BAY CITIZEN: Know Your Neighborhood Coyote

BAY CITIZEN: Know Your Neighborhood Coyote
By Annette Fuentes|May 12, 2011 1:34 p.m. |In Wildlife

San Francisco has many interesting residents and none more fascinating, perhaps, than the coyotes who have for the last few years taken up residence in Golden Gate Park and other patches of parkland around the city.

For some human residents, coyotes are fascinating and appealing neighbors. For others, they are frightening. But according to the city Recreation and Park Department, they are here to stay, so the best strategy is to learn how to peacefully coexist with these furry and clever canine cousins.

On Thursday night, May 12, the park department will host a free educational event, “Living with Coyotes,” that provides some clear information about cohabitating in an urban environment with the animals.

Project Coyote, a Marin-based nonprofit, will lead the session, providing some basic information about coyote behavior and biology and how they got to San Francisco, according to parks department natural areas manager Lisa Wayne.

“They’ve had a lot of experience up and down the state, and they’ll share the lessons learned,” Wayne said of the group. “They might go over the reasons why lethal control doesn’t work. Farmers shooting them doesn’t work–they just come back.”

Wayne said there was no single incident that spurred the parks department to hold the event, just the reality of coyotes as a constant presence in the city.

“We have been doing the best we can by putting signs in parklands,” she said, “but coyotes are using our streets and roadways. It’s an issue citywide. It doesn’t just effect parkland.”

Some people’s are just plain fearful of coyotes, Wayne said, even though there has never been a report of a coyote attacking a human in San Francisco. But many find their presence delightful.

“Every time I go to Glen Canyon, I see people with binoculars who are looking for coyotes,” Wayne said.

The event is at 6:30 tonight in the Hall of Flowers, County Fair Building, Golden Gate Park.