Coyote Presentation

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Presentation I did for "American Wildlife" about coyotes in urban areas.

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  • Background: View of Golden Gate Bridge, Presidio, SF and Oakland. Presidio is 1480 acres and makes up 5% of SF’s total land area. In contrast, the Presidio is 1.75 times the size of Central park in NY. Central park is 0.4% of NY’s land mass.
  • Natural History: reproductive behavior, habitat needs, Social behavior, diet, etc. Issues: controversy surrounding coyote attacks on people and pets, players Case Studies: GGRA (Presidio, Golden Gate Park) and Marin County. They all seem to be connected by corridors and they all seem to share the same gene pool and possibly population of coyotes. Mgmt options: Ways city officals and managers can go about managing people/coyotes to reduce conflict. Recommendation
  • Canis is latin for dog and latrans in latin for barking. Hence coyotes are “barking dogs”. Coyote comes from aztec word “coyotl” also meanin barking dog. Other names: brush wolf, american jackal, lobo, prairie wolf, steppen-wolf Life expectancy: Around 13-5 years. Size/weight:
  • Can interbreed with wolves and domestic dogs. This causes controversy with some rare canid species such as red wolves because this can be detrimental to conserving a certain gene pool. Length:Width - Coyotes (3:1). Dog (less than 2.7:1). 95% reliable.
  • “ Omnivorous” - 90% of diet consists of small mammals and carrion. Also eat frogs, snakes, berries, nuts, etc. “ Mousers” - Have the ability to feed on rodents such as woodchucks, rats, and rabbits.
  • The diet of urban coyotes depends on what is available around them. Numbers in graph are percentage of composition of scat. This data was taken from a study on coyote diet in the Chicago Metropolitan area. Study used scat from two public forest preserves, city parks, private land
  • Social organization of the coyote is just as varied as its eating habits. The type of organization is dependent on the environment. Packs include alpha breeding pair. Alpha pair are the primary individuals involved in hunting large ungulates. In one case, only the alpha pair of a pack of 7 was involved in bringing a large ungulate. Solitary individuals usually eat smaller mammals.
  • Litter size is affected by population density and food availability. Birth weight = 0.5 lbs About 6 inches long. Emerge from den at 3 weeks. Helpers (usually siblings from previous generations) help with rearing. Reach adult weight at 9 months.
  • Common to abundant in nearly all of North and Central America. Total population composed of several different regional subspecies.
  • Dark: Range pre-1850 Light: Current Range The dramatic expansion in range has been attributed to the absence of competiting predators such as wolves and the introduction and transportation of individuals for game hunting.
  • Difficult to find detailed information about coyote hunting. MHRB had some confusing language, this is my interpretation
  • Main case study is the Presidio of San Francisco. Decided on it after reading the sfgate article that I handed out on Tuesday. It’s location was very convenient for me since it was close. My main contact there was very informative and responsive. 1491 acre National Park, part of Golen Gate Recreation Area. Used as a military post from 1776 to 1994 (spanning Spanish, Mexican, and US occupation). Ohlone occupied it before europeans arrived. 1972 added to GGNRA. 1994, transferred to NPS after it became excess to US military. 1996, Congress created the Presidio Trust
  • Quotes from “Mission and History” page of Presidio Trust website. Note: I added my own emphasis to the second quote.
  • Most board members are former/current CEOs.
  • There has been a push for the Presidio to bring in more revenue since federal funding decreased. The Presidio has the goal of becoming financially self sufficient by 2013. The original trust act said that the Presidio would receive appropiations as long as they were necessary to eventually become financially self sufficient. NPS has authority over Crissy Field and coastal bluff
  • Other sources of revenue besides residential leasing. As I mentioned before, the Presidio has to find a way to become self sufficient. One option they are pursuing according to their strategic plan is to expand leasing opportunities.
  • 382,000 sq ft at Main Post. 90,000 sq ft at West Crissy Field.
  • Camera traps were active at night and showed coyote activity. Carrying capacity of coyotes in Presidio based on data from Santa Monica and Tucson coyotes
  • Open squares are camera traps.
  • “ Coyote incident” - When a coyote gets too close for comfort. Wiffle bat incident - Home owner had to hit coyote with wiffle bat.
  • “ Coyote incident” - When a coyote gets too close for comfort. Wiffle bat incident - Home owner had to hit coyote with wiffle bat.
  • “ Coyote incident” - When a coyote gets too close for comfort. Wiffle bat incident - Home owner had to hit coyote with wiffle bat.
  • Presidio Trust has taken on the policy of coexistence. They want to maintain the native fauna of the region, as is stated in the mission statement, while protecting residents and ensuring business. Trash mgmt - Don’t leave pet food and trash out. Wildlife proof trash cans. Leash laws - NPS wanted to do stricter enforcement on leash laws, currently being sued, so enforcement are not giving out tickets until case is settled. Indoor cat policy - Important for bird depredation and preventing cat fatalities. Keep coyotes fearful - make noise, harmlessly harass.
  • Coyote incident - Coyote little too close for comfort such as coyote following someone down a trail. Although NPS has wildlife protection as a goal, public safety is an override.
  • Presidio Trust has taken on the policy of coexistence. They want to maintain the native fauna of the region, as is stated in the mission statement, while protecting residents and ensuring business. Trash mgmt - Don’t leave pet food and trash out. Wildlife proof trash cans. Leash laws - NPS wanted to do stricter enforcement on leash laws, currently being sued, so enforcement are not giving out tickets until case is settled. Indoor cat policy - Important for bird depredation and preventing cat fatalities. Keep coyotes fearful - make noise, harmlessly harass.
  • Main priority is increasing coyote population. Coyote priorities are above all other priorities especially those of dog owners.
  • Coyote Presentation

    1. 1. Coyote Management in Urban Areas Madeline Burchard UC Berkeley Division of Organism and the Environment
    2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Natural History of Canis latrans </li></ul><ul><li>Case study: The Presidio of San Francisco </li></ul><ul><li>Management options </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendation </li></ul>
    3. 4. Genetics <ul><li>Share a common ancestor with wolves. </li></ul><ul><li>Can form hybrids with other canids. </li></ul><ul><li>Differentiated from dogs using ratio of snout width to length. </li></ul>
    4. 5. Wild Diet <ul><li>Opportunistic </li></ul><ul><li>Omnivorous </li></ul><ul><li>Packs can take down large prey (deer, elk, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Mousers </li></ul>
    5. 6. What do urban coyotes eat? Source: Morey, et al (2007). Quinn (1997). Puget Sound (residential) Chicago (mixed) Food Item 1.3 1.9 17.7 22.7 22.0 41.8 13.1 Domestic Cat 5.9 Human-Associated Food N/A Eastern Cottontail 43.6 Fruit N/A White-tailed deer 22.6 Small rodents
    6. 7. Social Organization <ul><li>Form packs when density reaches a threshold or when prey items are larger. </li></ul><ul><li>In lower density areas, pairs are common. </li></ul><ul><li>Solitary individuals are seen at all densities. </li></ul>
    7. 8. Reproduction <ul><li>Pairs may stay year to year, but not always for life. </li></ul><ul><li>Mate around February. </li></ul><ul><li>Gestation: 63 days </li></ul><ul><li>Average litter size: 6 </li></ul><ul><li>Born blind. Eyes open at 14 days. </li></ul><ul><li>Mother often helped by siblings from previous generations and alpha males. </li></ul>
    8. 9. Source: Department of Fish and Game
    9. 10. Source: Animal Protection Institute
    10. 11. Hunting <ul><li>Depredation permits. </li></ul><ul><li>Mammal Hunting Regulations Booklet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-game animals may be taken at any time in any quantity. Certain exceptions apply such as time and method. </li></ul></ul>Source: California Mammal Hunting Regulations Booklet
    11. 15. Mission Statement of the Presidio Trust <ul><li>“ The Presidio Trust’s mission is to preserve and enhance the Presidio as an enduring resource for the American public. The Trust’s work encompasses the natural areas, wildlife, and native habitats of the park…” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Presidio Trust is dedicated to ensuring that visitors to this spectacular place have the opportunity to gain a broader understanding of […] the plants and wildlife which once thrived throughout the region .” </li></ul>
    12. 16. Structure <ul><li>Governed by a board of seven people. Six are appointed by the President. Seventh is Secretary of Interior or his/her designee. </li></ul><ul><li>Approx. 1000 housing units in 21 different neighborhoods </li></ul>
    13. 18. Other Revenue Sources <ul><li>Philanthropy and Grants </li></ul><ul><li>Office space leasing (small businesses, non profits, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate Buildings (Lucasfilm ltd.) </li></ul><ul><li>How is the trust proposing to wean off appropiations? Increase leasing. </li></ul>
    14. 20. Questions?
    15. 23. The Coyotes <ul><li>USGS conducted a survey of mammalian carnivores in the Presidio. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One coyote radiocollared, but collar stopped working. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coyotes are genetically linked to Marin County coyotes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Presidio could accommodate two pairs of coyotes. </li></ul></ul>
    16. 25. Troubling Coyote Incidents <ul><li>Increase in coyote incidents in 2008 especially during breeding and pup season. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Following people down trails. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coyotes getting close to houses. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attempted attack on dog on leash. (at night). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wiffle bat incident. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Patterns: Attacks are seasonal and always include a dog. </li></ul>
    17. 26. Why? <ul><li>Decreased fear of people through feeding or interaction. </li></ul><ul><li>Food association with people </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only recorded human fatality was a 3 year old girl whose family had been feeding coyotes </li></ul></ul>
    18. 27. Benefits of Coyotes <ul><li>Studies showed that presence of coyotes was linked to increase in song bird population. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep goose and rodent populations in check. </li></ul><ul><li>Increase diversity of rodent populations by ensuring on species doesn’t dominate others. </li></ul>
    19. 28. People Management <ul><li>“ It’s not managing coyotes, it’s managing people” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Trash management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leash Laws (currently not being enforced) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indoor cat policy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep coyotes fearful </li></ul></ul>
    20. 29. Reactionary Response Model of Management Coyote Seen Informal announcement to Residents about sightings Coyote “Incident” Send out fliers and reminder information about living with coyotes Aggressive Coyote Behavior Recruit DFG and FWS to remove coyote.
    21. 30. Management Options <ul><li>Plan A - “Coexistence” </li></ul><ul><li>Plan B - “Refuge Approach” </li></ul><ul><li>Plan C - “Anthropocentric Approach” </li></ul>
    22. 31. Coexistence
    23. 32. Refuge Approach
    24. 34. Anthropocentric
    25. 35. Recommendation: Plan A - “Coexistence” <ul><li>Don’t recommend purposefully trying to increase coyote population. It would be inhumane and unneccesary. </li></ul><ul><li>Crackdown on people who feed coyotes. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Step up fines. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase education of current tenants and reach out to residents of adjacent neighborhoods. </li></ul></ul>
    26. 36. Thanks!

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