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COYOTES: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What educational efforts are being made to increase coyote awareness for the residents and visitors of Burbank?

The Burbank Animal Shelter and the City of Burbank share important information and educational material via their websites and social media accounts including Facebook, Instagram and Nextdoor.  Coyote information can be found at www.coyotehazing.com.

Additionally, flyers and brochures are placed throughout various City buildings, mailed upon request, or distributed in areas experiencing frequent coyote sightings.  Coyote hazing inserts have been included in the registration renewal notices of all licensed pets within the City of Burbank.  Signs have been placed in areas reporting frequent coyote sightings such as the Chandler Bike Path and all City Parks.  Posters have been distributed to pet supply stores, veterinary hospitals, boarding and grooming facilities within Burbank. Bus shelter ad campaigns promoting coyote awareness will be circulated in January, April, and August of 2021.

Future efforts include developing a Coyote Watch Program with Burbank residents, identifying areas for permanent signage, creating educational videos covering various topics such as “how to haze” and developing an e-newsletter to share updated and additional information on all animal topics.

What are the State and local laws relevant to trapping, relocating, and or euthanizing coyotes?

Per State Law, California Code of Regulations, Title 14 § 465.5, it is illegal to trap and relocate coyotes.  Trapped coyotes must be released where trapped or be euthanized.

Relocating wildlife can result in increased competition for resources and is considered inhumane to both the relocated animals and wildlife found in the area where new animals are introduced.  Coyotes relocated in other areas of the country were known to return to the area they were removed from. Additionally, removing wildlife from a specific area has been shown to result in new animals taking their place.  In some instances, more animals entered the area than were removed.

What methods may be used to control the growing coyote population?

Spay and neuter as well as euthanizing efforts to reduce the coyote population would likely require a thorough examination of the environmental impact that may result from taking this course.  Following an EIR, a feasibility study would be required to determine the economic and legal impacts of implementing such a program. Similarly, in 2020, the City of Los Angeles conducted an Environmental Impact Report for its proposed Citywide Cat Program. The Citywide Cat Program’s objectives included the increased spaying or neutering of stray, owned, free-roaming or feral cats. Click here to see the final Environmental Impact Report for the City of Los Angeles Citywide Cat Program.

What deterrents may be used to keep coyotes away from our homes?

In addition to keeping your yard trimmed, clutter and food attractant free, motion sensor sprinklers, lights or other fixtures may be added to deter wildlife.  Additionally, homemade solutions such as vinegar, mixtures of mint and mouthwash or cayenne peppers and onions, have been known to keep wildlife away.

How can coyote populations be managed in commercial areas?

Movement detecting motion lights can help keep coyotes and other wildlife away from commercial areas when people have left for the day. When people are around, hazing is recommended every time a coyote is seen in the area.

Remove all accessible food and water sources as well as potential hiding places.

Can anything be done about particularly problematic coyotes?

Trapping problematic coyotes known to cause continuous issues in an area may be considered by Animal Control after determining the circumstances around the encounters. For coyotes known to regularly capture household pets, trapping efforts are usually made. Trapping coyotes can prove difficult as they are extremely smart animals.  All coyotes trapped will be humanely euthanized.

Did coyote behavior change during Covid-19?

With traffic patterns shifting and local schools being closed and empty, coyotes were spotted taking advantage of the free spaces and roaming through these areas more frequently.  With more people at home, there were increased opportunities to observe the wildlife in or around Burbank residential areas which may have led to the perception that the number of coyotes increased.

What do coyotes eat?

Coyotes eat small animals such as rodents, squirrels, gophers, skunks, foxes, raccoons and opossums. They have also been known to eat dead animals.

According to Urban Coyote Research Project, 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, which can include domestic pets.  Coyotes are generally scavengers and predators of small prey but can shift to large prey occasionally.  The most common food item for coyotes is small rodents. 

Is feeding coyotes illegal?

Yes, feeding coyotes is illegal per Burbank Municipal Code and State Code. 

Burbank Municipal Code (5-1-1107) prohibits feeding or providing food to non-domesticated mammalian predators, including, but not limited to, coyotes, raccoons, foxes and opossums.

California Code of Regulation Title 14, Section §251.1 specifies no person shall harass any game or nongame bird or mammal or furbearing mammal where harass is defined as an intentional act which disrupts an animal's normal behavior patterns, which includes, but is not limited to, breeding, feeding or sheltering.

What is the Coyote Watch Program?

The Coyote Watch Program (CWP) is a pilot program the Burbank Animal Shelter is establishing for Burbank residents.  Like Neighborhood Watch, which aims to deter crime in neighborhoods by encouraging collaboration, the CWP would encourage neighbors to learn and educate about best coyote management practices.

Block Captains for each neighborhood would oversee sharing information with neighbors.  Staff would in turn hold regular meetings with the Block Captains to discuss current coyote news and assess the coyote issues in each neighborhood to better address individual needs.

Can I hire a wildlife or pest control management company to trap coyotes in my area?

Yes; however, traps would have to be set on private property only.

How do I haze if I encounter several coyotes at once?

Try using hands free tools such as a rescue whistle or air horn you can carry on a lanyard over your neck. This will also be helpful if out walking with pets.

Am I allowed to shoot a coyote?

Although Burbank Municipal Code allows a firearm to be discharged in the City to protect life and property, it is important to consider the risks of discharging a firearm within City limits, especially due to the proximity of neighboring homes in your area.  Full use of the deterring methods and hazing techniques mentioned above are recommended above all else.  The use of a firearm to dispatch a coyote should be a last resort to prevent imminent danger to life and property, and only when safe to do so.