Coyotes play an important role in the ecosystem, helping to keep rodent populations under control. They are by nature fearful of humans. If given access to human food and garbage, their behavior changes. They lose caution and fear. They may cause property damage. They might threaten human safety. They might be killed.
Relocating a problem coyote is not an option because it only moves the problem to someone else’s neighborhood. Help prevent human-coyote conflicts by taking some precautions around your property.
For more information on coexisting with coyotes please click here.
To report a coyote siting please click here.
Message from City Manager David Carmany on July 18, 2019:
The last few weeks there has been an increase in activity for coyotes in West Covina. City staff has been in contact with Los Angeles County Agricultural Commissioner of Weights and Measures Department to discuss the potential for the need to trap/euthanize coyotes in the northwest area of West Covina. The County Biologist made a site visits on Monday, July 1, 2019, to multiple sites in the areas where there was the most activity was reported based on the City’s Coyote Map as well as resident emails and calls to report concerns. In addition, the Biologist interviewed residents and educated them on issues that were attracting the coyotes (cat food left out, bushes to create dens, etc.). The Biologist sent a summary of their findings and recommended the County Trapper come visit to verify the sites in question. On Tuesday, July 2, 2019, Inland Valley Humane Society (I.V.H.S.) visited the area to verify the findings of the County Biologist to give the City a second opinion. I.V.H.S. validated the Biologist’s assessment and recommended the County Trapper make a visit to make the final determination of trapping coyote(s). Tuesday, July 2, 2019, late afternoon, the County was emailed to approve sending the County Trapper.
The underlying issues of activity in the northwest part of town, pertains to a resident or worker leaving cat food in piles in front of a company, creating a food source from the actual cat food for feral cats. Coyotes survive off of feral cats, so calling cats also calls coyotes. In addition, there was an area to the rear of the facility that could have been used to create a den, so employees were contacted, and cleanup of that site is in progress. Another issue found, pertains to a couple residents yards that have large properties and overgrown vegetation, which is also creating a safe spot to hide for the coyotes. Those residents were contacted and they have started cleaning up their backyards as well.
Coyote Management Plan:
Questions about the Coyote Management Plan were raised at the Council Meeting on July 16, 2019. The Coyote Management Plan is a living flexible document that can be updated at any time in collaboration with our animal welfare partners (i.e. I.V.H.S., and California Department of Fish & Wildlife). The document was designed to be a guiding document, so it is not specific as to dictating when the City will or will not trap/euthanize, because it is an iterative process that requires balancing public safety and co-existing with wildlife.
The County Trapper was called to make a site visit. This is not unusual, but ultimately, they will have the final determination along with City input, to trap/euthanize the coyote(s). As of July 10, 2019, the County Trapper visited the sites in question and has determined that two to three locations should be set for traps. It is a federal offense to trap and relocate wildlife, so the decision to trap is not taken lightly by City administration or the County. Education efforts will be increased in these areas, and I.V.H.S. was notified about this problem before taking over the Animal Control contract. Code Enforcement has been working with neighbors in this area for the past few weeks as well. So together with increased education, enforcement and the potential to trap, we will make a positive impact in this area. Staff has already spoken to I.V.H.S. about having a community meeting and in light of the regional issue, we will engage neighboring Cities or the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG) to see about a joint community meeting to address residents’ concerns and provide further education. Staff is planning to set up a meeting in the late summer/fall of 2019.