Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

For Release: Tuesday, September 26, 2017

DEC Announces Guidance on Preventing Conflicts Between People and Coyotes

Awareness is Key to Minimizing Chance for Conflicts

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today guidance on preventing conflicts between people and coyotes. Coyotes are well adapted to suburban and even urban environments, but for the most part they will avoid contact with people. However, conflicts with people and pets may result as they forage almost constantly to provide food for their young.

"The Eastern coyote is found in rural farmlands and forests to populated suburban and urban areas. In most cases, coyotes avoid people as much as possible. In fact, coyotes provide many exciting opportunities for New Yorkers. Their howling and yipping at night can provide a haunting but harmless reminder of wildlife in our midst. However, if coyotes learn to associate people with food, such as garbage or pet food, they may lose their natural fear of humans and the potential for close encounters or conflicts increases," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.

To minimize the chance that conflicts between people and coyotes occur, it is important that coyotes' natural fear of people is maintained. Below are recommended steps people can take to reduce or prevent conflicts from occurring:

Supervise all outdoor pets to keep them safe from coyotes and other wildlife, especially at sunset and at night. Small dogs and cats are especially vulnerable to coyotes;

Fencing your yard may deter coyotes. The fence should be tight to the ground, preferably extending six inches below ground level, and taller than four feet; and

Remove brush and tall grass from around your home to reduce protective cover for coyotes. Coyotes are typically secretive and like areas where they can hide.

Remove unintentional food sources that would attract coyotes and other wildlife such as garbage, pet food, and bird seed.

Contact your local police department and DEC regional office for assistance if you notice that coyotes are exhibiting "bold" behaviors and have little or no fear of people. Ask your neighbors to follow these same steps. For additional information about the Eastern Coyote and preventing conflicts with coyotes, visit DEC's website.

  • Contact for this Page
  • Andrea C. Pedrick
    317 Washington Street
    Watertown, NY 13601
    315-785-2239
    email us
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to Region 6