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The coyotes in my neighborhood look emaciated. Is there a problem with the population?

Coyotes have it tough even when they’re not being foiled by ink-and-paint roadrunners. I’m going to guess that the critters you see are suffering from malnutrition. Winter and early spring are particularly hard because easy prey like ground squirrels burrow underground just as coyote breeding season arrives. Coyotes are scattered throughout the county, but an agricultural inspector reports that in hot spots such as the foothills of Altadena, Eaton Canyon in Pasadena, and La Mirada’s Creek Park, residents have observed them foraging for fallen fruit. The experts say to scare them away with loud noises so they maintain their anthropophobia, a fancy word for fear of people.
 
Photograph courtesy turtletrack.org