Coyotes in Parkland?
Parkland residents have been sending in reports that coyotes have been spotted in the area.
“There have been a number of sightings of a Florida coyote (not believed to be a cougar) within the City of Parkland (“Parkland”) municipal limits,” said city officials. “Upon receipt of this information, the City immediately contacted the Broward County Sheriff’s Office (“BSO”). BSO contacted Broward County Animal Control (the City does not have its own Animal Control Division).”
Two sheep owned by a Parkland resident have been killed. Since the sightings, the city has contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (“FFW”) and its staff in the South Florida Regional Office stated that an investigator visited the City to view a video tape of a possible coyote citing. FFW staff wants to confirm that a coyote is involved so they will see if they can identify the wildlife that was involved in that particular incident.
The FFW has recommended that all South Florida Residents be vigilant when it comes to dealing with wildlife, for more information please visit the FFW website at Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The City is recommending that you take steps when you encounter a coyote or take actions on or around your property to discourage a coyote from coming to your property. Exercising common sense around coyotes is the best protection against encounters. Don’t leave children alone in wooded areas and bring your pets in during the night hours.
1. Coyotes are found throughout the State of Florida and have been in the state since the 1970′s.
2. Coyotes are in the same family (Canidea) as dogs, wolves and foxes. They are medium in size (2 ft in height, 20 – 35 lbs). Their coat varies from gray to rusty brown and the tail is bushy.
3. Coyotes are very adaptable, living in virtually all terrestrial and marsh habitats. They have also adapted and thrive in urban/suburban areas.
4. Coyotes are omnivores (plant and animal eaters). They eat just about anything. Like turkey vultures, they are often seen scavenging on road kill and other animal carcasses. Their diverse diet is the reason they can adapt so easily to a variety of habitats and including urban/suburban areas.
5. Coyotes usually hunt alone, sometimes as a pair, but rarely, as a pack.
6. Coyotes are most active at dawn and/or dusk but have been seen anytime of the day. Home ranges typically average 10 square miles.
7. Coyotes are generally shy and elusive. Like all wildlife, feeding of coyotes will result in eliminating their natural fear of humans.
Coyote Frequently Asked Questions
How can I protect my cat or dog from coyotes?
• Keep pets indoors or in an outdoor cage from dusk until dawn. A fence may help deter coyotes, but is not full-proof.
• Feed your pets indoors. If you must feed your pet outside, do so during the day. Never leave pet food out at night.
• Make sure all trash is in a secure container.
• Install motion sensitive lights in your backyard and around your house.
• Clear brush and vegetation to remove habitat for small animals (rodents) that may attract coyotes and to remove areas that coyotes can hide while stalking their prey.
• Always keep pets on a leash when walking in parks, forested areas or residential areas.
• NEVER feed coyotes.
What should I do if I see a coyote?
• You want to make sure the coyote knows they are not welcome. You can do this by making loud noises, throw rocks, or spray them with a garden hose. It is important that coyotes retain their natural wariness of humans.
Do coyotes attack people?
• Normally coyotes are timid and shy away from people. Although rare, coyotes have been known to attack humans. Most attacks resulted in minor bites and scratches to adults attempting to intervene in an attack upon a pet. Never leave unattended children in areas known or suspected to be frequented by coyotes.
What diseases or parasites do coyotes carry?
• Distemper, hepatitis, parvo virus and mange. Coyotes can be infected with Rabies. Numerous parasites can live on a coyote including mites, ticks, fleas, worms, flukes and heartworm.
Where do coyotes take their kill to eat it?
• Coyotes kill an animal because it is a food source and are very skilled hunters. They may attack fleeing animals from the rear, biting their legs or tail to slow them down. They most often kill by biting the throat, causing death by suffocation.
• Coyotes usually take their prey with them to a safe place to eat. They may carry their prey up to 1 mile before consuming it. They do not leave much behind and tend to eat whatever can fit in their mouth. In some cases, they have even eaten
the leather collar of a pet. For this reason, not much evidence or waste is left behind.
Where can I get more information?
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Southwest Region 863-648-3200 Wildlife Alert hotline (toll-free): 888-404-FWCC (888-404-3922) http://myfwc.com/critters/coyote.htm
“The Coyote (Canis latrans) : Florida’s Newest Predator” http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/UW127
“The Coyote in Florida” http://myfwc.com/critters/pdf/CoyoteWhitePaperFinal.pdf
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