Learn to live with coyotes

Special to The Tribune El Paso County Office of Communications
Posted

The El Paso County Parks will be hosting two community programs and discussions regarding recent coyote encounters in the County.

The first program will be at 10 a.m. on March 9. Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officer Steve Cooley will discuss Colorado's regulations and policies regarding coyotes and how to avoid coyote conflicts. A community question and answer session will follow a brief educational presentation on coyote behavior and habitat. The program will run approximately an hour.

From 6-7 p.m. on March 13, Ashley DeLaup, Colorado representative and wildlife ecologist with Project Coyote, will present a program highlighting how residents can coexist with coyotes. Project Coyote promotes progressive management policies that reduce human-coyote conflict, supports innovative scientific research, and fosters respect for and understanding of America's native wild “song dog.”

Both programs will be hosted at the Bear Creek Nature Center located at 245 Bear Creek Road. There will be no cost for either program, but registration in advance is required. To register, please contact Jamie Bequette with El Paso County Nature Centers at 719-520-6387 or at jamiebequette@elpasoco.com.

Recently, there has been an influx of human-coyote encounters, including one at Bear Creek Park which resulted in an injured dog. However, Todd Marts, a representative for El Paso County Parks emphasizes that this is an issue in the entire county. “Coyotes are very adaptable,” said Marts, “They have expanded their range across North America and into large cities.”

Citizens are encouraged to participate in steps to coexist with local coyotes, without allowing coyotes to become accustomed to humans.

“The more comfortable the coyotes become around humans, the more likely to have a negative encounter,” said Marts. “Simple steps that can be taken to avoid negative encounters include never providing food to coyotes (ex. dog food outside), and always having pets on leashes when in areas which may have a coyote population.”

Citizens unable to attend either of the two free programs can learn more about coyotes and how to mitigate risk to themselves and their pets at www.projectcoyote.org.

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