Bobcats

General Information

  • The Bobcat is most common wildcat in North America.
  • Bobcats hunt mainly rabbits, rodents, birds, and even adult deer.
  • Their habitat varies widely from forests and mountainous areas to semi-deserts and brushland. A habitat dense with vegetation is preferred for hunting.
  • These cats are usually shy and if healthy, they are not an immediate threat to humans.

Tips to Discourage

  • Do not feed bobcats or any wildlife.
  • Never leave pet food outside.
  • Restrict use of birdseed. Bobcats are attracted to the birds and rodents that use the feeder.
  • When / where possible, eliminate outdoor sources of water.
  • Trim and clear near ground level any shrubbery that provides cover for bobcats or prey.
  • Actively discourage bobcats by making loud noises and spraying water to make them leave.
  • Battery operated flashing lights, tape recorded human noises, and strategically placed containers holding ammonia-soaked rags may deter bobcats from entering your yard.
  • Keep cats and small dogs indoors, allowing them outside only under strict supervision.
  • Keep chickens, rabbits and other small animals in well-protected areas and in sturdy cages at night. Chicken wire will not keep bobcats or other predators from entering.

Trapping and relocation of bobcats is not a legal or viable alternative. Wild animals are territorial and other bobcats or similar species will simply take over the area vacated.

 

Coyotes

Urbanization and environmental conditions have forced coyotes to adapt.  These once shy and solitary animals now travel in groups and take advantage of any opportunity to survive. Listed below are tips and general information to help you co-exist and with these important mega predators in our ecosystem.

 

Coyote Description

  • Coyotes have sharp, pointed ears which never drop, a sharp pointed nose, and long bushy tails. They range anywhere from 15-50 pounds; with a lifespan of nearly 15 years very similar to that of the house dog.
  • Mating season ranges from January through March and early April.  Very few coyote pups survive through their first year. Only about 5-20% of the pups make it to adulthood.
  • Coyotes use urine to mark their territories and have a variety of calls which help defend their territory as well as strengthen bonds and communication.
  • Coyotes have a keen sense of sight, smell, and hearing, which allow them to survive in many different areas. Food is what makes the coyote’s habitat. Wherever the food is, is where the coyote needs to be. The coyote diet consists of mice, rats, insects, rabbits, etc. They are known to hunt day and night, either alone or in packs. Coyotes will occasionally hunt larger animals but not alone.  They have also been known to eat out of open garbage cans and whatever humans feed them.

Tips to Discourage

If steps are taken to discourage attracting a coyote as a regular visitor, they can actually be beneficial to have around. Coyotes can keep rodents in check and move on when depleted.

  • Keep all pets indoors and accompany them outside in known coyote areas.
  • Remove outdoor pet food.
  • Secure your trash can lids.
  • Trim overgrown landscaping. Coyotes prefer to hunt from cover.
  • Pick up fallen fruit

If you encounter a coyote, be as aggressive and loud.  Use what you have to make yourself appear big and menacing while you back away.  Do not turn your back.

We do not recommend attempting to trap or relocate.  If one moves out, another will take its place and it is illegal to relocate wildlife.

Efforts to control and or exterminate these animals have resulted in an extremely alert and wary predator. 

 

Mountain Lions

General Information

  • Also known as Cougar, Puma, Panther, and Catamount.
  • Their population size is much smaller than it was 10 years ago.
  • The population has had to contend with bounties, hunting, development, highways, and conflicts with livestock. Read below to find out more about where mountain lion populations in California currently stand.
  • Mountain Lions like to prey on deer, though they also eat smaller animals such as coyotes, porcupines, and raccoons. They usually hunt at night or during the hours of dawn and dusk.
  • During late spring and summer, one to two-year-old cougars become independent of their mothers. While attempting to find a home range, these young cougars may roam widely in search of unoccupied territory. This is when cougars are most likely to conflict with humans.

Tips to Discourage

  • Do not feed wildlife.
  • Do not feed pets outside or leave them out at night
  • Make sure small children are inside by dusk.

If you encounter a Mountain Lion on a trail, here are some safety tips.

  • Hike in pairs
  • Never approach
  • Stay calm and give it an avenue of escape
  • Do not run
  • Pick up all children and pets off the ground
  • Do not turn your back
  • Make yourself appear as large as you can. Wave your arms.

Mountain Lions are a vital part of our ecosystem. Seeing a Lion should be an exciting and rewarding experience, with both you and the Mountain Lion coming away unharmed. However, if you do experience a confrontation or feel threatened by one, immediately inform the nearest office of the Conservation Officer service.

We recommend contacting Fund for Animals in Ramona California for further assistance with Mountain Lion issues. www.fundwildlife.org  760-789-2324