Coyotes, which originated in the Great Plains grasslands and southwest deserts, moved eastward into the Midwest during the early 20th century. They were first documented in 1919 in Ohio and are well established in Clark County. Coyotes in Clark County weight approximately 28 – 45 pounds as adults. They have coats that are shades of browns and greys, long legs, over-sized pointed ears and large bushy tail with a black tips. Coyotes play a natural and beneficial role in the food chain by eating mice and other small rodents. As the top carnivore in our ecosystem, they also help regulate the number of skunk, opossums and raccoons which ultimately provides a healthier natural environment.
The coyote is the most widely-distributed large predator in North America and will usually avoid human interaction. Human and coyote interactions have sizably increased over the past few years in the western and eastern portions of the United States. These increased, sometimes negative, interactions have caused many public agencies to develop co-existence, educational and management programs. Even though our region and Ohio have not seen an increase in negative interactions, we are proactively working to educate the public in Clark County prior to any of these issues occurring. Documented cases of coyotes injuring people are very rare and, most often, are related to people intentionally or unintentionally feeding them. Their innate fear of humans tends to keep them from coming into close contact with people. However, dogs can be vulnerable to coyote confrontations. Most commonly, they include coyotes who have grown comfortable to people through feeding or who are protecting their territory and pups.
COMMON SENSE COYOTE OVERVIEW & PROJECT BACKGROUND
National Trail Parks & Recreation District and Wittenberg University have partnered to implement Common Sense Coyote, a public information and monitoring program. Common Sense Coyote will provide the tools for our residents of Clark County to safely co-exist and provide a better understanding of the coyote population and behavior in Clark County, allowing for safe interactions and practices to become common sense.
- PUBLIC EDUCATION – Education and communication are essential in supporting human and animal needs and in promoting their co-existence. National Trail Parks and Recreation District will hold regular education and information sessions that will have a variety of formats to engage different audiences and individuals. Our recent educational session in Snyder Park featured a live coyote and had over 120 attendees. An additional session was offered that evening to meet the demand of attendees and many interested individuals were placed on a waiting list due to space limitations. National Trail offers coyote educational events each year. Visit www.ntprd.org for more information.
- YOUTH CONSERVATION EFFORT – Coyote Crusaders is an educational outreach program for youth ages 10 – 16. This effort is designed to teach the natural history of the coyote, provide the tools and knowledge for public information outreach and teach wildlife monitoring.
- RESEARCH & MONITORING – In partnership with Wittenberg University, Dr. Richard Phillips a wildlife biologist, and Wittenberg University students, the Common Sense Coyote program will track and monitor human interactions with coyotes and develop a comprehensive look at the coyote population here locally.