Coyotes are a common sight in Alpharetta in the fall and winter

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ALPHARETTA — The city of Alpharetta is reminding residents that coyotes are a common sight throughout North Fulton and many suburbs during the fall and winter months.

It may come as a surprise to some Alpharetta residents to see coyotes around the community and throughout metro Atlanta.

The animals, which are generally shy and pose little danger to people, are extremely adaptable and can thrive in almost any environment — provided there is food, water, and shelter to be found.  With numerous wooded areas and streams in the area, Alpharetta is a perfect habitat for coyotes.

September to January is a very active time for coyotes, as pups born this year have achieved an age at which they begin to hunt and seek their own territory.

The second highly active period is during the coyote breeding season, which normally runs from early February through March. During these times, residents are more likely to see the animals and their high-pitched yipping, yowling, and barking become common evening sounds.

Contrary to popular misconception, coyotes are not pack animals. They are typically solitary outside of a period from their birth around April until early Fall when young pups leave their mothers.

Because coyotes are seldom a threat to human safety, the Alpharetta officials do not support or endorse coyote eradication programs and discourage residents from hiring professional trappers unless an animal has been observed to appear aggressive. Such measures do not have a lasting effect, as other coyotes will soon move into the area seeking the same food, water, and shelter that attracted any who may be removed.

While the animals are typically not a threat to people, it is important that residents not encourage interaction with the animals and that steps are taken to not provide coyotes with food sources. Coyotes are animals of opportunity, so they will forage through garbage, eat pet food left outside, and will attack small pets that are left unattended, even within fenced yards. Coyotes are amazingly intelligent and can easily find ways to get inside fenced areas if they see potential food or other reasons to get inside.

Coyotes are a natural part of our environment and serve a very useful purpose, controlling the population of small animals and maintaining a balance in their habitat. The best thing residents can do is learn to safely coexist by not encouraging human interaction, not providing them with food sources, and enjoying the occasional coyote sighting from a safe distance.

For more information, download a great guide to living around suburban coyotes at

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for sharing this modern perspective on how we can coexist with the wildlife around us. Let’s hope your county can be a trendsetter so that others will follow suit. We need more of this!! We should embrace our native songdogs as well as the other creatures around us. A well balanced ecosystem makes for a healthy community.

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