The Town has received a lot of calls about wildlife lately, in particular, coyotes, foxes and raccoons.
Here are some helpful tips for residents who may encounter wildlife.
TIPS FOR RESIDENTS re: COYOTES
Coyotes can thrive close to humans in suburban and urban areas. They require only a source of food, water, and cover. If you want to make your property less attractive to coyotes and avoid having any problems with these predators, follow these basic practices. Remember, share these tips with your neighbors; your efforts will be futile if neighbors provide food or shelter for coyotes.
DON’T FEED OR TRY TO PET COYOTES:
Keep wild things wild! Feeding, whether direct or indirect, can cause coyotes to act tame and may lead to bold behavior. Coyotes that rely on natural foods remain wild and wary of humans.
SECURE YOUR GARBAGE: Coyotes raid open trash materials and compost piles. Secure your garbage in tough plastic containers with tight fitting lids and keep them in secure buildings when possible. Take out trash when the morning pick up is scheduled, not the previous night. Keep compost in secure, vented containers, and keep barbecue grills clean to reduce attractive odors. Eastern coyotes are an important and valuable natural resource in Massachusetts. They are classified as a furbearer species, for which a regulated hunting season and management program have been established.
KEEP BIRD FEEDER AREAS CLEAN: Use feeders designed to keep seed off the ground, as the seed attracts many small mammals coyotes prey upon. Remove feeders if coyotes are regularly seen around your yard.
CLOSE OFF CRAWL SPACES: Coyotes will use areas under porches and sheds for resting and raising young. Close these areas off to prevent animals from using them.
DON’T LET COYOTES INTIMIDATE YOU: Don’t hesitate to scare or threaten coyotes with loud noises, bright lights, or water sprayed from a hose.
CUT BACK BRUSHY EDGES: These areas provide cover for coyotes and their prey.
PROTECT LIVESTOCK AND PRODUCE: Coyotes will prey on livestock. Various techniques, such as fencing, will protect livestock from predation. Clear fallen fruit from around fruit trees.
PET OWNERS: Although free roaming pets are more likely to be killed by automobiles than by wild animals, coyotes do view cats and small dogs as potential food, and larger dogs as competition. For the safety of your pets, keep them leashed at all times. Additionally, feed your pets indoors. Outdoor feeding can attract many wild animals.
IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING PROBLEMS WITH COYOTES OR HAVE QUESTIONS, VISIT MASS.GOV/MASSWILDLIFE OR CONTACT YOUR NEAREST MASSWILDLIFE OFFICE:
Field Headquarters, Westborough: (508) 389-6300