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June 2021 Wildlife in LOLiving WithWildlife City of Lake Oswego June 2021 For more inFormation, go to www.lakeoswego.city/coyotes-and-other-urban-wildliFe. LAKE OSWEGO has hundreds of acres of parks and open spaces that support many different types of wildlife, including dozens of bird species, raccoons, opossums, skunks, several species of squirrel, white-tailed deer, rabbits, owls, coyotes, and occasionally mountain lions have been spotted passing through nearby communities. With wild territory shrinking, forcing wildlife to live closer to people, the likelihood of an encounter is a reality. These animals are often attracted to our neighborhoods and yards because they are highly adaptable, opportunistic feeders who can easily adjust to changes in the environment. With their ability to eat a variety of plant and animal materials, some of these wild animals will choose an easy meal unwittingly provided by you! Your vegetable gardens, prized plants, compost, easily accessible garbage, pet food left outside, and sometimes even small pets such as a dog or free-roaming cat can all become a meal. Wild animals are also looking for water and shelter. If your yard and home provide these essentials, you will most likely experience some unwanted wildlife visitors. By making modifications to our behavior and our homes, most conflicts with wildlife can be greatly reduced or avoided. Coping With Coyotes The coyote has endured the wrath of humans for centuries. Coyotes are a new urban reality, but have lived on the edges of our communities unnoticed for generations. As long as there is shelter and food, these highly adaptable canines will continue to be a part of our neighborhood landscape. On any given day, the City receives multiple calls from people expressing concerns and asking questions about wildlife they see in their neighborhood. One of the most frequently call is the sighting of urban coyotes. These intelligent and adaptable hunters are flourishing in every city across the country. As a general rule, coyotes are curious but cautious of humans and will usually run away when approached. Coyotes will be more active, territorial and protective in the spring, during breeding season and when pups arrive. More of a nuisance than an actual threat, when dealing with coyotes, prevention is always the best action when it comes to avoiding, minimizing, or correcting problems. Coyotes do not differentiate between a house cat, small dog, rat or rabbit. All of these represent something edible, but there are some things pet owners can do to reduce the chance of losing a pet to a hungry coyote. PROTECT YOUR PETS: ■Keep pets on a short leash at all times when outside your property ■Stay on marked pathways ■Use extra caution dusk through dawn ■Avoid habitat areas where coyotes have been spotted or potential den sites and thick vegetation ■Do not allow dogs to interact with coyotes ■Keep cats indoors, especially at night NEVER FEED COYOTES ■Fed coyotes can become aggressive ■Seal garbage and compost securely ■Remove ripe garden veggies and fruit ■Store pet food and feed pets indoors. With a few simple actions, we can help reduce conflicts between people, pets and coyotes. For more tips on living with and reducing conflicts with coyotes and other wildlife, please visit Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at www.dfw.state. or.us or Audubon Society of Portland at http://audubonportland.org. You can also contact Diana Smith-Bouwer in the Public Information Office at 503- 635-0257 or dbouwer@lakeoswego.city. For more inFormation, go to www.lakeoswego.city/coyotes-and-other-urban-wildliFe. Watch Out for Babies Young wildlife are introduced to our many roads and trails by their parents because they provide easy travel corridors. This pits young, inexperienced creatures against fast, heavy moving vehicles and people using the same pathway systems. Be alert as you drive and travel through wooded areas and curvy roadways. If you see an injured animal in or near the roadway, please pull over and contact the Lake Oswego police using the non-emergency number at 503-635-0238. Let Nature Feed the Animals Well-intentioned people often feed deer and other wildlife without realizing the problems feeding can create. Some of these problems include the following: ■Artificial feeding concentrates wildlife, which leads to the easier spread of disease and parasites. ■Feeding deer attracts their natural predators like coyotes and cougars to areas of human activity. ■Concentrating deer in areas with higher populations and activity can lead to increased vehicle collisions and conflicts between wildlife and pets. ■Each year the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) sees seemingly healthy deer die because they have been fed the wrong food by well-intentioned people. A deer’s diet requirements are best met by native forage. ■Feeding animals can also lead to bites. Squirrel bites are the most common type of wildlife-related bite reported to ODFW with almost every bite traced back to feeding squirrels. There are several types of squirrels living in Lake Oswego. The Eastern Gray and Eastern Fox squirrels are non-native invasive species that aggressively compete with the native squirrel populations for food and habitat. To reduce the spread of non-native squirrels, ODFW will not relocate them unless on the same property (for example, removing a squirrel from inside your home to your yard). ODFW also will not rehabilitate an injured non-native squirrel; they will be humanely euthanized. Keep Animals Out of Your Home The wildlife who make Lake Oswego their home will take advantage of any opportunity for safe shelter, which can include coming inside your home. Squirrels, raccoons and skunks are especially creative at finding a way into your crawl space, attic, or under decks to build a nest for their young and to stay warm in the winter. Taking steps to create physical barriers (such as putting screens over crawl spaces and other openings), habitat modification (trimming tree limbs 6 to 8 feet away from buildings to prevent jumping onto the roof), and other deterrents are the best way to control these smart, clever and tenacious critters. Coyote Hazing What should you do when you spot a coyote on your property? Haze it. Hazing involves actions that instill the fear of humans in coyotes. Every encounter you have with a coyote should be a frightening one for the coyote. Some common methods of hazing include: ■Yelling and waving your arms while approaching the coyote. ■Throwing small objects in the coyote’s direction. ■Using whistles, bells, or air horns to create discomforting sounds. ■Spraying water guns, sprinklers, or even pepper spray towards the coyote. Once a coyote continually encounters these negative experiences, it learns to stay at bay from your property. Coyotes can be a threat to your pets, but there are ways to foster a peaceful co-existence with wildlife. By following these tips, you will keep coyotes at a healthy distance from your property. Coyote vest helps protect small pets.