Coyote Resources & Information
Recent sightings of coyotes in our area have prompted public interest in this species and underscore the need to follow the practices recommended by the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission for co-existing with coyotes. These practices are applicable when dealing with coyotes in rural landscapes, as well as suburban or municipal areas within Orange County (check out this map of 2014 Orange County coyote-related reports).
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission's Coexisting With Coyotes offers some basic facts on the coyote in North Carolina, as well as recommendations on how to prevent potential conflict and deal with any problems that you may have with coyotes.
We urge you to adhere to these recommendations so that resources such as shelter, food and water are no more abundant than nature itself makes them, and do not attract coyotes to your property, area or neighborhood.
For additional coyote information, click the links below to move to the appropriate section on this page
If you see a coyote engaged in threatening or dangerous activity, report these to 9-1-1. Habituated coyotes - ones that have lost their natural wariness of people and fail to flee when near people - should be reported to Orange County Animal Services (919-942-7387).
All incidents involving coyotes should be reported using this online coyote incident reporting form. Thank you for your assistance in gathering data useful in tracking coyotes in Orange County.
- Keep garbage properly contained
- Do not feed pets outside or keep pet food outdoors
- Keep grills cleaned and covered
- Remove standing water sources, such as old tires or watering cans
- Dispose of fruit that has fallen from trees
- Remove bird feeders. Coyotes are attracted by both the bird seed and the birds.
- Dispose of dead wildlife. Contact your waste removal company for animals on private property or the city for animals on roadways
- Keep shrubbery trimmed and clean up brushy areas that provide habitat to animals that coyotes prey upon
- Secure areas under decks and sheds, and enclose crawl spaces
- Fencing yards can discourage coyotes if fences are higher than six (6) feet tall and coyote proof. See guidelines here on making your fence coyote proof
- Motion-sensor lights may alert you to coyotes in your yard
- Don't be intimidated by a coyote. Maintain its weariness by throwing a small object (such as a tennis ball) at it, making loud noise, or spraying it with a hose. Let it know it is unwelcome near your home
The only way to guarantee your cat's safety is to keep it indoors. Roaming house cats are not only a danger to small species of wildlife and various reptiles and amphibians, but they also could attract coyotes into your yard. Coyotes can view outdoor cats and small unleashed dogs as prey.
If you are aware of coyotes in your area, be sure to keep your dog leashed on walks. Also, you can reduce the risk of conflict if you:
- Supervise your dog at all times, especially near wooded areas or parks.
- Use caution when walking in heavily wooded or brushy areas.
- Keep your dog in front of you. If your dog stops, keep an eye on it.
It is critical to avoid "habituating" a coyote by repeated exposure to people absent any negative consequences. If coyotes are attracted to a place or permitted to become "habituated," it may become necessary to consider using lethal force- something which ordinarily no one wants.
People should frighten a coyote if they come into contact with it. This may be done in a variety of humane ways, including walking in larger numbers, purchasing or making noise makers and carrying them during walks, or by merely standing tall, waving arms and yelling at the coyote, approaching it if necessary, until it runs away. It is important to remember that one hazing session may not convince the coyote you are a threat. If you see the coyote again, continue to haze as you did before.
- Coyote: NC Wildlife Profiles, Wildlife Resource Commission
- The Humane Society of the United States also offers helpful information about Coyotes and coexisting.
- Cook County, Illinois' Urban Coyote Ecology has also become a leading resource for coyote information.
- Additional information can be found from The University of California's Integrated Pest Management Program.
- Coyotes are not native to NC. Coyotes are now found in all 100 counties of NC
- Coyotes are found in all of the United States, except Hawaii. Their range now extends from Central America to Canada
- Adult coyotes weigh between 20 and 45 pounds
- Coyote pups are born between early April and late May. The average litter contains four to five pups
- Coyotes are active both day and night, but most sightings are close to sunrise and sunset