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Wildlife Officials Monitor Coyote Interactions

There have been no other reports this year of Lamorinda coyote problems other than media articles about Jan. 31 encounter on a trail above Rancho Laguna Park, Moraga.

Following up on media articles about a coyote pack on a Moraga trail, state wildlife officials say they have not had formal reports of coyote problems in Lamorinda this year.

Generally, at this time of year, the state gets zero to 1 report a month of a coyote problem in the wilderness/suburban interface that is Lamorinda. That rises to about 1 to 2 a month in the spring as coyote moms have pups and are protective of their dens, said Nicole Kozicki, fish and game warden for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. (As of Jan. 1, the old Department of Fish and Game changed its formal name to the Department of Fish and Wildlife.)

On Jan 31 two women were jogging with their dogs on the Canyon Loop Trail above Rancho Laguna Park, Moraga, when they were wary a pack of 10 coyotes following them, according to a feature in the Lamorinda Weekly. The women ran back to the park and, once they passed the cow fence into the park, the coyotes stopped following.

Kozicki said the department documented the Moraga case, but received no formal complaint. The department classifies coyote reports into

  • Public safety issues, with threats to humans and accounts of coyotes coming after people unprovoked or hanging around a park or public area and showing no fear of humans, and
  • Depredation issues, where a coyote threatens or kills a dog or cat.

Depredation issues are the responsibility of the homeowner. When the department documents a public safety issue or a pattern of public safety issues, it sometimes hires trappers to trap and remove a coyote, Kozicki said.

To report a coyote encounter, call the Department of Fish and Wildlife's Wildlife Management Branch in Napa, (707) 944-5500.

Fritz 'Congodog' Stoop February 19, 2013 at 03:14 PM
I hear them nearly every morning as I walk in the predawn hours of RLP. It is the sound of a chorus of them, with their yips, howls, growls and yodels moving en masse through their morning ritual. I have never seen them inside the park, but have seem many individuals or pairs (rarely) out on our roads, most frequently on the way out toward Pinehurst Road. One morning a big male was sitting directly across the street from me as I went to my car at about 8 AM. He glided across my field of vision and disappeared like a ghost into the landscape. Our yards are teeming with rabbits and he was likely breakfast shopping. He seemed no threat to me.
Dive Turn Work February 19, 2013 at 03:15 PM
People wanting to feed the coyotes should offer up themselves as food. How can you be that stupid?
Amanda February 19, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Warnings about not feeding the coyotes? What's next? A warning about not using my hair dryer while I'm in the bathtub?
Eastofthehills February 19, 2013 at 07:36 PM
They obviously won't let us shoot coyotes so how are we as homeowners supposed to "handle" depredation issues?
Chris Nicholson February 19, 2013 at 07:49 PM
Crossbow? Is this a big problem on residential streets? I've seen them crossing the road around unpopulated areas, but are many cats and small dogs getting picked off?
Stan February 19, 2013 at 08:05 PM
I don't believe there is a "Canyon Loop Trail" . Could you be referring to the King's Canyon Loop? That's reached through Rancho Laguna Park. At any rate, should people REALLY be surprised that there are coyotes in open space areas?
c5 February 19, 2013 at 08:41 PM
I can't believe this is getting press...total non-event. Yes we have coyotes around here, and yes they like to eat small animals. Yes you might see them, and yes you might hear them. Keep your pets on leash or in your yard and there won't be a problem.
Richard Kline February 20, 2013 at 12:52 AM
What if the joggers overreacted? Are signs, Wildlife's resources and creating mild media hysteria necessary? I've enjoyed that trail for years and understand I'm stepping into mother natures den every visit. This sounds like a group of coyotes doing what they do daily coming across a few joggers who should stick to surface streets.
Jose February 20, 2013 at 01:53 AM
I don't understand the warning sign. Don't feed coyotes Ritz crackers by hand? or is that a chocolate chip cookie?
Steve J February 21, 2013 at 03:14 AM
I share your confusion Jose. I examined the food item in the drawing and it looks more like a Hi-Ho cracker to me than a Ritz which is strange because I don't think Hi-Ho's are even available anymore. And the coyote appears to be sick or choking so is the warning that the coyote will die if we feed it a Hi-Ho cracker? It is a truly perplexing image.
Chris Nicholson February 21, 2013 at 04:03 AM
I ran the picture through a forensic image enhancement program and solved the mystery. It is clearly a tasty wafer of Soylent Green.
Dive Turn Work February 21, 2013 at 04:28 AM
I really don't know who is dumber - the people who feed coyotes or the people who worry about being eaten by a coyote. We have become a country of idiots.
Jose February 21, 2013 at 04:54 AM
Signage is serious science. I don't think they (signers) have worked out all of the kinks.
Amanda February 21, 2013 at 05:08 AM
Exactly. Let's look at the statistics of number of people attacked/raped on Northern California hiking/walking trails vs. number of people attacked by coyotes.
Chris Nicholson February 21, 2013 at 06:17 AM
No one really *needs* a coyote. If by banning them we can save EVEN ONE LIFE / BITE, then surely that would be a step in the right direction.
Dive Turn Work February 21, 2013 at 06:31 AM
I'm ok with that. They're kinda gross.
Amanda February 21, 2013 at 05:32 PM
This is a little more serious: http://www.auburnjournal.com/article/highway-patrol-helicopter-offered-assist-hiker-stalked-mountain-lion#.USWthAyBXeM.facebook
Chris Nicholson February 21, 2013 at 06:33 PM
Scary. It should be legal to carry (concealed or open) a sidearm on any long trails where dangerous animals are know to be (which would be most places). Good that the warden had a gun and saved himself, but I doubt a hungry lion (or startled black bear mom, or whatever) would find an unarmed hiker any less tasty. When hiking / backpacking along remote (but well marked) trails in the past (20-25 years ago), I thought nothing of seeing a revolver hanging from the belt of people passing by on the trail. I wonder if that would result on a 911 call and felony arrest these days?
Dive Turn Work February 21, 2013 at 11:41 PM
Watch out for dingoes. They will eat your baby.
LamorindaMan February 22, 2013 at 05:51 AM
I would go further and say that a concealed sidearm should be allowed anywhere, not just long trails.
TMoraga February 22, 2013 at 10:38 PM
LOL these sort of things always crack me up. 4 generations of my family have been ranching and doing back country stuff in CA for a very long time. Before the 70's we packed guns to put down live stock that broke legs. During the late 60's and 70's we packed guns to make noise and chase off the Hippies who were "living off the land" they would raid your camp the second everyone was out working or doing their thing - so we simply would go sit on a hill above camp wait pop off a few rounds the Hippies would scatter and never come back leaving our camp alone. Today we pack guns for the biggest threat we have ever had - illegal grow operators who are not shy about shooting people to protect their grow op. Note all the above have nothing to do with the Native critters we share the hills with.
Chris Nicholson February 23, 2013 at 12:28 AM
The hippies have evolved. Now they steal from you remotely under color of law. I am wondering if a few rounds of air-burst artillery over SF would cause them to scatter like the good old days?

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