2014-11-13 / Opinion

Coyote Updates Wanted

To the Editor:

See a coyote? Please report it!

To update its database of coyote activity on Aquidneck Island, the Narragansett Bay Coyote Study plans to collar and track three coyotes at locations yet to be determined. To help NBCS identify the best sites, CoyoteSmarts is requesting assistance from local residents. Anyone who sees a coyote is encouraged to complete a sightings report available online at coyotesmarts.org.

NBCS has been studying coyote behavior on Aquidneck and Conanicut islands over the past decade. The research has shown that at least 10 coyote packs inhabit the islands and that their increasing numbers have a lot to do with food. Using GPS tracking, NBCS has found that people provide thousands of pounds of food to coyotes each year. More food means larger litters and higher survival rates, leading to greater coyote population density and more opportunities for contact and conflict with humans.

The collars to be employed represent state-of-the-art GPS technology capable of transmitting location data every five minutes, making them especially useful in identifying food sources that could account for the growing coyote presence in some of our neighborhoods.

The information provided in the sightings reports will be considered in the selection of the tracking sites. It will also be incorporated into the sightings map available at coyotesmarts.org, where residents can find a wide range of information about coyotes, public and pet safety, and best coyote management practices.

Jo Yellis
Project Coordinator,
CoyoteSmarts

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