Coyotes

See a coyote? Call 311 to report

more recent information from austintexas.gov

Coyotes live all around Austin.

Call 311 to report a sighting; call 911 if the animal is aggressive. The City tracks coyote sightings

  • Coyotes can climb chain link fences unless there’s a top barrier. They may be able to climb a privacy fence if there are toeholds.
  • Coyotes are very territorial, each group’s area may cover 1-2 square miles. Young coyotes looking for new areas may move into a green belt and eat anything – rodents, deer… and pets that wander too close. Small furry animals such as squirrels, rats and mice are part of their natural diet. Unfortunately they may also consider cats and small dogs as small furry animals.
  • Consider carrying a stick while walking, and especially if you have small dogs or children that the coyote could perceive as easy prey. When walking your (small) dog, keep it within 6 feet of yourself, otherwise the coyote won’t associate the dog with you.

If you see aggressive coyotes, the only way to deter them is to throw something (stick or rock) at them. The goal is to discourage them, not to injure them.

Key points to reducing coyotes in neighborhoods
  •  Minimize food – don’t leave pet food outside, especially overnight. Bird seed on the ground can attract mice and rats, which are coyote prey.
  • Exclude predators – privacy fences usually work unless they can get a toehold to jump. They can climb chain link fences unless there is a barriers on the top. A “coyote roller” is easy to build: get wire or a metal rod and PVC pipe. Thread the wire or metal rod through the pipe and use brackets attach that wire/pipe to an extension above the fence so the PVC rolls freely. When the coyote puts its weight on the roller, it falls backwards.
Coyotes have 3-6 pups per year. March through August coyotes are most active; they are raising their pups so need more energy and food.
A December 31, 2013 article in the Statesman,  includes additional tips for people who live near coyotes from Director of Humane Wildlife Conflict Resolution for the US Humane Society Lynsey White Dasher.
She notes that coyotes are always testing boundaries. They’ll venture onto a new area and eat food (such as from the trash can). If no one chases them off, they’ll return and look for more, such as from the pet food bowl on the porch.
  1. When you see a coyote, chase it off – wave your arms, make noises and even take a step or two towards them (do NOT run at them)  until they scamper off. A coffee can with coins is an easy way to startle them. The exception to this: if a coyote is very sick, injured or has pups, don’t charge at it.
  2. If walking away from a coyote, BACK UP, do NOT turn around. Maintain eye contact.
  3. Don’t run away! That may trigger the animal’s chase instinct.
  4. Eliminate any attractions in your yard – trash, pet food or fallen fruit.
  5. Keep your pets safe – if you see a coyote near your pet, pick up your pet or get between it and the coyote. Stay within 6 feet of your pet or the coyote won’t associate you with the pet
  6. Coyotes can distort their voices to sound like several are howling, rather than just one.