National 01/08/14 colorado.edu: News Release – Scientists from Colorado State University’s Warner College of Natural Resources are conducting research to understand how human thoughts and behavior affect coyote conflict in urban areas. The study is being led by researchers from CSU’s Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and is part of a comprehensive research initiative that is integrating biological and social science information, including data on reported encounters, coyote behavior and habitat monitoring, management response and public perceptions, to help develop more effective strategies for minimizing conflicts between people and coyotes. The researchers have collected online and mail-back surveys from more than 4,000 metro Denver residents since December 2012. Findings are being analyzed and mapped to better understand underlying factors and patterns that may contribute to incidents such as coyote attacks on pets and aggression toward people.
“The goal is to provide a more complete picture of the on-the-ground reality of coyote management in metro Denver. When, where, and how people interact with wildlife such as coyotes in urban environments is driven by both ecological and social factors,” says Andrew Don Carlos, a research associate. “Habitat and prey are important determinants of how coyotes use the landscape. We have a lot of both in metro Denver, so it’s no surprise that they’ve taken up residence in our parks, open spaces, and sometimes even backyards. People’s actions, especially those related to outdoor food attractants and pets, can increase the potential for problems to occur.” Preliminary results from Adams County, one of the primary sponsors of the project, suggest that a large portion of residents are experiencing regular interactions with coyotes in their neighborhoods. More than 80 percent of survey respondents in the western part of the county and within the cities of Westminster, Thornton, and Northglenn said that they had observed a coyote near their home in the past three years. However, proximity of people and coyotes doesn’t always lead to conflict. Fewer than 10 percent of respondents said that they had been approached by a coyote, and fewer than 5 percent reported problems between coyotes and pets. No human attacks were reported.
“Coyotes are the largest predatory mammal that most urban residents will encounter, and their presence in the neighborhood tends to get a lot of attention. In these types of situations, a solid understanding of public attitudes and behaviors becomes an important piece of the puzzle,” said Tara Teel, an associate professor in CSU’s Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and one of the study’s principal investigators. “Effective urban coyote management will always involve the public to some degree, and getting a sense for where residents are at on the issue is an important first step for managers.” The survey findings will also help determine the effectiveness of current public outreach and education campaigns aimed at reducing human-coyote conflict, and will help develop more targeted education initiatives in the future. – For complete news release see http://www.news.colostate.edu/Release/6892
California 01/04/14 Los Angeles County: A Sun Valley home security video may have solved the mystery of why happened to the family dog that went missing last week. The camera recorded a mountain lion as it casually roamed through the family’s backyard. – For complete article and video see http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2014/01/04/video-shows-mountain-lion-prowling-backyard-of-sun-valley-home-where-dog-went-missing/
Georgia 01/09/14 Hall County: A raccoon found in the vicinity of Young Road has tested positive for rabies. This is the first confirmed case of the virus in the county this year. – See http://www.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=269722
Georgia 12/31/13 Murray County: A stray cat that bit two people in Chatsworth on Christmas Eve has tested positive for rabies. The cat was black with a white chin, weighed about ten pounds, and appeared otherwise healthy. Those living in or near the 5700 block of Old Federal Road South should report any bites or scratches from stray cats which occurred within the past month, especially if the stray fits this description. Call the Murray County Environmental Health Office at 706-695-0266, extension 8. – See http://www.newschannel9.com/news/top-stories/stories/rabid-cat-bites-two-north-georgia-8475.shtml
New Jersey 01/08/13 Salem County: A raccoon that fought with a family’s pet dog in Quinton Township has tested positive for rabies. The dog’s owner was advised to seek medical advice for potential exposure to the virus when checking the dog for wounds due to possible contact with the raccoon’s saliva, which can carry the rabies virus. – See http://www.nj.com/salem/index.ssf/2014/01/rabies_case_confirmed_in_quinton_twp_officials_say.html
South Carolina 01/03/14 Oconee County: A resident of the county is being treated for potential exposure to rabies after she reported being in contact with a cat in the Seneca area that tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.greenvilleonline.com/article/20140103/NEWS/301030034/Oconee-woman-exposed-rabies-from-cat-authorities-say
Virginia 01/08/13 Pittsylvania County: Officials have issued a Rabies Alert for residents of Tucker Road in Gretna after a raccoon found in the area tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.godanriver.com/news/pittsylvania_county/rabies-alert-issued-after-rabid-raccoon-found-in-gretna/article_ea7d47c0-7896-11e3-b011-0019bb30f31a.html