Many Yorba Linda residents experience occasional encounters with wildlife, including coyotes, especially when enjoying Yorba Linda's trails and open spaces. Yorba Linda's 19-mile northern wildlife interface with Chino Hills State Park and a shared southern boundary with the Santa Ana river bed make Yorba Linda conducive for coyote habitation. Moreover, the City’s residential areas provide an abundance of water and food sources, as well as ideal terrain and landscaping which is conducive for coyote habitation.
Coyotes generally hunt between sunset and sunrise, but may be seen at any hour of the day. Coyotes are most frequently seen and heard during mating season (January-March) and when juveniles start leaving the family pack (September-November). While rarely a danger to humans, coyotes will display defensive behaviors if threatened or cornered. If you do encounter a coyote that behaves aggressively, you have probably gotten too close to its prey or its family, so increase the distance between you and the coyote.
What You Can Do
For the most part, coyotes coexist well within the urban environment and will not affect our daily lives. The best way to minimize the nuisance and losses caused by urban coyotes is by being proactive in keeping coyotes at bay by eliminating sources of food and water.
Helpful Tips To Stay Safe
The City of Yorba Linda offers these helpful tips for residents to discourage wildlife activity in their neighborhoods and to keep their homes, families, and pets safe.
- Fully enclose all outdoor animal areas;
- Keep cats and small dogs indoors or in the close presence of an adult;
- Keep pets indoors when not supervised;
- Keep trash containers closed;
- Keep yards free from potential shelters such as thick brush or weeds;
- Enclose the bottoms of porches and decks;
- Eliminate all potential food and water sources; and
- Never feed coyotes or other wildlife. Feeding wildlife can be a violation of the City’s municipal code and result in fines. Even worse, feeding coyotes leads the animals to associate people with food and lose all fear of humans.
When walking your dog, use a leash that provides good control of your dog — don’t use retractable leashes. When possible, walk your dog with another person. Consider carrying a stick, umbrella, or other defensive item. Experts don’t recommend Mace or other self-defense sprays as they can blow back on you. Should you encounter a coyote, pick up your dog if possible or place them behind you. Then, stand tall, yell, or throw something near the coyote. Don't run — you'll trigger the coyote's predator instinct.
If you encounter a coyote, stand tall, wave your arms, and yell. This is what wildlife experts call hazing. If necessary, throw a rock near — not at — the animal. If the coyote doesn’t leave, slowly walk away backward while maintaining eye contact.
Coyote Management Plan
The City of Yorba Linda has adopted a Coyote Management Plan to address coyotes in our community. The Coyote Management Plan (PDF) relies heavily on the only proven, long-term approach to managing coyotes: deterrence. The presence of coyotes is a common occurrence and does not warrant trapping or culling. The general policy of the City of Yorba Linda, Orange County Animal Care, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is not to trap coyotes, as killing or relocating urban coyotes has proven to be ineffective over the long term.
Report A Coyote Sighting
Coyote sightings are considered a common occurrence throughout our community. For the most part, coyotes coexist well within the urban environment and will not affect our daily lives, but there may be exceptional circumstances that require reporting to Orange County Animal Care.
Report To Orange County Animal Control (OCAC)
- When coyotes are habituated (have lost their fear of humans)
- When a domestic pet has been attacked or bitten
- When a human has been attacked or bitten
- When a coyote appears sick or injured or is exhibiting abnormal behavior (walking in circles, etc.)
In these cases, OCAC responds and works in coordination with Fish & Wildlife for the protection of the community. You can report these coyote concerns to Orange County Animal Care at 714-935-6848. If a coyote becomes aggressive or threatening, residents should dial 911 immediately.