Coyote Pupping Season Begins in The Presidio
Spring signals the start of coyote pupping season, which typically extends to fall. Though coyotes are seen year-round in the Presidio, spring is when coyote parents are active around and protective of their den site.
As in recent years, we expect this year’s pups to be born in April and the den site to be located somewhere in the center of the park. We’ve placed signs around the Presidio – especially along trails where coyotes have been active in previous years – to raise awareness about coyote pupping season.
To reduce the potential for coyote/dog conflict, beginning on Monday, April 5, we’re proactively closing large sections of the Park Trail and the Bay Area Ridge Trail to dog walking (see map below). This annual closure is temporary; we’ll reopen these trails to dog walking in fall after pupping season ends (typically in early September). All 24 miles of hiking trails in the Presidio are open to people – download our Trail map for all trail options.
Note: dogs must be on a leash at all times in the park. If you’re with your dog and you encounter a coyote, the best course of action is to quickly leave the area. If the coyote follows, be assertive and aggressive (e.g. forcefully throw objects to scare, not harm) while continuing to walk quickly away. Do not run. Dog walkers should stay aware of their surroundings and carefully read posted signage.
If You See a Coyote in the Presidio
- Keep your distance; do not approach the coyote.
- Keep your dog on a leash and under your control.
- Observe posted signs about coyote activity in the park.
- Supervise children when outdoors.
- Never attempt to feed a coyote. Do not leave human or pet food outside where coyotes might eat it. Presidio residents should put garbage out on the morning of pickup instead of the night before. To get a clip for your trash bin from Presidio Trust Work Order Service Center, call (415) 561-4270.
If you encounter a coyote within 50 feet and the coyote does not move away on its own, here are ways you can haze/intimidate the animal to help it retain a fear of humans:
- Be as big and loud as possible; shout in a deep, loud, and aggressive voice.
- Wave your arms and throw small objects (to scare, not injure).
- Maintain eye contact, which makes them uncomfortable and timid.
- If the coyote continues to approach, do not run or turn your back on the coyote, but continue to exaggerate the above gestures while backing away slowly. Please report this type of incident to (415) 561-4148 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you encounter a coyote during pupping season (spring through fall) AND you have a dog with you, the best course of action is to back away slowly and leave the area immediately. Coyotes will attempt to drive away other coyotes and dogs from their pups, and hazing may not work.
About Coyotes in the Presidio
After a long absence, coyotes returned to the Presidio in 2002 and are now seen regularly in the park. They’re also seen in Marin, Golden Gate Park, Lands’ End, Glen Park, and other open spaces throughout the greater Bay Area.
In 2003-2004, the Presidio Trust began working with other Bay Area agencies to develop strategies to help us assess wildlife behavior and determine appropriate responses. Our management actions range from public education to hazing/intimidation to ensure the animal retains its fear of humans to – under very rare circumstances – lethal removal of a coyote evaluated and determined to be a threat to public safety.
Within a claimed territory, only one pair of coyotes will breed. This bonded male and female are long-term residents of the territory and are known as the alpha pair. The pair vigilantly patrols their territory in order to keep non-resident coyotes out. The alpha pair remains bonded together for life.
Coyote pupping season usually runs from spring to fall. Typically, as part of the coyotes’ complex social structure, year-old pups are driven from the parents’ territory, and the resident population – those that remain in the Presidio long term (e.g. the alpha pair) – remains stable. That said, it’s difficult to know precisely how many coyotes are in the Presidio at any given moment given that individual coyotes can move considerable distances in the course of a single day.
Read more at Presidio Trust