Policy: Coyotes

A coyote communicates with other animals at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge by howling. Photo Credit: USFWS

I share the opinion of Kristin Cannon, District Wildlife Manager at Colorado Parks & Rec. She said, “Wildlife officers, such as myself, do not kill coyotes who prey on pets or demonstrate human habituation. We will, however, kill coyotes whose behavior has escalated to the point that it is a human-safety concern.” The Colorado Parks & Wildlife web site has more information about living with coyotes.

In support of a balanced approach to this issue, I’ve also volunteered to be a member of the Erie Coyote Crew. We’ll each commit to spending 5 hours per month “knocking on doors, sitting at a booth at community events, posting signs, communicating with neighbors through social media, and spending time in parks and on open space.”

My biggest takeaway from the first night of training on January 16 was that today’s coyotes have lost their fear of humans, given their interactions in the past were with farmers protecting their herds with rifles. Hazing is crucial to re-establishing this fear. Otherwise, the most important additional action is to take photos, videos, and noting distinguishing features of the coyotes that do present a risk. Previous issues around Erie and Broomfield were most likely the work of a small number of coyotes. If CPW officers can identify these coyotes by color and distinguishing features, they can target specific animals for removal.