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Coyote Puppies in SF Getting Ready to Leave the Den

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In San Francisco, ‘coyote pupping season’ starts around March and goes until the fall.  Our newest neighbors are now 11-12 week old puppies, and according to Presidio Trust Ecologist Jonathan Young, “It’s still very much pupping season, the pups are starting to get more active now and looking to join their parents and siblings outside the den.”

SF Coyote Puppies May 2020:

Young also said that the fall is the time where adolescent coyotes start leaving the home and roaming more, “September is typically when young animals are exploring and looking for new territories,” says Young, “so dog walkers always need to be vigilant, and by September these pups will be adolescent coyotes, 6-9 months old “.

Young also told me that these adolescent coyotes are a bit awkward at that age, a bit like junior high kids exploring things.   It’s not until they are 2 years old that coyotes look to begin breeding.

Young on SF coyote diet: “In the Presidio they eat gophers, rats, mice, an occasional raccoon or possum.”  Outside the park coyotes may also feed out of trash cans or dumpsters, especially ones that attract vermin like rats.”  It is safe to say that coyotes are an excellent source of rodent population control in San Francisco.

Coyote rodent huntin’ in SF.  Photo Presidio Trust

New (2020) alpha female, has double red ear tags and tracking collar. Photo Presidio Trust

Ecologist Young, as well as the Presidio Trust, and everyone here at www.brokeassstuart.com, would like to remind people not to use poisons to kill rats & mice, “because it will end up poisoning our local raptors (hawks), owls, and of course our coyotes as well as other local species that control the rodent popluations naturally

If you Encounter a Coyote in the Presidio (or in the city) here are the expert’s guidelines:

  • Keep your distance; do not approach the coyote.
  • Keep your dog on a leash and under your control.
  • Observe posted signs about coyote activity in the park.
  • Supervise children when outdoors.
  • Never attempt to feed a coyote. Do not leave human or pet food outside where coyotes might eat it. Presidio residents should put garbage out on the morning of pickup instead of the night before. To get a clip for your trash bin from Presidio Trust Work Order Service Center, call (415) 561-4270.

If you encounter a coyote within 50 feet and the coyote does not move away on its own, here are ways you can haze/intimidate the animal to help it retain a fear of humans:

  • Be as big and loud as possible; shout in a deep, loud, and aggressive voice.
  • Wave your arms and throw small objects (to scare, not injure).
  • Maintain eye contact, which makes them uncomfortable and timid.
  • If the coyote continues to approach, do not run or turn your back on the coyote, but continue to exaggerate the above gestures while backing away slowly. Please report this type of incident to (415) 561-4148 or coyote@presidiotrust.gov.
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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

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