There have been an increase in the number of coyote sightings and reports of missing pets in the Northwest Austin area.
Wildlife Services out of Texas A&M are aware of the problem and are taking actions to trap/eradicate as many of the problem animals as they can. The hunters are set up on the Robinson Ranch and are baiting the area now.
There are some common sense precautions people can take to manage coyotes:
- Do not feed coyotes! Keep pet food and water inside. Keep garbage securely stored, especially if it has to be put on the curb for collection; use tight-locking or bungee-cord-wrapped trashcans that are not easily opened.
- Keep compost piles securely covered; correct composting never includes animal matter like bones or fat, which can draw coyotes even more quickly that decomposing vegetable matter.
- Keep pets inside, confined securely in a kennel or covered exercise yard, or within the close presence of an adult.
- Walk pets on a leash and accompany them outside, especially at night.
- Do not feed wildlife on the ground; keep wild bird seed in feeders designed for birds elevated or hanging above ground, and clean up spilled seed from the ground; coyotes can either be drawn directly to the seed, or to the rodents drawn to the seed.
- Keep fruit trees fenced or pick up fruit that falls to the ground.
- Do not feed feral cats (domestics gone wild); this can encourage coyotes to prey on cats, as well as feed on cat food left out for them.
- Minimize clusters of shrubs, trees and other cover and food plants near buildings and children's play areas to avoid attracting rodents and small mammals that will in turn attract coyotes
- Use noise making and other scaring devices when coyotes are seen. Check with local authorities regarding noise and firearms ordinances. Portable air horns, motor vehicle horns, propane cannons, starter pistols, low-powered pellet guns, slingshots, and thrown rocks can be effective.
For more information got to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website: