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.

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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