Coyote tracking website offers email alerts about attacks - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Coyote tracking website offers email alerts about attacks

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - Coyote attacks on pets are on the rise in Southern California and the heavy winter rains are expected to increase the coyote population.

Now, a new website is offering email alerts to neighbors about nearby coyote attacks and sightings.

“It’s pretty traumatizing when your pet gets attacked or killed by a coyote,” said Niamh Quinn, a human wildlife interactions advisor with the University of California’s Cooperative Extension.

Quinn helped create the website Coyote Cacher, which maps coyote encounters nationwide and provides email alerts for zip codes in California.

On the map, green dots represent coyote sightings and red dots show coyote attacks on pets. You can log on for free and report events in your own neighborhood.

“We're trying to encourage everybody that sees a coyote to report what they see or report what they encounter,” said Quinn.

“We don't really know a whole lot about urban coyote behavior here in Southern California so it's something we definitely need to work on,” she said.

Simply enter your name, zip code and email address and the Coyote Cacher site will send you alerts whenever someone reports a coyote on the prowl in your area.

“Some pet attacks look like they're probably natural predatory responses,” said Quinn. “The coyote jumps a fence and it really doesn't see the dog as a pet. It just sees a free and easy meal, unfortunately.”

To prevent coyote attacks, experts advise not leaving pet food outside. Pet owners should keep dogs on a short leash and if you see a coyote pick up your pet in your arms.

“So, definitely take the pet up in your arms if you are concerned,” said Quinn.

The Coyote Cacher website launched in February. Researchers have mapped about 500 coyote encounters so far. They plan on analyzing the information after one year of data collection.

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