West Seattle coyotes: Pup photos, and a map

May 23, 2012 at 4:20 pm | In Coyotes, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 97 Comments

Kimberly shared photos this afternoon of three coyote pups “playing in the landscaping in the back of our community.” That’s the City Lights Condos on Harbor Avenue SW (map).

These are the first coyote photos we’ve received in a long time; we’ve been planning to relaunch our coyote-report coverage with an extra element:

The markers on that map represent every coyote sighting published on WSB in the past five years – including the ones that came up in the comment section. WSB contributor Katie Meyer went through every story in our coyote-report archive, and the comments, to make the map. We intend to keep adding to it, and this one from Kimberly will be added soon. As the coyote reports have come in over the years, someone would suggest every now and then that we make a map, so there would be more of an overview look to underscore the point that they have been seen just about everywhere in West Seattle (not just near greenbelts), and here it is. Updates to come.

97 Comments

  1. Adorable puppies!

    Comment by Ripper — 5:06 pm May 23, 2012 #

  2. Fascinating map! That must have been quite the project to implement. Kudos!
    .
    My first thought looking at the map is that the coyotes are everywhere. But a second look makes me wonder whether they are everywhere except for where the river otters have staked out territory. Interesting absence of coyote sightings in known river otter sites above Beach Drive, above Alki, along Fauntleroy Creek, and in RoxHill wetlands. Are the otters more ferocious than coyotes?

    Comment by Lura Ercolano — 5:55 pm May 23, 2012 #

  3. Wow! That really shows how intrenched they are in our neighborhoods. Good reason to keep your kitties indoors! We have a lot of them in Des Moines, too. Rarely see or hear them, but they are there! Nothing like walking your dog at 1:30 am and seeing one nonchalantly walking down the middle of the road like he owns it! Also makes you stop and wonder what else is living in the bushes and watching you, that you don’t see!

    Comment by Des Moines Dame — 6:04 pm May 23, 2012 #

  4. Concord St and 41st Ave SW – I sent the photo, which you posted. They come up from Fauntleroy Park.
    You don’t need to post this, but please do update the map.

    Comment by Liz Verdier — 6:22 pm May 23, 2012 #

  5. We spotted one walking down SW Holly St & 12th Ave SW a week ago Monday.

    Comment by Highland Park Mom — 6:26 pm May 23, 2012 #

  6. Thanks for creating and posting the map. That is so amazing!!

    Comment by Lfauntleroy — 6:35 pm May 23, 2012 #

  7. Pet eating, chicken stealing non-native pest.

    Comment by milo — 7:56 pm May 23, 2012 #

  8. This is an awesome idea, thank you!
    .
    How will we find it in future? Should we search on “coyote map” in the upper-right-hand search box on the home page?

    Comment by K — 8:05 pm May 23, 2012 #

  9. 4 coyotes (adults) stalking my block the last few months. Dead end of Roxbury,200 block.

    Comment by wingme — 8:18 pm May 23, 2012 #

  10. I don’t care what anyone else says, they are so cute!! :)

    Comment by ~~HockeyWitch~~ — 8:25 pm May 23, 2012 #

  11. Cool map! I’m a little concerned with how many markers are on my dog-walking routes.

    Comment by YeloRose — 8:38 pm May 23, 2012 #

  12. WOW! Love the addition of the coyote map! Super interesting to see all that info in one place. Thanks!

    Comment by Que — 8:39 pm May 23, 2012 #

  13. Kill them before they eat local dogs and cats.

    Comment by gary l. jackson — 8:54 pm May 23, 2012 #

  14. Trap and remove.

    Comment by CB — 9:33 pm May 23, 2012 #

  15. Non-native? Not too sure about that. I agree they are pests. Their only enemy is cars, but I’ve never seen coyote roadkill. Before we knew about the danger we lost two precious kitties. We now contain our cats. It is heartbreaking to see all the missing-pet posters. People need to keep pets indoors because there isn’t any desire by agencies to cull the coyotes. I’ve read that trapping/removing does not work with coyotes (plus, people let their dogs run loose and THEY get caught in the traps). We’ve seen coyotes everywhere, including scavenging on the beaches at low tide. They all look pretty well-fed, too. Also read that most have dog DNA – with the size of some of our local ones, I wouldn’t be surprise if they are mixed. Country coyotes are smaller.

    Comment by MMB — 9:41 pm May 23, 2012 #

  16. Just found out today my dear friend found her lost pet cat’s “face” (and nothing else) in the Pelty Place Natural Area (aka “the ravine”) off Murray Ave. It appears the coyotes took it. She is devastated, but understood the risks when she let her cats outside. Be careful folks. “Jasper” was a cool cat, and I miss him. The coyotes have a right to survive as well … I don’t know what a good solution is except to keep cats inside, which would drive them, and us, nuts.

    Comment by FriendOfEatenKitty — 9:50 pm May 23, 2012 #

  17. Cute, yes I will give you that but they are also a real problem killing domestic animals. I wish there was something we could do to relocated them to a less urban environment .

    Comment by dnm — 9:54 pm May 23, 2012 #

  18. I wonder how much the move around the West Seattle Area

    Comment by clark5080 — 9:55 pm May 23, 2012 #

  19. Is there such a thing a trap-neuter-return or trap-neuter-relocate for coyotes?

    Comment by PA — 10:02 pm May 23, 2012 #

  20. As for those who say you HAVE to leave your cats out, that is just wrong. Stats show that “outdoor” cats live a lot shorter life than those kept indoors. If you believe (like I do) that they do deserve some fresh air and sun, then keep them in a penned-off enclosure of some sort. My friends made 2 different kinds where the cats were able to go outside but could not wander off, and nothing could get inside. It takes a bit of work and alot of chicken wire but it keeps them safe and then they can get out for a change. Be responsible and keep them safe!

    Comment by Sharon — 10:16 pm May 23, 2012 #

  21. Many sightings are likely dogs that look a little like coyotes. Also is it really wise to give the idiots out there a hunting map?

    Comment by cj — 10:35 pm May 23, 2012 #

  22. Loved the map. Coyotes are our neighbors. I’m a dog and cat lover/owner, but I know that we need to accept that we all share the territory. Keep your beloved critters in at night.

    Comment by DM — 10:45 pm May 23, 2012 #

  23. CJ, if you browse our coverage over the years, at least the sightings that have come in with photos (click the word “coyotes” under the headline, and that takes you to every story we’ve tagged with that category, more than 100 of them), nope, not dogs. And re: a hunting map – they are everywhere, and that is the whole point of this. I am always surprised when we get a note that says “I didn’t think there were coyotes in my neighborhood” because they have been spotted everywhere, and yet somehow many have no idea. This story was long enough already but in most previous ones, we have included the link to information on coexistence – how to make sure they, and we, keep our distance, which is better for everybody. Most seem to be pretty good at that … though we are near a greenbelt over a slope above Lincoln Park, I haven’t seen one personally since this one four years ago:
    .
    http://westseattleblog.com/2008/04/finally-a-coyote-sighting-at-wsb-hq
    .
    but they are most certainly out there. The reports have almost all been of coyotes on the move – not “here’s a den” – so anyone trying to “hunt” one based on any report ever published here (or elsewhere) would likely have a very long wait. Research done in a Midwestern metro area
    .
    http://urbancoyoteresearch.com/Where_Coyotes_Found.htm
    .
    …suggests one urban coyote might range over up to 4+ square miles. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 10:58 pm May 23, 2012 #

  24. Yeah these coyote pups are SO adorable!!!
    Until they mature and start killing pets, both cats AND dogs.
    And don’t say to keep pets inside. Sometimes they NEED to go outside, afterall the vast majority of them don’t know how to use the toilet (I had a friend who trianed her cat to use one!).
    A friend had two of her small dogs snatched from their yard. They managed to get one back, but the other was never found :-(. They knew it was coyotes because theyY SAW them running away with the dogs.
    The BIG problem with these coyotes is they have lost their fear of humans. They need to be removed from populated areas. Either killed or trapped and relocated.
    I just wonder if those of you who think these animals are so cute would feel that way if it was YOUR child that was attacked by them. REMEMBER THEY HAVE LOST THEIR FEAR OF HUMANS!!!
    There is a place for wild animals, and around densely populated areas IS NOT the place!!!

    Comment by Ex-Westwood Resident — 11:02 pm May 23, 2012 #

  25. If we try to kill/remove coyotes, it will backfire. A recent, deeply reported Sacramento Bee series looked at the work of Wildlife Services, an obscure federal agency that kills an extraordinary number of animals, among them coyotes. The result? More, smarter coyotes. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/15/4490653/wildlife-services-deadly-force.html

    Comment by K — 11:29 pm May 23, 2012 #

  26. Thank you for sharing that. Hadn’t seen it. Astonishing.

    Comment by WSB — 11:51 pm May 23, 2012 #

  27. Great map! Would it be possible to “pin” the sightings for this year in a different color? I’d like to know if the pins in my neighborhood are current or are old. Thanks to Katie Meyer for her hard work in compiling the map!

    Comment by LG — 12:00 am May 24, 2012 #

  28. Wish we could accommodate but then we’d eventually have to say color x was year x, color y was year y, etc., and it will get confusing … not to mention expense (time/money) that we have to budget for so many other things a-waiting … If you click any pin on this, the date is the first thing you will see. I am suspecting my failure to mention this has led to not much map-clicking (this is hosted elsewhere, so we don’t see the analytics on it). – TR

    Comment by WSB — 12:04 am May 24, 2012 #

  29. Coyotes are why I see so many missing cat posters stuck to telephone poles. Domestic cats are their favorite food. My cat goes nuts to be let outside, but I worry about her. I try to keep her in doors as much as I can.

    Comment by pete moss — 5:20 am May 24, 2012 #

  30. Domestic and feral cats kill an estimated 500 million birds a year in the United States – some even estimate a billion. Seems to me that coyotes are balancing the playing field a little. Or … keep your cat inside where they are safe and wild birds are too.

    Comment by Andy — 5:31 am May 24, 2012 #

  31. We have 7 coyotes that live in our greenbelt (and use my yard for traveling around) here on Seola Beach Drive SW. There will be more soon when the pups are born. I do not let my cat out or my little dog unattended. Thank you for the map!

    Comment by Dawnelle — 5:37 am May 24, 2012 #

  32. @Milo- Are YOU native to the area?! Because, it sounds to me as though you are more of a pest than a coyote puppy. Keep your pets inside and you won’t have a problem. It’s called responsible pet ownership.

    Comment by Rachel — 7:48 am May 24, 2012 #

  33. While I love this map and photos, this concerns me for the animals’ safety. Please know that shooting wildlife is illegal!! If you see one and want them removed, please call the humane society.

    Comment by Rachel — 7:49 am May 24, 2012 #

  34. Outdoor cats KILL WILD BIRDS !! You might not even know it’s happening, I found our neighbor’s well-fed cat with a Ruby Crowned Kinglet in her mouth, made me CRY !!

    Please keep your cats indoors, people!

    Comment by cruzer — 7:50 am May 24, 2012 #

  35. Non-native pests? Just like all the non-native residents clogging up the bridge and all the parking in the Junction!

    And if you are worried about your kids being attacked by a coyote…maybe you should watch your kids a bit closer! In fact, “hide yo’ husbands too, cuz they be attackin’ everrrybody”

    Comment by Dizzle — 8:02 am May 24, 2012 #

  36. There is a family of coyotes that roam the area between Admiral and Harbor Ave. These pups are part of that family. We see these animals regularly, and hear them very often. You could put thousands of map pins in this area. They have been in our yard, on our deck, etc. These animals all appear to be healthy – handsome creatures. We no longer have raccoons, by the way. And, the songbird population seems to have grown as the number of outdoor cats has dropped.

    Comment by Mike — 8:45 am May 24, 2012 #

  37. Cats and domestic pets belong indoors or under their owners supervision. Cats kill all kinds of wildlife and threaten many species of birds. Be responsible. I love my pets but if was irresponsible enough to leave my pet unattended and a wild animal killed it, it would be my fault not the wild animal’s. Time to share the earth with wild animals before we drive them all out. Its appalling the intolerance and arrogance of people who think no other animal should have a right to coexist with us.

    Comment by Louise Kane — 8:47 am May 24, 2012 #

  38. +1 Dizzle

    Comment by KJ — 8:50 am May 24, 2012 #

  39. Fascinating conversation, cute pups, cool maps. I have been researching coyotes extensively for my new book, and have talked with urban coyote researchers across the country. It’s a huge, confusing, emotional topic, but just one note here–While coyotes certainly do eat domestic pets, they are not “coyotes’ favorite food.” Studies of urban coyote scats show that actually just 2% of urban coyote diets consists of foods gleaned from human neighborhoods (including both garbage and pets). In urban areas, coyotes’real favorite food is rats and other small rodents, followed by various plant foods, and insects. Keep up the great dialogue, WSB!

    Comment by Lyanda — 8:50 am May 24, 2012 #

  40. If you’d like to add another mark on the map… We saw one run down our snowy street back in January during the big snowstorm week (week of the 16th). The little fella/lady was running south down 10th at 102nd in White Center. Maybe heading for Hicks Lake or between Westcrest and Seola Parks.

    Comment by AB — 8:56 am May 24, 2012 #

  41. I think they are good rat control. We just need to keep our pets indoor at night.

    Comment by Karie — 9:06 am May 24, 2012 #

  42. Thanks, Lyanda (urban-wildlife author/expert par excellence) … It’s been a long time since our last contextual story beyond sightings here/sightings there and we need to work on one. Maybe myth-debunking. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:15 am May 24, 2012 #

  43. 100% behind keeping cats inside, and Sharon’s suggestion of an outdoor ‘cat run’ is excellent. Songbirds are safe from my kitties, and my kitties are safe from coyotes. Have a heart for the wild things, people.

    Comment by Laurie — 9:20 am May 24, 2012 #

  44. Just saw one walking along the path behind my condo, it was shocking for a moment as I have yet to “actually” see one but pretty cool at the same time. I DO feel bad for local pet owners that have been losing their chickens, cats and dogs to them, but nature is nature. What is to be done, you can’t undo evolution and their primal instinct to hunt. Like any other area in America if the whole ecosystem gets off balance (like it has) and the only prey is “pets” that’s what they are going to feed on. Relocation??? Hmmmmmmmmmm, I just don’t know…seems like the only choice would be to adapt as we go.

    Comment by Machel Spence — 9:22 am May 24, 2012 #

  45. Posting from another neighborhood near Northgate where I think I lost a cat to coyotes many years ago. Do I blame the coyote? NO I DO NOT. I blame myself for not being able to get him inside that night. Since then all my cats are inside way before dusk. Coyotes were probably here in the area first. We are the non-natives. We have displaced them by taking over their habitat. I suspect the life span and population of coyotes remains in check by the environment. Also, urban racoons are huge and probably have taken a few cats themselves.

    Comment by Lori — 9:42 am May 24, 2012 #

  46. I live up above that area and it’s such a feeling to hear all the yipping and howling throughout the night. I prefer hearing Nature’s howl over the ever increasing Port’s noise.
    There have been four cats lost up here. It’s too bad the coyotes haven’t taken out the most veracious bird killing cat I’ve ever seen. According to the world’s biologists outdoor cats should be removed. Let’s just say the coyotes are balancing it out abit.

    Comment by Sam — 9:44 am May 24, 2012 #

  47. WOW! I had no idea that there have been so many sightings. We live by a green belt and have heard/seen them from time to time but I”d expect that here, not in so many other locations though. Bold little buggers, aren’t they?

    Comment by sun*e — 9:49 am May 24, 2012 #

  48. so, coyotes are ‘wildlife’ which doesn’t belong in the city yet may are raising farm animals (ie: chickens) in the city which is okay?
    _____

    keep small animals in at night, and buy fresh eggs at PCC. Case closed.

    Comment by puzzled — 9:58 am May 24, 2012 #

  49. I’m thinking we could just shift more to a completely virtual world where we could control all the animals and natural events. we would just be in a safe room in our homes with a head set on all day. Who’s with me? (virtual world for our pets too of course)

    Comment by EF — 9:59 am May 24, 2012 #

  50. It’s just like us people to say get rid of them. They were here first, we should be glad we haven’t driven away all forms of wildlife in WS. If your kids, dogs and cats are a concern then do a better job of watching them. If Coyotes are their biggest concern then I think they’ll be ok. Especially since there has never been a report of children being attacked by a coyote in WS. Toughen up folks.

    Comment by John — 10:06 am May 24, 2012 #

  51. That story about mule deer was interesting but not at all appropriate to our situation. For one thing, we are not trying to drastically alter the food chain in a natural ecosystem.
    .
    West Seattle is an URBAN environment, not a wildlife reserve.
    .
    Second, even if we WERE a forest or wildlife area, trying to eliminate one invasive pest species is not comparable to going after ALL predators as they did in the mule deer story.
    .

    Comment by JoAnne — 10:12 am May 24, 2012 #

  52. It is true though, that killing them off or moving them probably will not work. Urban coyote populations are exploding. That means as soon as some coyote urban territory is vacated by killing the occupants, more coyotes will come and fill up that space.
    .
    Robert Timm at UC Davis has studied coyote behavior in urban environments. He formulated a progression of boldness, starting with coming out and being seen in daylight, to eating pets, to attack on people (women, children or the elderly).

    Timm and his group suggest killing the alpha in a pack. Killing the one alpha coyote can return the fear of humans to the rest of a bold pack.
    .
    http://www.coyotebytes.org/
    .
    It has worked in some communities where the coyotes have reached the end-stages of aggression (attacks on humans).

    Comment by JoAnne — 10:20 am May 24, 2012 #

  53. There’s a great recent article in Nature about coyotes and why we see so many of them now. Definitely worth a read, especially to counter a few incorrect assertions I’ve seen in this discussion.
    .
    Lyanda can correct me if I’m wrong on this but from what I’ve read, getting rid of coyotes, which are now the apex predators in a number of areas, would be a very bad idea. I’m originally from the D.C. area, where we no longer have apex predators such as wolves and panthers, and hunting white-tail deer is severely restricted. As a result, the white-tail population has exploded. These are BIG animals–mule deer are puny by comparison–and they’ve so overgrazed their territory that they’ve become a threat to local ecosystems. Unfortunately, they’re too big for coyotes to really hunt them effectively, though they will kill fawns which will ultimately have a winnowing effect.
    .
    JoAnne, I think Timm might be the same guy who discovered that songbird populations thrived in areas with robust coyote populations, because they do kill outdoor cats that prey on songbirds.
    .
    Those of you with dogs might want to take another factor into consideration, which the Nature article mentions: coyotes can and do interbreed with them.

    Comment by datamuse — 10:38 am May 24, 2012 #

  54. Thank goodness for coyotes. There are so many rats in West Seattle’s green belts & back yards that without them – we’d be totally over run! If your cat is not agile enough to get away from coyotes, then survival is lessened. Our cat managed to keep away from the coyote’s living two yards down…

    Comment by Amanda — 10:52 am May 24, 2012 #

  55. Thanks for the map!

    .

    Years ago (before the WSB) I learned of coyotes in WS from a tattered paper posted on a pole @ California & Thistle, warning to keep your cats inside. I had no idea coyotes lived among us!! After seeing all the photos on WSB, and having three sightings of my own (in my driveway), I turned my geriatric outdoor cat to indoors only. He has an enclosure on my deck and he adjusted just fine.

    .

    Was it ever concluded if the cats cut precisely in half were indeed not killed by a person, but by coyote?

    Comment by ad — 11:03 am May 24, 2012 #

  56. The sad thing is that we have soooo overdeveloped this area with greedy contractors filling every inch of space with these condos and homes (taking our water pressure to ZERO to mention one thing.) Huge monster homes and condos where one family dwellings used to exist. The poor wildlife lived there first and we are taking ALL their homes away. Shame on that mess. The deserve to live too. We are building homes on THEIR houses. Then to say to just KILL them is a wrong solution. Shame on that. Animals are here for a reason and we do not have the right to KILL them because they are trying to relocate and find a home for themselves since we have taken theirs. just sayin Oh and did I forget to mention PARKING???

    Comment by cher stefano — 11:09 am May 24, 2012 #

  57. I don’t live in West Seattle, but I can tell you that if they have less “food” available there will be less coyotes. They breed and survival of the fittest is because they have plenty of cats and small dogs on the loose that they don’t have to hunt for native game. So for all you whom are not responsibl pet owners…..I feel sorry for your pets, since they didn’t chose to be adopted by you and you have allowed them run free they know no other life than that.

    Comment by Chris — 11:13 am May 24, 2012 #

  58. AD – no.

    Comment by WSB — 11:21 am May 24, 2012 #

  59. Oh boy here we go again with the misinformation.
    .
    Coyotes are not “apex predators.” At least not in any existing ecosystem or food chain. They are scavengers.
    .
    Coyotes will eat anything they can get. Fallen fruit or veggies, rodents, fish, birds, eggs, insects–anything. They will kill a cat to eliminate competition for rodents or as food.
    .
    No, Timm was NOT the one wildly speculating about how coyotes might indirectly affect songbird populations. He does real, actual field research.
    .

    Comment by JoAnne — 12:11 pm May 24, 2012 #

  60. @Chris Well said. Sad but true. We must be responsible with our own pets and the law states that your pets do not run free they are to be leashed or kept indoors so if we risk letting them run free as the wild animals are forced to do we risk the element of that lifestyle upon them. Also being picked up and euphanized by animal control. Having said that I love all animals and feel we are not all responsible with the luxury of having them. I know some are genuine accidents and that is sad but it is life. This has been a very informative and helpful thread. I appreciate having this option to voice my thoughts and views.

    Comment by cher stefano — 12:19 pm May 24, 2012 #

  61. Come on people read a little. Coyotes weren’t here first nor are they here because we took their habitat. They aren’t even native to Western Washington. They have expanded their range because they have adapted and can count on an easy food supply with no natural predators. Just like rats and racoons, their numbers have increased and they are thriving because of us. They are native to the plains and desert region and now can be found everywhere including on the East Coast. If you don’t think they are a problem yet, just wait till they numbers increase to a point where food starts to gets scarce and you have a bunch of hungry predators desperate enough to try going after a small child.

    Comment by milo — 1:02 pm May 24, 2012 #

  62. JoAnne, there is an actual, honest-to-god field study about coyotes and songbirds. I’ll go look up the citation if you’re really interested.
    .
    If coyotes aren’t apex predators why did I just find dozens of scientific studies referring to them as such?

    Comment by datamuse — 1:15 pm May 24, 2012 #

  63. I’m curious why people call them non-native. Where are they native to? Wikipedia says the Western US – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coyote.

    Comment by Coach — 1:21 pm May 24, 2012 #

  64. I am decidedly more afraid of human predators and some domestic dogs in our community than I ever will be of these coyotes. And, no, I am not naive.

    Comment by fauntleroy fairy — 1:30 pm May 24, 2012 #

  65. Seriously, are we really down to “but think of the CHILDREN” hysteria on this issue? Let’s remove the eagles as well because they could swoop down and steal a BABY. I wish I had the time to compile a list of all of the things in our urban environment that are a greater risk to children than coyotes, but that list would be hundreds of lines long, and I’ve got to get busy teaching my cat how to use the toilet since apparently that’s the only option for inside cats(?!?)

    Comment by ohthehorror — 1:54 pm May 24, 2012 #

  66. But seriously How do you REALLY feel? lol Great to see posts coming from every side of this issue. Those of you with your “facts” can’t be so naive as to think everything you read is FACT I also read and research but would NEVER assume that those who have different findings than you are not intelligent as well. That would be pretty darn arrogant and pompous. Excuse spelling errors but it think I get my point across. We all have our opinions and we are ALL lucky enough to get to post them on these blog sites. Thankful for that.

    Comment by cher stefano — 2:03 pm May 24, 2012 #

  67. Of course there has never been any reports of coyotes attacking children, right ohthehorror? Fact is, coyote numbers are increasing substantially around here which is evident by the sightings. While we all go AWWWWW over the cute puppy pictures, let’s think about the predator/prey cycle. Predator population is directly related to its prey and lags behind it as the two go up and down. Just wondering what happens at the peak of this cycle during that lag period as their prey population starts to go down and we have an over abundance of coyotes. I think we are going to see their boldness increase. Those cute little puppies got to eat. But of course we’ll wait for something bad to happen and then do something about it. @ JoAnne – good post about the alpha dog.

    Comment by milo — 3:02 pm May 24, 2012 #

  68. An eagle can carry about 3-4 pounds, so, no, an eagle physically cannot steal a baby.
    .
    On the other hand, coyotes who carry away 16-pound cats could certainly carry off a 12 pound baby. Why not, if Mom is a few steps away, and a coyote has become aggressive or inured to humans?
    .
    I don’t think most coyotes are a problem, and I certainly don’t think we need to trap or remove coyotes. Alarmism is unnecessary. We can live with coyotes. But at the same time, its not like they are our friends or that they would never violate some secret special agreement to leave babies alone.
    .
    I expect that every now and then some coyotes will become dangerously bold. And then THOSE coyotes should be removed. And anyone who knowingly feeds the coyotes, or encourages their close presence, is increasing the chance that a particular coyote becomes dangerous.

    Comment by Lura Ercolano — 3:25 pm May 24, 2012 #

  69. Milo, take a look at that map of sightings. Then consider that, even given that some of those HAVE to be duplicates (half a dozen distinct sightings != half a dozen coyotes), that’s still a fair number of animals. Then consider how many coyote attacks on humans you’ve ever heard of, across this entire continent. Personally I could count them on my fingers with several left over.
    .
    My point is, that hypothetical baby is far more likely to be bitten by a loose dog or hit by a car, but in comparison to the debate that inevitably erupts in the wake of stories like these, there’s very little outcry about either.

    Comment by datamuse — 4:19 pm May 24, 2012 #

  70. I’m disappointed to see anyone here repeating the claim that cats kill 500 million birds a year.
    .
    The blog Vox Felina (http://www.voxfelina.com) is an excellent source of information on why these numbers get repeated over and over, and how little we should buy into them. To quote Peter J. Wolf, author of the blog:
    .
    “You seem to be suggesting — by referring to figures quoted by the American Bird Conservancy, Audubon Society, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — that there’s an overwhelming consensus regarding predation numbers. In fact, these organizations are all working with the same small handful of studies — and more often than not, citing one another’s figures.
    .
    “The trouble is, aggregate figures such as those you cite are essentially meaningless. These “estimates” can typically be traced to small — often flawed — studies, the results of which are subsequently extrapolated from one habitat to another, conflating island populations (where the presence of cats can have dire consequences) and those on continents, combining common and rare bird species, and so forth.”

    Comment by K — 4:33 pm May 24, 2012 #

  71. ‘Puzzled’ brings up another good point. Non-native city chickens attract large amounts of rats. Personally, I’d rather have coyotes than more rats.

    I bought a walking jacket (harness) for my loud Siamese. Now I put him out on the patio on a 20 foot rope for an hour or so per day. It’s the only thing that shuts him up for a while, and it allows him some safe outdoor time.

    Comment by anonyme — 4:36 pm May 24, 2012 #

  72. @Lura No parent should ever step away from an infant for any reason and leave them unattended.EVER Having said that Pedophyles and all sorts of BAD things could take place. I would pray that doesnt happen to anyone. Because left unattended ANYTHING could happen. I dont think anyone would not see a pack of harmful animals coming after your child. There are also mad dogs racoons spiders snakes etc and the list goes on. Do watch your own children and pets because left alone out in the world running around unattended lots of bad things can happen. We all need to obey the rules and license and leash our pets and watch our children at all times.

    Comment by cher stefano — 4:49 pm May 24, 2012 #

  73. The map is great, but 5 years of data is I think useless. I’d love to see the last 12 months or so. This would suggest where they actually are as opposed to where they have been.
    G

    Comment by Gregg — 9:36 pm May 24, 2012 #

  74. Any plans to make the coyote sighting data sortable? (location, date, etc..)

    Comment by Aman — 10:35 pm May 24, 2012 #

  75. I saw two coyotes this morning in the bus lane on the WS Bridge…they should be ticketing them for this violation!

    Comment by Dizzle — 12:22 pm May 25, 2012 #

  76. I love this reasonably well-tempered discussion, but what I love even more is sightings of coyotes right in the junction! Not so much in Admiral though. They must prefer Cupcake Royale to Jack In The Box. Though I would think the Shipwreck Tavern might be their kind of place…

    Comment by Tom — 1:07 pm May 25, 2012 #

  77. I think “apex predator” is a relative term and assigning it depends upon the particular ecosystem at that time. In an ecosystem where all wolves and cougars have been killed, like West Seattle at this time, the remaining top tier predator would then be coyotes. Thus in some locations they may be the apex predator, but not in others. And at one time they may be apex predator, but not at another time in history.

    As for coyotes and pets, I trust the research and encyclopedias which state mice and rats are coyotes’ favorite prey, and that they are scavengers. We need rat-killers. Cats were domesticated primarily by the Egyptians to kill rats, which were a huge problem at their granaries (and I assume their fields as well). Today we feed our family cats, so they don’t have to go rat hunting. Feral cats do hunt mice and rats, so that helps us to some extent, but the rats can quickly overpopulate and become a huge health problem for humans. Coyotes are our go-to rat predators currently, and we need them desperately. Why desperately? When cats were killed in large numbers by humans during the witch persecutions, the bubonic plagues in Europe spread like wildfire because the rats multiplied like crazy (through the rats’ fleas). Swarms of rats cause all kinds of germ spreading, and they do attack babies in their cribs on occasion – it happened in a NY apartment a few years back. Poisoning or trapping rats is a poor solution because both mean inadvertently poisoning or trapping dogs and cats. Plus, it’s a vicious way to kill any creature. Being poisoned is an horrible and slow way to die, and being caught in a trap means agony and terror for days without water until death by dehydration. Both traps and poisons are inhumane and unnecessary: Coyotes kill quickly and cleanly, they prefer small pray like mice and rats, and they work night and day for free. It’s a win-win. All we have to do is protect our pets, which we already should be doing as responsible parties, because coyotes are much brighter than dogs (humans tend to dumb down whatever we domesticate) and more streetwise than most cats.

    The question about the otter territories interests me. Both river otters and sea otters belong to the Musteliedae (weasel) family, along with wolverines, martens, mink, badgers, and ferrets. Wolverines, martens, and mink are known for fighting crazy fast and ferociously. Think animal berserkers. Although otters are Mustelids, they are less prone to general scrappiness, instead using their energy to play all day. According to Seattle Aquarium guides, “Otters don’t fight unless they or their pups are attacked, but very few animals are willing to attack an otter.” Apparently when otters do fight,that incredible weasel fearlessness, quickness, and sharp, carnivore teeth make them “hell on wheels” in a fight, so I doubt the coyotes wish to tangle with them, particularly during breeding season.

    Comment by Kotsu Britt — 3:44 pm May 25, 2012 #

  78. Between Juneau and Graham on 25th Ave. S.W. along the Longfellow Creek trail

    Comment by West Seattle Lifer — 5:41 pm May 25, 2012 #

  79. “All we have to do is protect our pets, which we already should be doing as responsible parties, because coyotes are much brighter than dogs”
    .
    Wow!
    .
    The readers of the WSB have not gone back and read the coyote debates in the WSB of 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 have we? Predator/prey models are pretty well established things. What almost always happens when the newly established predators have good food supply, is to wipe out the prey. Our cute raccoons, dogs, squirrels, foxes, birds, and the cats too will be gone. Look at the map.
    .
    Coyotes are dogs. The latin name is barking dog.
    .
    Where is “Nulu’s” comments on the coyote map of W.S.? I took a lot of direct personal hits on this topic for two years running warning of the growth of this population. Was told that “we don’t live in a city”, “they are so cute”, etc. etc….”
    .
    So we have exchanged, due to lack of action on the DFW, packs of 30-40 pound sized wild dogs for 10 pound cats to take care of the rodent population in a big city. Great. Pets are here in the city for a reason too. My cat brought in 4 birds, 17 rodents, and one possum last fall. Anybody else have any hard numbers? Only the Audubon society will tell you how bad the cats are, so send in your donations….
    And you should actually read Audubon’s book on how he went out and shot most of every thing he made pictures of.
    .
    The main difference is that the gestation period of the rodents is twice as fast as most of the rest of the other bigger animals. So expect a rodent bloom this or next year.
    .
    “Coyotes are not “apex predators.””
    .
    Ok, having bears on California Ave? Would they be considered at the apex or not? Or is there something bigger we would drive in over the bridge to take care of them? It’s all relative.

    Comment by Neal Chism — 9:02 pm May 25, 2012 #

  80. “Coyotes are our go-to rat predators currently, and we need them desperately.”
    .
    Hooooo Weeee.
    .
    My cat is well taken care of, well fed, licensed, chipped, and vaccinated, and still goes out and kills the rodents too. The house cats are part of an owner subsidized rodent control program for the city that the city taxes, so OK I say let the coyotes do it.
    .
    .
    “which we already should be doing as responsible parties, because coyotes are much brighter than dogs ”
    .
    Hoooooo Weeeeee.
    .

    Comment by Neal Chism — 9:12 pm May 25, 2012 #

  81. “humans tend to dumb down”
    .
    I agree with that statement.
    .
    “The question about the otter territories interests me. Both river otters and sea otters belong to the Musteliedae (weasel) family, along with wolverines, martens, mink, badgers, and ferrets. Wolverines, martens, and mink are known for fighting crazy fast and ferociously. Think animal berserkers. Although otters are Mustelids, they are less prone to general scrappiness, instead using their energy to play all day. According to Seattle Aquarium guides, “Otters don’t fight unless they or their pups are attacked, but very few animals are willing to attack an otter.” Apparently when otters do fight,that incredible weasel fearlessness, quickness, and sharp, carnivore teeth make them “hell on wheels” in a fight, so I doubt the coyotes wish to tangle with them, particularly during breeding season.”
    .
    Ok great. I am not so concerned about the “hell on wheels”, “fearless” ,”Quick”, “Sharp toothed” river otters invading my house and leaving droppings in the pantry. Maybe one day I will be.
    .
    Will these otters go after the rodents up on California Ave.? That’s what I would like to know. And yes river otter poop is worse smelling than chicken or sheep poop. Let’s bring in the river otters as apex predators! You will all get over that choice pretty fast.
    .
    Where is Nulu???????

    Comment by Neal Chism — 9:21 pm May 25, 2012 #

  82. “Any plans to make the coyote sighting data sortable?”
    .
    It’s a why bother at this time. It is five or six years into an explosion of big animals in our little piece of heaven here.
    .
    Google your heart out on predator/prey stuff, and take data sorts, and form a coyote committee to assess the situation. Remember where the word committee comes from?
    .

    Comment by Neal Chism — 9:28 pm May 25, 2012 #

  83. “pets and the law states that your pets do not run free they are to be leashed or”
    .
    Read the RCW. Dogs are held on leash laws because the roam.
    Cats do not have leash regulations because they are territorial. We were arguing that one two years ago.
    .
    Say it loud enough and often enough……….It will become law.

    Comment by Neal Chism — 9:32 pm May 25, 2012 #

  84. “Today we feed our family cats, so they don’t have to go rat hunting.”
    .
    Today I fed my family cats so they would stay around MY house and deter the rodents from visiting my own and my neighbors’ houses. I willingly fed one of my neighbors cats too.
    .
    Are there any (ex)farm people out there that did not have cats around?
    .

    Comment by Neal Chism — 9:40 pm May 25, 2012 #

  85. “It’s too bad the coyotes haven’t taken out the most veracious bird killing cat I’ve ever seen. According to the world’s biologists outdoor cats should be removed. ”
    .
    Well there you have it, the “worlds biologists”…..
    .

    Comment by Neal Chism — 9:43 pm May 25, 2012 #

  86. “Domestic and feral cats kill an estimated 500 million birds a year in the United States – some even estimate a billion. Seems to me that coyotes are balancing the playing field a little. Or … keep your cat inside where they are safe and wild birds are too.”
    .
    Nope, your analysis of the dynamics here is tainted from the Audubon again. More complicated than that. Take one cat and multiply by uuuuummmmmm, geeez….. I should donate to them….! Ask yourself, does anyone has the time to count up to 500,000,000. Only the government budget office.
    .
    We should keep the wild birds inside too!

    Comment by Neal Chism — 9:53 pm May 25, 2012 #

  87. And before you all take out a hit contract on all my coyote hate-filled comments, just consider what your opinion might be if the coyotes were just focusing all their attentions on the beloved family dogs, Ol’ Yeller, All those big happy labs going out on stroll (on leash) with the owners and kids in tow. Would it be the same response? Or would we hear; “If they were responsible dog owners they would keep there dogs inside at all times to be responsible owners!”. Serves those dogs right for being eaten by coyotes….
    .
    Wait, we had this conversation in 2010.

    Comment by Neal Chism — 10:02 pm May 25, 2012 #

  88. Please add a siting last June to your map. Just at the end of the SW102nd st cul de sac off of 24th ave SW

    Comment by Gregg — 11:50 pm May 25, 2012 #

  89. Just lost our beloved cat to a coyote – we live on 22nd SW, between 107th and 112th….and yes, we’ve seen a coyote or 2 in our neighborhood, but I was just not thinking about the possibility of losing our 13 year old, big bruiser, Buster…. We’ll be more cautious in the future – cats need to be indoors at night, unfortunately…..

    Comment by Jane — 10:07 am May 27, 2012 #

  90. There are at least two coyotes (I’ve seen one BIG one several times, once also heard his mate (?) rustling in the bushes after he came out of them) in the park behind Pathfinder/Cooper School. The male is unusually big, he might weigh over 80 pounds. I usually see him at the very end of the day, when the light is almost gone.

    Comment by Susie Fitzhugh — 6:48 pm May 27, 2012 #

  91. Ha! You try keep my kitty Zorak indoors. Ever hear of the cat who could walk through walls.

    Comment by Christy — 1:07 pm May 28, 2012 #

  92. I read an interesting article where in 2010 Chicago was letting “radio controlled” coyotes take control of the city’s rodent problem. I will have to read up on the latest info on that experimental program to see how it’s going but I like the thought of them eating those rodents as I don’t particularly like them and I am glad for the coyotes to help with that. The known natural coyote predator is the wolf but no one wants to let wolves back to their natural habitats except in Yosemite.

    Comment by diane — 7:53 pm May 28, 2012 #

  93. The map is informative. thank you for putting this together. Last year we posted about loosing our dear Mr. Piggles to a coyote. We found our cat at 44th and Director. A coyote was later spotted, in view of this corner, sitting on a front porch! Glad he didn’t have a house key.

    Comment by Robin — 12:36 pm May 29, 2012 #

  94. on the way to work this am my daughter and I saw a HUGE coyote standing, actually just chillin’, at the corner of 21st and Andover. He was truley just hanging out, not a care in the world or scared of the cars………kinda scary

    Comment by Christine — 1:02 pm May 30, 2012 #

  95. I used to live on 39th right by the Fairmount greenbelt to Harbor Ave. We saw all kinds of wildlife, raccoons, possums, birds, etc. and heard but never saw the coyotes. We moved briefly to unincorporated King county where there is much more wildlife and we lost chickens and cats to the coyotes out here. The neighborhood is full of flyers for ‘lost’ small dogs and cats. I also know people in West Seattle who have lost their cats to the coyotes. We are soon moving back to West Seattle with our 4 indoor/outdoor cats. They are ‘working’ cats with the job of keeping our living area inside and out free of rodents. They have great and happy cat lives and while I think it is a fine alternative for folks who are very attached to their pets to keep them in and protected I also think the case can be made for animals living as animals do. We love our cats, but we recognize that they are happier having access to the outdoors. We also recognize that the coyotes, like it or not, are here and here to stay. Make your choices, protect your pets, or don’t, but remember it is a choice and because your choose one way doesn’t make it more right than another choice.

    Comment by Libby — 9:17 am May 31, 2012 #

  96. Thursday, 5/31, 9:30 pm. Thin, brown coyote running south through front yards near 39th & 106th in Arbor Heights. Thought it was a stray dog, so I followed in my car. When it turned and looked at me, I realized I was finally seeing a coyote!

    Comment by Julia — 9:23 pm June 4, 2012 #

  97. Sighted one in seola park at 1:34 in the afternoon. He/she was just outside the cleared area and between the trail head and the street (on the left as you enter) Fortunately my little dogs weren’t very observant. I scared her(?) away. My dogs probably would have attacked and (being rather puny)would have made a nice snack for her. I’m not sure if this is the correct spot to have this sighting posted to the map. A couple of weeks ago my friend also spotted a more agressive one at 114th and 35th. It didn’t back down till he picked up a stick.

    Comment by John — 5:25 pm June 8, 2012 #

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