Forum to address coyote incidents
Recent sightings have residents worried
July 11, 2000
By John Sanford, Staff writer
SAN RAMON — Recent coyote sightings and incidents in the area have prompted the city of San Ramon and a San Mateo-based organization, Little Blue Society, to organize a community meeting for Thursday .
Dublin officials contacted a federal wildlife specialist following two separate coyote encounters in May at Dougherty Hills Park, a city park that comprises about 90 acres of undeveloped land to the east of Stagecoach Road and to the north of Amador Valley Boulevard, officials said.
Dublin put up coyote warning signs at the park. The specialist located a coyote denning site just inside the San Ramon city limits.
Thursday’s forum will be an opportunity for residents to learn about coyote ecology and behavior.
Among speakers scheduled to appear at Thursday’s event are Jim Nee, an agricultural inspector with Santa Cruz County and certified wildlife biologist; Camilla Fox, a wildlife manager with the Animal Protection Institute of Sacramento; and Mary A. Paglieri, founder of the San Mateo-based Little Blue Society, which aims to manage conflicts between humans and wildlife through public education.
Rick Parmer, a supervising naturalist with the state Department of Fish and Game, said that, in general, Bay Area coyote populations have been on the rise.
The wild canines have no real predators and the recent wet years have been a boon for coyote prey, such as rodents, he said.
Homes running up against open space in the Valley also have provided the coyotes with new food sources, such as pet cats, Parmer said.
But coyote attacks on humans are extremely rare and usually stem from a human action, such as trying to feed the coyotes, he said.
Here are a few tips for dealing with coyotes:
Don’t leave young children unattended in areas known to be frequented by coyotes, even in the yards of homes.
Keep pets indoors; large dogs should be brought in after dark.
If coyotes become denizens of an area where humans live, let them know they’re unwelcome by yelling, throwing rocks at them or spraying them with water.
Never feed coyotes.
If a coyote is seen acting in an aggressive manner or attacking humans, contact the Central Coast office of the state Department of Fish and Game at (707) 944-5500 during business hours — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. If an encounter or attack occurs after business hours, contact the department’s 24-hour dispatch center at (916) 445-0045.
An informational meeting on coyotes is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 13, in the Fountain Room of the San Ramon Community Center, 12501 Alcosta Blvd., San Ramon.