Are coyotes becoming bolder in California while humans shelter in place?
Coyote sightings are on the rise in San Francisco, even taking naps in patches of green spaces in the city, reported Uma Chrobak in Popular Science. However, it is unlikely they indicate a change in wildlife behavior, said UC Cooperative Extension human-wildlife interactions advisor Niamh Quinn.
Officials believe the increased sightings may have more to do with a change in human behavior. Many people are at home and bored, so they may staring out the window and going on more walks in their neighborhoods.
Quinn follows five radio-collared coyotes in Los Angeles for a research project. She says her coyotes haven't changed their routines since the shelter-in-place order went into effect, staying in their respective territories, which include areas near a shopping mall and golf course.
The number of coyotes reported in San Francisco on Quinn's Coyote Cacher website isn't unusual, she said.
“People are just at home noticing more things,” she said, "especially in California, we're not all spending five hours a day on the freeway [now], you know?”
If you see coyotes or other wildlife, give them space, Quinn said. “It's very important to keep wildlife wild,” she said. “You should never feed wildlife.”