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FWC reminds South Floridians about presence of coyotes

News Release

Monday, October 18, 2010

Media contact: Gabriella B. Ferraro, 772-215-9459

As development encroaches upon wildlife habitat, encounters between humans and wildlife - including coyotes - are bound to increase. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reminds South Florida residents that coyotes are present.

FWC biologists say just seeing a coyote in the neighborhood doesn't indicate a threat to human safety. In fact, coyotes have lived in and among humans in urban settings for many years with little fanfare, but coyotes may see small pets as potential food.

The FWC encourages pet owners to step up pet-security measures. Pets that roam free are enticing targets for coyotes. Residents can prevent most conflicts with coyotes and other wildlife by taking a few simple, proactive steps to avoid creating nuisance opportunities.

Coyotes look for easy meals in urban areas, and they can grow accustomed to being around humans if there is a food source in the neighborhood. These clever creatures get into pet food and unsecured garbage cans. All such attractants should be removed from the yard, as should other food sources in accessible areas.

Though urban coyotes can be seen at any time of the night or day, it is more common to encounter them between dusk and dawn, particularly near natural areas bordered by water. Residents walking small pets at these times and places should be particularly cautious.

"Carry a flashlight, noisemaker and a stick or golf club when walking small animals," FWC nuisance wildlife biologist Tiffany Snow said. "That will help scare away wildlife looking for food."

Keep pets on a leash, and if approached by potentially dangerous wildlife, do not hunch over your pet to protect it. Pick up small pets and stand as tall as possible. Call the Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) to report any problems with coyotes or other wildlife.

The FWC deals with nuisance coyote behavior on a case-by-case basis. If there is a focused problem, there are methods available to residents and professional trappers to target specific nuisance animals.

For more information on living with coyotes and preventing conflicts with these adaptable creatures, visit or contact the FWC's South Region office at 561-625-5122.

FWC Facts:
The loon call, described as a maniacal musical laugh, a falsetto wail, a yodel and a tremolo, is commonly heard during breeding and non-breeding seasons.

Learn More at AskFWC