Coyotes are active in Jefferson County and the metro area. The following is adapted from Colorado Division of Wildlife literature.
Coyotes on the Front Range?
Coyotes are extremely adaptable and can thrive in urban areas. From downtown Denver to the smallest suburb, coyotes are not new to residential communities. They can and will be found in any neighborhood that provides their basic needs — food, water, shelter and space.
Why are they here?
Residential areas provide habitat for coyotes. Plentiful food sources exist, such as mice, rabbits and voles. These small animals feed on birdseed, berries and garbage, which are commonly found and easily accessible. Shelter and water can be found in landscaped parks and yards. Space is plentiful throughout parks, trails and natural areas. As coyotes have adapted to the presence of humans, they have lost their natural fear of us.
What attracts coyotes?
Coyotes are attracted to neighborhoods by garbage, pet food and even pets, which coyotes see as prey. The following list illustrates some of the things that draw coyotes close to people. Remove them to discourage coyotes from visiting your property: outdoor pet food or water; birdseed or food sources that attract small mammals; accessible garbage or compost; fallen fruit or berries from trees or shrubs; shrubs, woodpiles, decks or any other structure that can provide cover or be used as a den; dogs and cats allowed to roam free, and/or female dogs in heat.
How can you protect your pet?
Coyotes may view domestic pets as a food source, and large dogs as a threat or possible mate. Coyotes have taken pets from backyards, open spaces and even right off the leash. Keep your pet current on vaccinations. Reduce the risk to your pet by following these guidelines keeping yours cats indoors and carefully supervise dogs when they’re outside.
When are coyotes a risk to you?
Although naturally curious, coyotes are usually timid animals and normally run away if confronted. Coyote attacks on humans are rare. In many cases these attacks occur as a result of people feeding coyotes. Coyotes have adequate food supplies and are capable of surviving in the city without our help. A coyote that associates humans with food may become demanding and aggressive. eeeeA coyote that bites a person must be destroyed. By feeding coyotes, you put yourself, the neighborhood and coyotes at risk. It is unlawful to feed or intentionally attract coyotes in Jefferson County. Report people feeding coyotes to the Colorado Division of Wildlife at 303-291-7227.ee
For more information on coyote conflicts, visit http://wildlife.state.co.us/NewsMedia.