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Coyote Population Increases in Schaumburg

Have you spotted coyotes in your neighborhood or local parks? If you have, your eyes are not deceiving you. Over the past several years, coyotes have become more prevalent in the Village of Schaumburg and surrounding communities. As coyote habitat decreases in size, they are forced to cohabitate with humans.

Coyotes occur in nearly all types of habitat, including urban and suburban areas. Coyotes like to travel along trails, paths, and waterways. They are most active at night but are often seen during the day, especially in the summer when their pups are more active. Coyotes have grown accustomed to living in the suburbs and it is not unusual to see them throughout the day. Coyotes sometimes hunt in family units but often alone or in male/female pairs. They do not form “packs” like their wolf cousins.

Coyotes can be mistaken for a small Husky or German Sheppard and typically weigh between 20 and 50 pounds. Their diet mainly consists of mice and other rodents, so they are nature’s version of rodent control. They are timid animals and have a natural fear of humans, but they are also curious animals and may watch you from a distance.

If you encounter a coyote, try to use some sort of a noisemaker, such as a can with coins or an air horn, to scare the coyote away. According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, attacks on humans are extremely rare and the majority of these cases occurred where people were feeding coyotes intentionally, causing them to lose their fear of humans. If you encounter a coyote while walking your dog, remember to always use a leash and never let them loose especially if you know there is a coyote in the area. When letting your dog out at dusk or after dark, check your yard for any type of wild animal. If you know there are coyotes nearby, remain in the yard with your dog. Residents with small pets (less than 20 pounds) should always supervise them outside.

McGraw Center for Wildlife Research is undergoing a study helping the public to understand coyote behavior. The McGraw Center’s study, with support from numerous universities, local and state agencies, has contributed mightily to the knowledge base of the behavior of coyotes and how humans can co-exist with them. Since this study’s inception in 2000, the team has live-captured and marked some 743 coyotes and radio collared more than 420. There are several collared coyotes in Schaumburg and the McGraw Center monitors their movements and behavior. If they find a situation where the coyote needs to be trapped and removed, they will take care of it.

Although coyotes are valuable members of the wildlife community, they can clash with humans especially when they live in close association with people. Trying to eliminate one or all coyotes in an area is an unrealistic goal since trapping and removing a coyote will only create a void and one or two coyotes will move in their place. The Village of Schaumburg does not participate in the trapping of any kind of wildlife, including coyotes.

For more information on coyotes or other wildlife in the village, contact Deborah Diamond, Animal Control Officer at Schaumburg Police Department at ddiamond@ci.schaumburg.il.us or dial (847) 348-7251.