Coexisting with coyotes


Photo by Janet Kessler, taken in 2013.

By Janet Kessler
San Francisco has several dozen coyotes living in the city, mostly in nuclear families. They’re in all of our major parks. Because most folks in San Francisco have dogs or cats, and because there are pups in some of the parks — pups would be about 4 months old now — it is a good time to brush up on coyote behavior and the guidelines necessary for peacefully coexisting. The information applies in any park where there are coyotes, whether or not there are pups.

Note that Glen Canyon Park has a family of three coyotes right now, as it has for the past several years — the number has not changed, though some of the individuals have.

Coyotes are out most often when it’s dark and when we humans aren’t around. However, most folks now realize that it’s not uncommon to see coyotes out during the day — they are not nocturnal animals. So there is always some potential for dog/coyote encounters and even confrontations, and more so where protective coyote parents are involved. We can be prepared for and prevent these encounters by knowing about coyote behavior and by following simple guidelines. Guidelines generally involve staying vigilant, keeping your pets away from coyotes and knowing how to shoo one away which comes too close.

Coyotes As Neighbors”:  is an all-in-one YouTube video presentation which explains relevant coyote behavior — including their intense family lives and territoriality towards other canines, be they dogs or other coyotes — plus guidelines for keeping us all, humans, pets AND coyotes, safe and worry-free. The video includes two demos on how to effectively shoo off a coyote who has come too close. [Spanish version can be found here. Mandarin version can be found here.

For an additional brief written summary on coyote behavior and how to get along with them, visit Bay Nature’s “How to Get Along With Coyotes As Pups Venture Out”,

Please help get the word out by sharing this information with others. Together we can make San Francisco one of the most coyote-savvy urban areas in the US. All it takes is a little bit of knowledge, but that knowledge is crucial.

1 Comment

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One response to “Coexisting with coyotes

  1. Dawn Murayama

    The video is excellent and I hope all neighbors who use Glen Park
    watch. I learned more from the video and I will pass along to walkers that come on my tours in the canyon.

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