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Open Access Publications from the University of California

An Examination of Citizen-Provided Coyote Reports: Temporal and Spatial Patterns and Their Implications for Management of Human-Coyote Conflicts

  • Author(s): Quinn, Niamh
  • Fox, Dan
  • Hartman, Jim
  • et al.

In many cities across the United States, incidences of coyote encounters (Canis latrans) and human-coyote conflicts are rising. This is especially true for cities in Southern California, where conflicts including pet attacks have been recorded since the 1960s. The only coyote-related human fatality in the United States occurred in Southern California in 1981 and, although no fatal attacks have occurred since, coyote bites to humans are still occurring. Coyote attacks on pets appear to be common in Southern California; however, data are lacking in this area of human-coyote conflicts. This paper examines data from multiple sources that record human-coyote conflicts in Southern California. Coyote reports have been more frequently received by the entities involved in this analysis as their recording time progresses, with data from 243 cities and unincorporated areas suggesting that the majority of reports (68%) are related to non-conflict events. Conflicts were significantly higher in the pup-rearing season compared to the breeding season. There appears to be spatial clustering of coyote reports from Los Angeles County; however, complex analysis is needed to determine the relationship between frequency of complaints and land use in all of the counties to help determine what is driving human-coyote conflicts in Southern California.

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