Johnston coyote sightings; officials: “Be vigilant, not concerned”

JOHNSTON, R.I. (WLNE) – As the winter months continue, some local neighborhoods are seeing what seems like an uptick in late night visits from some furry… yet intimidating friends in their yard.

Even in Rhode Island, coyote sightings aren’t all that uncommon. State wilderness officials say these sightings are not reason to panic, instead they’re more of a season to be vigilant- especially if you are a pet owner.

Rhode Island State Wildlife Biologist Charlie Brown spoke with ABC-6 News Reporter Olivia DaRocha on Wednesday, and he says especially for this time of year sightings are to be expected.

“We’re actually in the breeding season for female coyotes, really anytime in the months after Christmas,” Brown adds.

In addition to breeding season, Wildlife Biologist Charlie Brown says this time of the year is when pup coyotes leave their parents and start to roam by themselves- which could also be why coyotes seem to be more visible.

To prevent any close calls with coyotes, Brown recommends homeowners do what they can to keep their property’s safe.

  • Make sure trash is not left around the home
  • If you have outdoor pets, supervise them at night especially if they are not in an enclosed area
  • Secure bird feeders and make sure they are not in easy reach of coyotes or other animals

To learn more about coyotes in your area and what to do if you think you are seeing an unusual amount of coyotes in your neighborhood, please visit http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/fish-wildlife/

Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island