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NWNC Invites National Park Service Rep to Educate Public about Coyotes

By Peter Lasky

At the July 12 General Meeting of the Northridge West Neighborhood Council (NWNC), National Park Service Urban Land Conservation Specialist Cathy Schoonmaker spoke to residents and business owners about coyotes sightings and behaviors.

“Coyotes are attracted to urban areas because [intentionally or not] we provide food and shelter for them,” she said, noting that the animals are omnivores, so will eat plants or animals. They are also scavengers and will adapt their diet to their environment.

To prevent coyote visitations, Schoonmaker suggested residents take the following precautions:

  • Be ardent about picking up any fruit that has fallen from our trees
  • Avoid leaving pet food out in the open
  • Make sure garbage cans are shut tight.
  • Keep our cats and small dogs inside after dusk
  • Seal any openings in your garage, sheds, underneath your decks or home as these can be turned into
    nesting grounds.
  • Trim back foliage and vegetation to better see what is in your yard.
  • Install a fence that is eight feet high and is buried at least two feet underground to stop coyotes from tunneling under it. Generally, chain link fences are not a good choice as they make tunneling accessible to the animal.
  • Add a Coyote Roller to the top of your fencing to make it harder for the animal to get a grip it on it
    and pull itself up.

Although no one is promoting harming coyotes, there are hazing techniques that can be used to make coyotes fearful of humans.  They include:

  • Making eye contact
  • Making yourself appear more intimidating by walking toward the animal loudly and aggressively while holding up your hands or with a hazing tool in your hands (noise maker, umbrella, etc.).
  • Throwing pine cones toward the coyote

Schoonmaker cautioned that when dealing with a wild animal never corner it; always make sure it has an escape route, and never haze an injured animal.

Trapping and removing the animals from populated areas has proven to be ineffective and only a temporary solution, stated Schoonmaker, explaining that it only takes two to three months for transient coyotes to repopulate the area.

“When people in a community participate in hazing regularly, use a variety of hazing techniques and follow through with the hazing until the animal moves away from the area, hazing can be successful in changing habituated coyote behaviors.”

For more tips on how to co-exist with coyotes visit: go.us.gov/3W5Xz.

Plans for New Starbucks Temporarily Halted

At July’s General Meeting, the NWNC Board decided not to object to the application for a Starbucks to be built at the corner of Tampa Avenue and Nordhoff St. However, it did delay giving the project its full support until traffic studies can be completed and the community has been surveyed.

Join NWNC, Tuesday, August 9 at Calahan Elementary School, 18722 Knapp St. Meet & Greet starts at 6:00 p.m. and meeting 6:30 p.m.

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