Coyotes Rival Bears as Least Appreciated Wildlife in Mammoth Lakes

 

Coyotes are everywhere so it’s no surprise they’ve shown up in Mammoth Lakes to enjoy an abundance of carelessly discarded people-food. Mammoth Police Department’s Code Compliance Officer Rick Bellis gave a detailed presentation on the species at last week’s Mammoth Town Council meeting to help locals discourage the critters Mark Twain described as a “long, slim, slick and sorry-looking skeleton that is a living, breathing allegory of Want.”

Coyotes are adaptable canines that will eat anything according to Bellis. Their territory
stretches from Central America to the Arctic. They travel in packs, three of which have been
identified in the Mammoth Lakes area: Valentine Cabin, the loop and the skate park. They are
nocturnal, roughly as big as a medium-sized dog, and leave tracks narrower than domestic
canines with a distinctive middle line.

Bellis explained the breeding season runs from February through March. Following a 60-day
gestation period, four or five pups are added to the population. Coyotes tend to form packs in
the fall, packs usually made up of extended family members.

Nature is able to regulate populations he told the Council providing Nature is not interfered
with by people. Coyotes’ menu includes small dogs and cats.

Coyotes don’t have a death wish—if you see one, Bellis said, “it’s looking for food, not a fight.
But packs will fight. The biggest issue is when coyotes lose their fear of people.” Relocation isn’t
an option as the coyote will just head back to its food source. “Our only option is to kill them,”
he said.

Basically, the best way to preserve the species is to avoid them. Bellis laid out a list of don’ts,
including:

 Do not feed coyotes
 Eliminate sources of water
 Bird feeders should be positioned so coyotes can’t get the feed. Coyotes are not only
attracted to the goodies in the feeders but to the birds and rodents that use the feeders
 Do not discard edible garage where coyotes can get it
 Secure garbage containers
 Feed pets indoors and pick up any left-overs if fed outdoors
 Store food where it is inaccessible
 Trim and clean shrubbery that provides cover for animals
 Don’t leave small children unattended outdoors
 Don’t allow pets to run free
 Walk your dog on a leash and accompany your pets outside, especially at night

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Luke
Luke
6 months ago

I don’t agree with Eliminate sources of water. However I will stop providing water if someone can show me that it is illegal

David Dennison
David Dennison
6 months ago

Wow,that’s a lot of “do’s and don’t’s”,when,actually it should just be common sense..don’t blame the Coyote….

Ben Rich
Ben Rich
6 months ago
Reply to  David Dennison

Do’s and Don’t are for city people. They need to be told and frequently. Never understood the people feeding the bears and the coyotes.

David Dennison
David Dennison
6 months ago
Reply to  Ben Rich

Ben Rich And telling them does little good…they’re going to do as they please. But let’s not just bash the tourons. Two years ago,a Bear coming around and into the BBQ area at Glacier Lodge,more than once. I saw photos of it,the Bear standing on his back legs eating off… Read more »

sugarmags
sugarmags
6 months ago

What happened to enforcing wildlife laws??? It’s very clear that many of these coyotes are being fed. I’ve lived in Mammoth for almost 30 years. These coyotes have no fear of humans and look to us like were going to feed them. I’ve heard Carls Jr. staff are a big… Read more »

Rick O'Brien
Rick O'Brien
6 months ago

AND…”Walk tall and carry a big stick ” . How these mongrels survive a Mammoth Winter , I’ll never know .

Deborah A Murphy
Deborah A Murphy
6 months ago
Reply to  Rick O'Brien

They head south to Inyo Cty. They’re not stupid critters.

BobK
BobK
6 months ago

Where did you get your info. that they migrate to Inyo in the winter? Just spend some time at Bridgeport, Mono or Crowley lakes and many places in between, with a pair of binoculars and you will se many coyotes in the winter, heavy snow years or not. you need… Read more »

Tinner
Tinner
6 months ago

No they don’t.

BobK
BobK
6 months ago
Reply to  Tinner

The down votes are obviously not from wildlife biologists.

Water Dog
Water Dog
6 months ago

Both are still preferred over the invasive touron.

Turbo
Turbo
6 months ago
Reply to  Water Dog

Unfortunately the coyote and bear does not spend as much money as the invasive touron, without whom Mammoth would be a ghost town.

Luke
Luke
6 months ago
Reply to  Turbo

You say that like it’s a bad thing