Milwaukee County Parks announced Thursday that beginning in early February and lasting through March, it will trap and ear-tag coyotes that use county parkland in Wauwatosa and West Allis.
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology's Urban Canid Project will set live traps, place ear tags on trapped coyotes and release them for monitoring, according to a news release.
Over the last year, Wauwatosa has seen its fair share of coyote-related problems; two pet dogs were killed by the wild animals last fall, causing neighbors to resort to walking in large groups and keeping a watchful eye on small children.
Wauwatosa officials and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources later held a public meeting at Underwood Elementary School on how to scare away coyotes and their behavioral tendencies. The public meeting packed the school's gymnasium, but many attendees expressed their dissatisfaction with the lack of a "plan of action."
"During this phase of coyote management, we want to remind the public to follow ordinances by keeping their pets leashed and on the designated trails," said Julia Robson, Assistant Natural Areas Coordinator for Milwaukee County Parks in a statement. "We also want to be clear that tampering or interfering with the trapping is illegal, as is trapping by individuals who are not authorized by the Parks Department."
Milwaukee County residents are encouraged to submit reports of coyote sightings. As tagging occurs in the targeted areas, citizens will be able to include information on the coyotes with uniquely colored ear tags, helping to tie observation and behaviors to a specific animal.
Residents are asked to submit all reports online at bit.ly/1Se5Pai, or use the related mobile app.
In December, city of Wauwatosa leaders began discussions on creating a local coyote management program. Those conversations have since been put on hold.
The Parks Department, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and Urban Canid Project researchers are collaborating to prepare a coyote management plan for Milwaukee County, to implement coyote population monitoring, and to conduct educational outreach in targeted areas of the county, according to the release.
Additionally, a number of educational programs will be offered to provide more information about coexisting with urban coyotes.
The first program will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at Wil-O-Way Underwood, 10602 Underwood Parkway, Wauwatosa. Researchers from the Urban Canid Project will discuss coyote ecology, coyote-human conflict and behavior modification as well as ongoing monitoring and management efforts in Milwaukee County.
ADA accommodation requests may be filed with the Milwaukee County Office for Persons with Disabilities by calling (414) 278-3932 or 711 (TRS).