By Rick Palsgrove
Want to learn about coyotes?
Coyote Run, a 900-acre privately owned farm and conservation project located just south of Pickerington, will host a free presentation about coyotes on April 7 at 6:30 p.m. at 9270 Pickerington Road. The presentation by Marne Titchenell, extension wildlife program specialist for the Ohio State University in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Science, will explore the myths and facts about coyotes.
“Coyotes are a part of many communities in Ohio and living with a large predator raises many questions,” said Titchenell. “It’s important to talk about what coyotes are doing and why, and address resident concerns. The end goal is a peaceful coexistence, which is possible.”
David Hague of Coyote Run said a presentation like this important to the community because, “Coyotes are often misunderstood. The lack of understanding contributes to unnecessary fear. The more folks know about coyotes, or the natural world in general, the better chance of peaceful coexistence.”
Hague added, that except for humans, coyotes are a top predator.
“They help keep the balance between predator and prey,” said Hague.
The April 7 presentation will go into detail about how people should conduct themselves around coyotes and how to protect pets and livestock.
“We know that our behaviors impact coyotes,” said Hague. “We don’t want them to get too comfortable, especially in our backyards. Harassment can be an effective strategy to keep coyotes out. It’s also important to eliminate any potential food that could attract a coyote, such as pet food left outside or a bird feeder that attracts a lot of rodents. Keep cats indoors and monitor small dogs when they are outside alone. There are a variety of options for keeping livestock safe, such as fencing, harassment, and use of guard animals to name a few. It depends on the situation and the animals you are trying to protect.”
The estimated number of coyotes in the southeastern Franklin County and northwestern Fairfield County areas is not specifically known.
“We know they are there, but do not know how many,” said Hague.
When asked if coyotes are considered dangerous, Hague said, “There is risk involved when coexisting with a top predator. Conflicts with coyotes do occur, however, we can influence their behaviors both good and bad. Research on urban coyotes has shown us that coexistence is possible.”
About Coyote Run
According to Hague the goal of Coyote Run is to restore its several hundred acre property to as close to pre-European settlement as possible and preserve it in perpetuity for 500 years.
“Last year a portion of the property was dedicated as the 140th State Nature Preserve,” said Hague.
Public access is through group events through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, The Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County Park District, and various other organizations. Coyote Run provides outdoor labs for Ohio State University and the Pickerington Library.
Coyote Run also offers other programs including bird walks, mushroom forays, wetlands exploration, night hikes, tree identification walks, celestial events, dragonfly walks, wildflower walks, and bio blitzes.
“We’re known for our vernal pools, which feature salamanders,” added Hague.
Nature talks on various topics are offered throughout the year. Events are posted on Facebook: Coyote Run Ohio.