Park district reports coyotes at Frohring Meadows
Over the winter and spring, Geauga Park District’s Natural Resource Management Department has been monitoring the coyotes at Frohring Meadows in Bainbridge Township, and reports that they continue to be active in the same areas as previous years.
“We know from monitoring wildlife cameras that these animals are in the area,” said Paul Pira, Geauga Park District’s park biologist. “They may be using this park once again for denning, so we’re trying to be proactive by cautioning people to respect wildlife and obey the leash laws.”
Leash laws are enforced on all Geauga Park District properties, and dogs are required to be on leash at all times for the benefit of dog owners, other park visitors, and the resident wildlife. Even the most highly trained and best-behaved pets can be unpredictable at times, so leashing is required for the best interest of all. Failure to follow this law can result in a fine.
Pira notices the impact unleashed dogs have had on wildlife research. “There are numerous other animals in our wetland study areas that we have also documented as being highly disturbed by dogs off leash at Frohring Meadows park,” he said. “They have disturbed our trapping research, killed waterfowl, and caused us to cease work on some research projects.”
As signs at the park indicate, pets off leash may also provoke denning coyote pairs by wandering off trail and finding their dens, Pira said. “There shouldn’t be any problem as long as they’re on leash,” Pira added. “Hopefully we won’t have to close the trails.”
Frohring Meadows’ Big Bluestem Trail was closed for more than two months in 2012 after a woman and her dog had an encounter with the coyote pair. In 2013, the same trail was marked with signs at the entrance to the woods.
Rangers will also be monitoring the area more closely during this time to ensure compliance and safety, Ranger Sergeant Larry McKinnon said.
Eastern coyotes are known to inhabit the area of Frohring Meadows. They are normally passive. However, coyotes may act alone or in a small family group to defend their territory. This behavior is normal, but may be more intense from January through June due to mating, denning, and pup weaning.
The presence of dogs may trigger coyotes to display forms of aggression consisting of yips, howls and growls. Coyotes may follow behind dog-walkers for a short distance. If you encounter a coyote, calmly control your pet and leave the area the way you entered. If you are walking a dog, shorten the leash; keep the dog close and as quiet as possible. Pick up and carry small dogs.
If a coyote does approach, walk backwards slowly and try to discourage it by shouting in a deep voice, waving your arms, throwing objects and looking the coyote directly in the eyes. If you are wearing a coat or vest, spread it open like a cape so that you appear larger.
Carrying a whistle with you can help frighten a coyote and alert others.
Please report coyote interaction to the Park District’s Ranger and Natural Resource Management departments at 440-286-9516.