The Austin population has surpassed 865,000 and continues to grow every day. With this continued influx of people, there’s expanding needs for more energy, water, food and space to live. This urban expansion results in fewer natural refuges for animal species. This loss of habitat is the number one reason wildlife is moving into the urban landscape.
Wildlife in the Central Texas area includes coyotes, raccoons, possums, skunks and deer.
Living with Urban Coyotes in Austin/Travis County
As our community grows, there is increased opportunity for interactions with all kinds of wildlife – including coyotes. Coyotes are found in all 48 continental states in the United States and are firmly established in most major metropolitan areas including Austin and Travis County. Their adaptability and opportunistic diet make them well suited to urban and suburban landscapes where food sources are plentiful. If you have seen coyotes in your neighborhood, there are many helpful tips and techniques to deter coyotes from your area and ways to peacefully coexist with them.
The City of Austin adopted an ordinance on Feb. 23, 2009 prohibiting intentional feeding of deer.
The ordinance amends the City Code to add Chapter 10-8 which:
Prohibits intentional feeding of or making food available to deer within City limits
Creates a Class C Misdemeanor for violations
Establishes a fine not less than $75 or more than $125
Effective October 1, 2013, enforcement of the Intentional Feeding of Deer Ordinance has been transferred to the Austin Code Department. Violations of the ordinance can be reported to the Austin Code Department by calling 311 or using their Citizen Web Intake Portal.
The Rodent and Vector Control program assists individual property owners with eradicating mosquitoes and rodents on their property. Read more about this program, here.
Bat season is March through November, the City of Austin’s Animal Services Office and the Austin/Travis County Health Department want to remind the public of ways to minimize the danger of exposure to rabid bats in the Austin/Travis County community.
The basic message is: “Never handle a bat alive or dead with bare hands.”