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Rockford Scanner™: Urban Coyotes On The Rise in Winnebago County



Sources are reporting a coyote sighting, near Eisenhower School. 

There have been an uptick in coyotes in the Rockford area.

The DNR encourages you to keep an extra eye on your smaller pets, if you let them outside.

Coyotes normally feed on small prey like mice and rabbits but will attack pets if they find them alone, said Mike Wefer, chief of the Division of Wildlife Resources at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

“Particularly if you have smaller pets or elder pets that are left unsupervised, folks should be concerned if coyotes are in the neighborhood,” Wefer said.

Coyotes like to roam across a wide territory, wandering for miles. They are always on the move, mainly eating small mammals, such as mice and rabbits.

“They provide a pretty important ecological benefit to us, by keeping rabbit and mouse populations under control,” Wefer said.

City of Rockford released the following chart, to educate the community

And to also avoid contacting or feeding them.

They are most likely just passing through your neighborhoods.

According to
There is a lot of work being done by the Urban Coyote Project to study coyotes.
Illinois pioneers called coyotes “prairie wolves” or “brush wolves.”
Coyotes can run up to 43 miles per hour for short distances.
Coyotes are good swimmers.

Coyotes are valuable members of the wildlife community.

They help keep populations of small mammals and rabbits under control.

As Illinois’ largest remaining predator, they are an integral part of healthy ecosystem functioning.

There are many misconceptions about coyotes and their role in urban landscapes. In 2000, a collaborative research project began between the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, the Brookfield Zoo, and the Zoological Pathology Program from the University of Illinois. The initial project resulted in a six-year study of coyotes living in Chicago and surrounding suburbs. The researchers captured 253 coyotes and placed radio collars on 175 so that they could track their movements. Their findings indicate that coyotes are an asset in the urban environment. Check out the latest from the Urban Coyote Project.

Coyotes belong to the family Canidae (dog family) along with other dog-like mammals such as the red fox, gray fox, and gray wolf.

The coyote looks like a medium-sized dog, but its nose is more pointed and its tail is bushier than most dogs. A coyote holds its tail down between the hind legs when running.

Coyotes’ fur is typically gray to yellow-gray, with guard hairs tipped in black. The fur often has a tinge of red behind the ears and around the face, but fur color varies among individuals. Some of the color variation in Illinois coyotes is due to hybridization with domestic dogs.

Because of their long fur, coyotes are often mistaken as being much larger than they actually are, especially during the winter when their fur is thicker.

Coyotes are 23 to 26 inches high and 3 to 4½ feet long. They typically weigh 20 to 40 pounds but sometimes weigh up to 55 pounds. Illinois coyotes are usually larger than those from the western United States.

Instead of having brown irises, like most dogs, a coyote’s eyes are a striking yellow color with large, dark pupils A coyote’s eyeshine is greenish gold. The nocturnal yaps and howls of coyotes may be their most distinguishing characteristic.

You can read a lot more about them at CLICK HERE

City of Rockford release information on urban coyotes: CLICK HERE

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