The City of Austin/Travis County:
No-Kill for Pets and Wildlife Alike
Travis County contracts with the City of Austin for wildlife management. The City of Austin does not remove or relocate healthy native wildlife. Instead, the City of Austin/ Travis County’s Wildlife Officers work with residents to provide tailored, humane, and long-term solutions to resolve conflict. It is important to report any concerning behavior to 311 so the Wildlife Officer can monitor activity.
The City of Austin Animal Services has a Wildlife Officer dedicated to Travis County, focusing on educating the public about wildlife. Officer Sadkin can assist with a variety of concerns or conflicts regarding wildlife. It is important to report coyote activity so that Officer Sadkin can monitor behavior. If you have any questions or concerns regarding coyotes or other wildlife, you may reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also call 311 (512-974-2000).
During the winter months, coyotes may be more active as they find mates, their own territory and food. Coyotes are typically most active at dawn and dusk, though they may be seen hunting or traveling during daytime hours. During March-November, coyotes will have pups in the den. Coyote behavior is influenced by season. During denning season, coyotes may see large dogs a threat to their pups. Coyotes may use a flushing technique to protect their pups. Hazing is a technique used to influence coyote behavior throughout the country. Evidence suggest that hazing is more effective than lethal measures. It is really simple to haze a coyote to reinforce natural behavior. We want to share space, but not time. Please read the information below for more details about pet safety, hazing, flushing, and attractants.
- Keep small pets inside if possible and monitor them when outside (specifically during twilight/night time hours)
- Avoid using extendable leashes; walk dogs on leashes that are 4-6 feet in length
- Avoid letting dogs explore vegetation that you cannot see through
- Provide secure shelters for poultry or other animals living outside
- Feed pets indoors
Hazing: Encouraging coyotes to avoid contact with people. Hazing should be exaggerated, assertive and consistent.
- Make eye contact, yell and wave your arms. You want the coyote to know the behavior is directed at it. Waving your arms will make you seem bigger.
- Use noisemakers such as whistles, air horns, a “shaker” can full of small rocks (or something similar) or bang something like pots and pans together.
- If the coyote does not leave immediately, throw non-edible objects near it. You can use something like small rocks, sticks or tennis balls. Remember, the goal is not to hurt the coyote, you’re trying to get it to leave and associate humans with unpredictable, “scary” behavior.
- Spray the coyote with a water hose, water guns or spray bottles. You can also use a mixture of water and vinegar, pepper spray or bear repellent.
- If the coyote does not leave after escalating hazing efforts, maintain eye contact and back away slowly. Notify 311 immediately.
- Don’t haze if a coyote appears sick or injured, is cornered or displaying acceptable coyote behavior. Please call 311 to report sick or injured animals.
- If you are walking your dog near a den, a coyote may perform a flushing behavior that may seem alarming. Coyotes may see your dog as a potential threat to the pups in the den so they may walk behind you until you are out of the area. It is always about the dog, not the person. Report this behavior to 311.
- Do not run or turn your back. Just leave the area as soon as you can and keep your pets secured
- Avoid walking in that area and educate your neighbors
- When a coyote is:
- Active during the day around people or in high traffic areas such as a park, neighborhood streets/yards, parking lots, dog parks, or school grounds
- Walking along your fence line with your dogs in the backyard
- On your property with you or your pets present
Do not to haze:
- At night when there is not activity
- When a coyote is in its natural habitat such as a greenbelt, preserve, open field, or near a creek
- When you are experiencing the flushing behavior. Coyotes are protective of their den and we recommend leaving the area as soon as possible.
Reliable Food Sources: To keep coyotes and other wildlife wild, we can follow a few, simple preventative measures:
- Always keep trash and compost in a secure bin
- Keep your barbecue grill clean
- Keep the area under your fruit and nut trees free of droppings (a coyote’s diet can be up to 40% fruit in Texas)
- Avoid feeding pets outdoors (if you must feed pets outside, feed during the daytime and remove the uneaten food as soon as the animal has finished)
- Feeding wildlife and feral cats can attract coyotes. In addition to coyotes eating the food, mice and other animals will be drawn to leftovers, which can subsequently attract predators such as foxes and coyotes.
For more information on hazing, attractants or reliable food sources, and pet safety, visit: http://www.austintexas.gov/department/coyotes-central-texas
For immediate assistance, call 311. To schedule a one-hour presentation with a Wildlife Educator, call 311 or 512-974-2000.
Below are two presentations given by City of Austin Wildlife Animal Protection Officer Adrienne Clark in Wells Branch in 2018 & 2017, a hand out from Travis County to download, and links to City of Austin, Humane Society, and Texas Parks & Wildlife pages devoted to information on coyotes in an urban environment. All cover tips on deterring coyotes and discuss how to best protect your fur babies.
WBNA Meeting – April 19, 2018
WBNA Meeting – October 12, 2017
- Living with Urban Coyotes in Austin/Travis County – What to do. Who to call.
Should you come in contact with a coyote that does not respond to hazing or acts in an aggressive manner, please report it immediately to 311 or 512-974-2000 and an Animal Protection Officer will call you back. ***NOTE: Please don’t file a report unnecessarily as it will most likely be put down. They do not relocate coyotes.