Do Coyotes live in Niles? Yes.
Coyotes can be found in every state, except Hawaii. The past 10 years or so have seen an increase in coyote populations in urban areas. This highly adaptable animal has had to learn quickly to survive in any type of habitat. Due to human encroachment and loss of habitat, coyotes have been forced to live closer to humans.

What do they look like?
They are typically 20-50 pounds in weight and about 24 inches tall and four feet long. Often times they are mistaken for a medium-sized German Shepherd.
Other common features:
  • Pointed nose
  • Bushy tail with a black tip. Tail held down when running( can attain speeds up to 40mph for short distances.)
  • Fur is gray to yellow-gray in color. Long, bushy fur makes them appear larger than they actually are.
  • Eyes are yellow instead of brown, like most dogs.

Where do they live?
They prefer more open areas but can be seen along brushy areas or wooded edges, however, it is not uncommon to see them in suburban areas. They will tend to follow pathways, such as rivers, railways or trails and even suburban streets. Coyotes are usually solitary but can form small “packs” or family groups. In Cook County, coyotes can travel anywhere from a few square miles to over 20 square miles depending upon availability of food, water and shelter; as well as whether a single animal or family group.

What do they eat?
The bulk of a coyote’s diet consists of small rodents and rabbits and other small mammals. In addition, they will also eat deer fawns, goose eggs, insects, and seasonal berries, fruits, plants and nuts. People believe that coyotes regularly kill domestic cats. In fact, domestic cats consist of less than 2 percent of diet, according to coyote scats. Although they are a predator, coyotes can are also opportunistic and will scavenge when needed.

When are they active?
Coyotes are primarily nocturnal but it is not uncommon to see one roaming around during the day. Factors that can change behavior patterns are having to feed pups(Spring and Summer), extreme weather conditions, lack of natural prey and loss of habitat.

Do they attack humans? Pets?
Coyotes are naturally wary of humans and do not usually want anything to do with people. There are times, however, where a coyote may bite or attack a human. The majority of these incidences occurred because a person was trying to hand feed an animal or an unattended child mistook one for a dog. Attacks on humans are extremely rare when one considers that there are approximately 20,000 coyotes living in the greater Chicagoland area.
Attacks on pets are more common but still extremely rare. Domestic pets are usually not killed for food, rather they are seen as competition for food or a threat to their pups. Free-roaming cats or dogs under 25 pounds are more likely to be attacked than an animal that is larger than the coyote itself.

How do I minimize conflicts with Coyotes?
  • Do not leave food for wildlife out overnight. Use proper bird feeders, remove ripe fruit from ground and secure trash cans.
  • NEVER leave dog(s) outside in your yard unattended. Always check your yard and the perimeter prior to letting out dog(s) for the presence of coyotes or any other wildlife.
  • ALWAYS walk your dog on a leash. Unleashed dogs are more likely to be attacked than those that are closer to a human. Retractable leashes should not be used as it is difficult to control a dog.
  • Teach children to NEVER approach a strange animal; instead they should let an adult/parent know right away. Also, teach them how to identify coyotes.
  • NEVER leave young children outside unattended. This is not safe in any situation.

Why don’t we just remove Coyotes?
The reduction of coyote populations has been going on for over 200 years with little to no success. There is no easy or simple solution. Trapping and removal will often times have an adverse effect and create a “vacuum.” This allows new animals to move into an area that has not been established by a population so you are right back where you started. It is usually unrealistic to permanently remove some or all coyotes in an area. If the established coyote(s) are not causing problems, it is better to leave them alone. Removal of a coyote(s) is ideal when you have a true safety risk. The appearance of a coyote(s) does not automatically constitute a problem or dangerous situation.

Additional Information:
Illinois Coyotes
Cook County Coyotes