MARCO ISLAND — The Marco Island Police Department and City of Marco Island Environmentalist Nancy Richie, in conjunction with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC) have created the following summary of coyote related information to educate Island residents and visitors.
As development encroaches upon wildlife habitat, encounters between humans and wildlife – including coyotes – are bound to increase. Throughout, Florida, the presence of coyotes has become a common occurrence in natural areas as well as residential areas. In the past year, coyote sightings on Marco Island have increased from rare to regular, particularly in the Barfield Bay rim area from Key Marco, Sheffield Drive, and Inlet Drive to Caxambas Drive. There also have been reports in the neighborhood near the Island Golf Course.
With plenty of food and cover for dens on Marco Island, especially around the natural areas of Barfield Bay, it is not surprising coyote sightings have been increasing in numbers. They are attracted to food and water sources as well as cover. To prevent your property being an attractive habitat for coyotes, the following practices should be considered:
Any outside food, which includes pet food, bird feeders, rodents and dropped fruit, should be secured or controlled. Pets should be fed inside; bird feeders cleaned regularly and monitored throughout the year; rodents controlled and fruit- bearing trees maintained.
Do not leave small pets unattended or unleashed.
Any water sources should be monitored, including swimming pools with out lanais and pet water bowls outside.
Trash cans should be secured (inside a garage or lanai) and occasionally cleaned to rid of odors that may attract coyotes.
Shrubs should be maintained; all debris in yard disposed of properly, to prevent cover and “hollows” for dens.
If a coyote becomes aggressive: will not flee the area, growls and/or approaches you, call 911 for the Marco Island Police Department and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at (888) 404-3922 (FWCC). This is a 365-day, 24-hour hotline for wildlife response.