Canis latrans, Canis latrans var

Coyote Coexistence Plan    

National – First introduced to San Mateo County Parks and Recreation 1998

Coyotes are “Keystone” predators in many ecosystems. They play a crucial role in controlling the population of mesopredators e.g. foxes, raccoons, opossums and skunks, which in turn helps song birds and ground nesting birds to flourish.  Rodents make up 80% of their diet, making them Nature’s natural rodent control (especially helpful where there is Hanta Virus and Plague endemic in rodent populations). They also consume carrion, which helps keep the environment and watersheds clean and free of disease.

When coyotes are left to do their “own thing,” we benefit tremendously from their activities. But due to our expanding population and their shrinking habitat, these remarkably adaptable animals have learned to live closer to us.

Although coyotes including all wildlife “habituate” (stop responding to; ignore) to human presence, and appear to be “comfortable” around us, “food conditioning” may create problems.

Food conditioning can happen when:

  1. Coyotes are intentionally fed and they associate people as a possible source of food. For example, if it appears someone is holding food in their hand, the food-conditioned coyote may tentatively approach and/or even beg for a hand-out.
  1. Prolonged droughts, disturbances to natural areas and other extreme weather events cause a decline (die-off) in the natural prey-base. It is during these times that coyotes expand their home-range to find more resources. If pet food is left outdoors, fruit is not harvested from trees, scattered seeds from bird feeders are not cleared from the ground, and small pets are left outdoors unattended, coyotes may come around to take advantage of these food-opportunities.

In these 2 instances, intentional feeding conditions the coyote to approach people, and unintentional feeding causes them to return to areas that provide them with an alternate food-source. Both situations bring coyotes closer to people and their pets, and the potential for an adverse interaction increases.

However, food-conditioning can easily be reversed if people stop feeding the coyotes, and alternate food sources are removed, especially during times of drought, human-caused disturbances and other extreme weather events, when coyotes and other wildlife are struggling to feed themselves.

Most conflicts with coyotes are easy to resolve, when the true underlying cause, or the root of the problem can be identified and addressed.


Ingleside Terraces, San Francisco, CA

Coyote conflict with cats, and stalking dog-walkers. Implemented Pilot Program using the “Invisible Wall”. Watch the update of the program here.

Woodside Hills, CA

Increased number of coyote sightings. Coyote conflict with dogs.

San Francisco, CA

Coyote conflict with pets, and increased sightings in neighborhoods.

Developed alternate plan for the City: Coyote Habitat Conservation and Modification Plan .

The San Mateo County Coyote Conflict Forum 2000

Little Blue Society (LBS) helped coordinate this meeting. It was attended by leading coyote experts throughout the United States, as well as representatives from animal advocacy organizations: Peninsula Humane Society and the Animal Protection Institute.  At this meeting, Mary Paglieri presented the earlier version of the coyote VEXING™ program (scare tactics) – now called “hazing.”

Santa Clara County, CA Lethal management of coyotes with carbon dioxide gas

(2005) Changed County protocol from CO2  (death by asphyxiation) to lethal injection to dispatch so-called “nuisance” coyotes and other wildlife. Read more about it here. Lethal management is now the last resort if nonlethal methods fail.

Alberta, Canada

Coyote conflict with dogs. Denning in backyards.

Orange County, Los Angeles, CA

Coyote conflict with pets. Increased sightings.

San Bruno, CA

Coyote conflict with pets. Increased sightings.

Vinings, GA

Trapping of Coyotes stopped. Presented alternative strategies to deal with coyote conflicts.

Atlanta, GA

Coyote conflict with pets. Increased sightings.

Laguna Hills CA

Coyote conflict with pets.

Los Gatos CA

Coyote conflict with cats. Dog-walkers stalked.

New Castle, NY

Advisory role. Helped to develop their own Coyote Conflict Management Plan

Wildcare Center, Marin, CA

Advisors on proper release of rehabilitated coyotes back into their home-range.

Town of Portola Valley, CA

Coyote conflict with dogs. Increased sightings.

Parkridge, Il

Coyote conflict with pets.

Vista Verde, Portola Valley, CA

Conflict with coyote using a residential yard. Injured front/right leg.

City of San Francisco, CA

Coyote on Bernal Hill. Advised on dispersal and creating signage to minimize dog-coyote encounters.

Golden Gate Recreational Area (GGNRA), Marin Headlands

Consultants to the Marin Wildcare Center to dehabituate coyotes in the Park.  You can read more about “Big Ears” the coyote, here.

Portola Valley Ranch Association, Portola Valley CA

Coyote conflict with dogs. Stopped lethal removal.

City of San Ramon, CA

Advisors to the City. Coyote conflict with dogs. Stopped USDA Wildlife Services from implementing lethal coyote management.

City of Scotts Valley , CA

Coyote conflict with cats, dog walkers being stalked.

City of Belmont, CA

Coyote conflicts with pets, and increased sightings. Consultants to the Belmont PD.

City of Pacifica, CA

Food conditioned coyotes in the park.

Town of Woodside , CA

Coyote conflict with pets

North Clacamas County, Portland OR

Food conditioned coyotes in the park. Advisors to the North Clacamas Parks and Recreation Department.

City of San Jose, CA

Consultants to the City of San Jose. Coyote conflict at the Almaden Villas.

Guadalupe Elementary School, San Jose, CA

Increased coyote sightings. Educational presentation on canine and coyote safety.  Grades K2 and 3-6.

Corte De Rosa Coyote, San Jose, CA

Coyote conflict with cats.

Bernal Heights, San Francisco, CA

Coyote occupying Bernal Hill. Advisors to SF Animal Care and Control.

San Mateo County, CA Sawyer Camp Road, San Mateo

When a woman was nipped by a coyote on the Sawyer Camp Trail, the County over-reacted, trapping and killing 5 coyotes. When Mary A. Paglieri became Chair of the Wildlife Subcommittee, San Mateo County Fish and Wildlife Advisory Committee, shortly after this incident, she helped write the Coyote Conflict Protocol for San Mateo County Parks and Recreation Department.  She also designed the Coyote Safety Informational Brochure currently in use by the County.


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