Coyote Management on Skidaway Island

By Dylan Till –
Public Works Environmental Operations Manager

Coyotes are an invasive species in Georgia that have been expanding eastwardly from their native range in the Southwest United States. They have spread to Georgia for several reasons, including the decline of gray wolves, ability to adapt litter sizes, ability to adapt to live in close proximity to human populations, the expansion of agriculture, and forest fragmentation.

Coyotes are a fairly recent addition to Skidaway Island. In 2018, The Landings Association, in conjunction with the USDA, began a management plan to help deter coyotes from frequenting the area. The coyote management plan includes trapping efforts, targeted night hunting, and incidental hunting (removal of coyotes during deer culling). The objective of the Association’s management plan is to deter coyotes from taking residence in the community, while also acknowledging we will have transient coyotes move through the community from time to time. It is important to note that coyotes have large home ranges, and on Skidaway Island only The Landings has active management of any species (coyotes, hogs, deer, etc.).

Coyotes are known to reduce mesopredator populations when they move into new areas. (Mesopredators are medium sized mammalian predators such as raccoons, possums, cats, etc.) Feral cats and pet outdoor cats are susceptible to predation by coyotes, owls, and foxes. The best policy to protect pet cats or other small pets is to keep them indoors and not allow them to roam outdoors alone. Coyotes are not nocturnal as many people think but instead are crepuscular, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk. Throughout the year, but especially during the winter, it is not usual to see coyotes actively moving during the day.

There are some best management practices that can reduce the appeal of your yard to coyotes, which include:

  • Keeping your pets indoors (when you aren’t with them)
  • Feeding pets indoors
  • Removing food sources from outside: pet food, fallen fruit, bird feeders, etc.
  • Removing water sources from your yard, such as ponds, fountains, bird baths, etc.
  • Properly securing garbage cans

The reality of the situation is that coyotes will continue to be on the landscape. We will continue to manage coyotes within the community, as we do with many other species, but they are a part of the ecosystem now. This is not just the case on Skidaway Island but the entirety of the eastern part of the United States.

If you have a specific concern related to wildlife (deer, feral hogs, coyotes, or migratory birds), please report the issue by calling the Public Works Office (912-598-5506).

This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website.

Visit to read the original article.