Glendale – The death of a dog and numerous other coyote sightings in Glendale have prompted city officials to form a coyote committee.
A cockapoo was killed in October while on a leash in a Glendale backyard, and a dog in Whitefish Bay was killed around the same time. Glendale aldermen said they have received telephone calls from concerned residents about the growing presence of coyotes, so they decided to create an ad-hoc committee to draft a coyote action plan.
The committee is chaired by Aldermen Richard Wiese and John Gelhard. The rest of the committee is comprised of seven residents, including Julia Robson, assistant natural areas coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources. Her area of expertise is coyotes in Milwaukee County.
The committee held its first meeting on Monday, Nov. 28. The members shared their personal experiences and opinions about coyotes and discussed what the goals of the committee should be.
Wiese said he became concerned with coyotes about a month ago when he noticed his golden retriever took off running across his backyard. Wiese said he followed his dog, and saw it was chasing a pack of four coyotes. The creepiest part, he said, was that one of the coyotes “curled around behind me” as if it was trapping its prey.
Wiese, who lives in the River Edge subdivision, said one of his neighbors reported eight coyotes.
“Now we are starting to deal with something that is of higher concern,” Wiese said.
“I know there are people in my neighborhood who won’t walk their dogs at night,” committee member Nancy Herrick added.
Gelhard said “we need to get rid of the coyote population in Glendale, and that’s what I propose we do.”
Robson, however, suggested the committee focus on increasing public information about coyotes, hazing techniques that scare coyotes away and eliminating food sources that attract coyotes. She also said she would like to encourage residents to report coyote sightings on the county’s interactive database (www.inaturalist.org/projects/milwaukee-county-coyote-watch).
Robson said residents can expect to see a lull in coyote activity over the next several months, but then see a sharp increase when mating season arrives in February.
The committee will continue to meet monthly to come up with an action plan. The committee’s first step toward developing a plan will start by researching what other North Shore communities are doing.
City officials in Mequon, for example, spent four months crafting a comprehensive coyote response plan in 2015. The process, which relied on heavy input from residents, aldermen and the Department of Natural Resources, created a five-tiered action plan that begins with public information and coyote tracking. If a pattern of nuisance coyote activity is identified, or if a pet is attacked, Mequon will hire a contractor to hunt or trap the coyote.