Attention Roslyn: Don’t Feed The Coyotes

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Coyotes have a natural fear of humans. But with pets, it’s a different story.

Summer means pleasant evenings, especially in Roslyn, where those evenings are often spent on the front porch. However, Roslyn residents now have to be on the lookout for a new species in our area—coyotes. For the past several weeks, there have been coyote sightings in Roslyn on a nightly basis.

How did it happen? According to Gary Rogers, an official with the Nassau County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (SPCA), coyotes, for quite some time have been migrating eastward, from the jungles of Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens to bucolic Long Island. Coyotes are here and the SPCA has issued safety and behavior tips for residents in Nassau County.

  • Rogers added that there is no need for alarm or panic. The main goal, he said, is to minimize conflicts between coyotes and what pets homeowners have. It is also important, Rogers emphasized, that people do their part to maintain the natural fear that coyotes have of humans. So here are some tips to keep in mind once a coyote comes near or even on your property.
  • If you see a coyote, dial 911. Do not allow coyotes to approach people or pets.
  • Unintentional food sources attract coyotes, other wildlife and increase risks to people and pets.
  • Do not feed coyotes. Discourage others from doing so.
  • Do not feed pets outside. If you are feeding feral cats please stay and observe the cat feedings and remove all food before leaving.
  • Eliminate availability of bird seed. Concentrations of birds and rodents at feeders can attract wildlife. If you see a coyote(s) near your bird feeder, clean up waste seed and spillage to remove the attractant.
  • Make certain that garbage is inaccessible to wildlife.
  • Fence or enclose compost piles so they are not accessible.
  • Teach children to appreciate wildlife from a distance as to avoid the risk of being injured.
  • If confronted, stand tall, and hold arms out to look large. Do not run away, running away after seeing a coyote is behaving like prey.
  • Do not allow pets to run free. Supervise all outdoor pets to keep them safe from coyotes and other wildlife, especially at sunset and at night. Small dogs—even if on leash—and cats are especially vulnerable to coyotes. Keep cats indoors.
  • Conflicts between dogs and coyotes can happen any time of the year, but are more likely in the months of March and April. It is during this time that coyotes are setting up their dens for the soon-to-arrive pups.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Be aware people do coexist with coyotes but caution, care, and common sense must be used.

Rogers used an analogy between this situation and people upstate where they have learned how to live with bears prowling on their property. Roslyn residents can do the same, but now there is an added incentive.

“We are going to have to get used to it like everyone else has,” Rogers said.

“We are going to change how we live in our suburbia, a little bit.”
Above all, that means don’t feed the coyotes.

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Joe Scotchie is the editor of both The Roslyn News and New Hyde Park Illustrated News. In 2009, he won a New York State Press Association award for a sports feature. Joseph Scotchie’s past publications include biographies of Thomas Wolfe and Richard Weaver and a comprehensive history of the city of Asheville, North Carolina.

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