loud authoritative voice to keep coyotes away.
Important contact information
For general information or concerns about coyotes, or to report the loss of a pet to a coyote please call:
Colorado Division of Wildlife - 303-291-7227
Open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.