All about coyotes in Fairfield, wily or not

Just how wily — and dangerous — are coyotes in Fairfield, and the rest of southwestern Connecticut?

Police and animal control officers in Fairfield and surrounding communities in recent years have reported more  coyote sightings and attacks on small dogs, cats and other pets.

State and local officials plan to shed light on the region’s growing coyote population and the potential threat they pose at an informational meeting set for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, at the Board of Education headquarters, 501 Kings Highway East.

Wildlife experts are scheduled to discuss topics ranging from coyote habits to protecting pets to yard management and trapping, according to state Rep. Brenda Kupchick, R-132, who will serve as moderator.

The main speaker will be Chris Vann, a nuisance wildlife biologist with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and an expert on the Eastern coyote. Fairfield Animal Control Officer Paul Miller and Police Chief Gary McNamara also will participate. They will be joined by state Sen. John McKinney, R-28, and state Reps. Kim Fawcett, D-133, and Tony Hwang, R-134.

Discussion topics also will include the history of coyotes, their habits and habitat, conflicts with people and pets, coyote disease and problem-coyote management.

Eastern coyotes were first documented in Connecticut in the 1950s. They are attracted by food, Miller has said, and now can be anywhere in town.

For more information, call Fairfield Animal Control at 203-254-4857.

John Schwing