portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article announcements portland metro


coyote warning

Went to a neighborhood meeting tonight. neighbor had his cat taken off his back porch by a coyote, an hour after sunrise a week ago. He chased the coyote who dropped his (unfortunately deceased) cat after about 30 feet.
This was in the Hillsdale area, in the west hills of Portland. I have seen them here where I live (inbetween burlingame fred meyers and wilson high.) Have not seen one in the last few months here but noticed the nutria and ducks are missing from the nature park...) I've also seen one at the sister-in-laws apartment complex in South beaverton.

Long story short- get the cat in at before nightfall, and dont let him out until an hour after sunrise.

Please help spread this info!

coyotes don't even eat cats 03.Jul.2008 02:12


they don't usually eat cats, they get in fights with cats

they tend to eat insects and mice and rats mostly (which is great for portland- we have a real rat problems here.)

they also keep the canada goose population from getting out of hand (which it would, trust me)

here is the results of the Cook County Coyote study that looked at the coyotes in Chicago:

page 15:

What Do Urban Coyotes Eat?
Many people believe that urban coyotes primarily eat garbage and pets. Although
coyotes are predators, they are also opportunistic and shift their diets to take
advantage of the most available prey. A graduate student, Paul Morey, analyzed scat
contents at different locations within our study area. He analyzed 1,429 scats and
found that diet items varied across space and time, which reflects the flexible food
habits of coyotes. The most common food items were small rodents (42 percent),
fruit (23 percent), deer (22 percent), and rabbit (18 percent). (Scats often have
more than one diet item; therefore, frequencies do not necessarily add up to 100
percent.) Many other items occurred at lower frequencies (Table 1). Voles were the
most common small rodent in the diet (Figure 15). Domestic cats were found in
only 1.3 percent of scats, and human-related food (garbage, pet food) was found in
only 1.9 percent of scats. Apparently the majority of coyotes in our study area do
not, in fact, rely on pets or garbage for their diets.

Table 1. Frequency of Food Items in the Diets of Coyotes in
Cook County, Illinois.*
Diet Item Occurrence
Small rodents 42%
White-tailed deer 22%
Fruit 23%
Eastern cottontail 18%
Bird species 13%
Raccoon 8%
Grass 6%
Invertebrates 4%
Human-associated 2%
Muskrat 1%
Domestic cat 1%
Unknown 1%
* Based on the contents of 1,429 scats collected during 2000-
2002. Some scats contained multiple items; therefore, the
percentages exceed 100%. See Morey 2004.

specifically about cats, they write:
Domestic Cat
This is perhaps one of the most controversial aspects to the urbanization of coyotes
and often pits sections of the public against each other. Coyotes kill cats for food
or to remove potential competitors. Those members of the public who own cats or
are otherwise interested in their well-being view this function of coyotes as strongly
negative. However, a positive consequence of coyotes removing peri-domestic
or feral cats is the trickle-down effect. Studies in California urban areas showed
that coyotes reduced cats in some habitat fragments, which then resulted in an
increase in nesting success for songbirds. Thus, the coyote serves as a top predator
by removing an important smaller predator, the cat, with birds and perhaps other
species subsequently increasing in number. More research is needed to determine if
these trickle-down effects also occur in other metropolitan areas.

Urban coyotes thrive in N. American cities 03.Jul.2008 02:14


Even in the largest American cities, a historically maligned beast is thriving, despite scientists' belief that these mammals intently avoid urban human populations.

This animal's amazing ability to thrive in metropolitan areas has greatly surprised scientists, says Stanley Gehrt, an assistant professor of environmental and natural resources at Ohio State University. Gehrt is in the sixth year of a multi-year study of coyote behavior in urban Chicago.

Since the study began, Gehrt and his colleagues have found that urban coyote populations are much larger than expected; that they live longer than their rural cousins in these environments; and that they are more active at nighttime than coyotes living in rural areas.

Coyotes also do some good - they help control rapidly growing populations of Canada geese throughout North America.

And while his coyote research is concentrated in Chicago , the results likely apply to most major metropolitan areas in North America . Gehrt has even seen a pack of about a dozen on Ohio State 's campus in Columbus .

The study began in Chicago in 2000 when Gehrt was a research biologist for the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation in Dundee , Ill. In the 1990s the foundation was increasingly inundated with complaints about coyotes taking pets and reportedly stalking children.

The number of calls grew, and in the late 1990s the Cook County Animal Control agency asked Gehrt to gather information on coyote populations in metropolitan Chicago .

The study was only supposed to last for a year.

"Nine million people live in the greater Chicago area," said Gehrt, who is also a wildlife extension specialist at Ohio State . "We didn't think very many coyotes could thrive in such a highly urbanized area. We also thought that the few animals that were causing problems were probably used to living around people."

The problem with studying coyotes in general is that the animals are incredibly difficult to catch. They quickly learn how to avoid traps. But Gehrt and his colleagues distributed their traps widely throughout the greater Chicago area and successfully caught several animals. They put radio-tagged collars on the captured coyotes and then let them go.

The original estimates of the greater Chicago coyote population were woefully low. The researchers had expected to find a few small coyote packs here and there throughout the city, with total population numbers in the range of several dozen. But the animals were everywhere.

"We couldn't find an area in Chicago where there weren't coyotes," Gehrt said. "They've learned to exploit all parts of their landscape."

Since the beginning of the study, the researchers have caught and tagged more than 200 coyotes. They estimate that there may be somewhere between several hundred and a couple thousand coyotes living in Chicago .

Some of the animals live in city parks, while others live among apartment and commercial buildings and in industrial parks.

The funding agency, Cook County Animal Control and Conservation Medicine Coalition, renews the study every year because the researchers keep finding results that surprise them. This spring, Gehrt will publish the first round of papers from the last six years' worth of research.

The major findings include:

* Coyotes help control Canada geese populations. It appears that coyotes are helping to curb the booming Canada goose population in urban areas by eating the eggs from the birds' nests.

Researchers found that, in Chicago , the annual population growth of Canada geese was reduced to an average of 1 to 2 percent per year, down from the 10 to 20 percent growth rates of a few years ago. Also, while coyotes can clean out several goose nests in one night, they don't actually eat all of the eggs. Rather, they usually carry the eggs away from the nest and bury them, saving the eggs until later, Gehrt said.

* The prevalence of large packs. Coyotes prefer to hunt alone, but often form packs to defend territories. Gehrt estimates that roughly half of all urban coyotes live in territorial packs that consist of five to six adults and their pups that were born that year. These urban packs establish territories of about five to 10 square miles - a fraction of the area that a rural coyote pack would cover. Consequently, the population densities in the urban area are usually three to six times higher than rural populations.

Those urban coyotes that don't hunt in packs can cover ranges of 50 square miles or more, often in just one night. "The first solitary coyote we tracked covered five adjacent cities in a single night," Gehrt said.

* Urban coyotes survive far longer than their rural cousins. A coyote living in urban Chicago has a 60-percent chance of surviving for one year, while a rural coyote has a 30 percent chance of living for another year.

* Most coyotes pose little threat to humans. The problems generally start when people feed coyotes, even if that feeding is unintentional.

"A coyote may eat the food that's left outside for a pet," Gehrt said. "It's not uncommon to see a coyote pass through an urban or suburban neighborhood.

"But most coyotes aren't thrilled about being seen by people," he continued. "Urban coyotes are more active at night than their rural counterparts, so humans don't see a lot of their activity. In many cases, coyotes are probably doing us favors that we don't realize - they eat a lot of rodents and other animals that people don't want around."

The next phase of the study is already underway. Gehrt and his colleagues are conducting genetic study of coyotes' social system. The researchers want to know if members of a pack are closely related - having such information could help to further explain coyote behavior.

fighting hunger with coyote 04.Jul.2008 11:34

Yosemite Sam

5 pounds coyote
1/2 cup prepared mustard
1/2 cup lemon pepper
1/2 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons garlic
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup butter
5 large garlic cloves peeled, crushed
2 large bay leaves
3 large lemon quartered
1 large lime quartered
1 medium onion sliced
12 ounces beer
2 cups corn oil
1/2 cup worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Rub the meat completely with the mustard.

And spices to a large zip-lok bag, seal and shake until mixed.

Place meat in bag and coat with the rub.

Refrigerate overnight.

In a two quart saucepan melt butter, add the onions and garlic.

Saute for five minutes then add lemons, limes and beer.

When the foam subsides add remaining ingredients and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Prepare the grill for the indirect heat method and remove the meat from the bag and place on the grid.

Smoke for 25 minutes at 250 degrees and start basting with the sop every 25 minutes.

Smoke for 2-3 hours or until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees, then wrap in foil and finish cooking until internal temperature reaches 185 degrees.

Remove from grill and let meat cool for 20 minutes prior to slicing.

Serve BBQ sauce on the side.

thanks for the recepie sam! 04.Jul.2008 13:01


I'm not saying we ought to get rid of the coyotes in town, we'd be overrun by rodents... Just to get the cat in at night.

here's the starling article 04.Jul.2008 14:56


here is the starling article
European Starlings and their effect on native cavity-nesting birds.pdf
European Starlings and their effect on native cavity-nesting birds.pdf

Don't kill the animals 05.Jul.2008 12:49


The idea of eliminating any animal is ridiculous. Why should we visit such horrors upon them? They have just as much right to be here as we do.

Cats should be kept indoors if possible--or given easy access to escape. The coyote has as much right to eat meat as our pets do, so while it's certainly sad to lose an animal, I don't see that it justifies harming the coyotes.

I have a small cat shelter in a forested area. Some of my cats are outdoors and some are indoors, but our cats have many avenues of escape. They seem to coexist with the wildlife pretty well.

A coyote came to visit us the other day--because my husband inadvertantly put out food that would attrack them. She was beautiful as she nosed her way around the forest. I relished seeing her.