It’s a fact – Coyotes are on Siesta Key

February 19, 2023 —

Following a Siesta Key resident’s report that his small dog had been killed by three coyotes, SKA contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for guidance on how to deal with this menace. There is no County or Florida program to remove coyotes.

FWC states “Coyotes are generally not a threat to people and are usually easily scared off. Killing and removing coyotes from a community can open a space for another alpha male or female to move in. Coyotes are highly organized in their social structure and removing one or two individuals can disrupt that hierarchy and cause more young to be born at a faster rate. Coyotes can also benefit the ecosystem by providing natural, effortless pest and rodent control.”

For more information, read Living With Coyotes. To reduce your chances of a negative encounter, the FWC recommends the following:

Step 1 – Secure Attractants:

Secure all attractants, such as pet food, garbage, bird seed, and fallen fruit; this is commonly what brings coyotes to the area.

Pets are best protected when they are accompanied by their owner even in a fenced yard, kept inside, and walked on short (6 foot) leashes. Printable brochures are available in English or Spanish.

Step 2 – Reinforce the coyotes’ fear of humans

 Use sudden loud noises and threatening gestures such as:

  • yelling, deploying air horns, pots and pans, aluminum cans filled with nuts, stones, or coins
  • squirt with a water hose, slingshot, or paintball gun
  • installing motion activated deterrents in your yard: alarms or sprinkler styles work well.

Legal options:

Removal options are available if the coyote(s) exhibits nuisance behaviors as defined in FWC’s nuisance rules. Presence is not an indicator that the coyote is a nuisance, and non-lethal options as listed above are recommended before exploring lethal or trapping options. The nuisance rule defines nuisance behavior as:

  • causes (or is about to cause) property damage,
  • presents a threat to public safety, or
  • causes an annoyance within, under or upon a building.