Researchers conducting a statewide study aimed at reducing harmful interactions between coyotes and humans are working to obtain additional funding …
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Researchers conducting a statewide study aimed at reducing harmful interactions between coyotes and humans are working to obtain additional funding through a taxpayer-funded Adams County Open Space grant.
The study, which began in response to increased reports of coyote and human conflicts across the state, is spearheaded by Mary Ann Bonnell, a city of Aurora senior resource specialist. Since 2010, she has been working in the Adams County areas of the city to survey residents about their attitudes toward coyotes and training interested residents to track coyote behavior.
Using the data collected from several survey points in Adams County and observations from Adams County residents, Bonnell said she hopes to reduce human interactions with coyotes and change negative perceptions about the animals.
Shannon McDowell, Adams County Open Space manager, said Aurora first applied for an Open Space sales-tax grant in fall 2010 and was awarded up to $57,048 to cover 61.9 percent of the project’s cost.
The Colorado Department of Natural Resources reports show coyote-human conflicts have been on the rise in the Denver metro area since 2008. Before then, about one person each year reported being bitten by a coyote in the state. That number has since increased to 16 statewide coyote bites per year in the last four years. The Department of Natural Resources said many of the bites involved coyotes that may have been feeding or the presence of a dog or dogs, which can make coyotes territorial.
In the coming months, Bonnell said, she will continue to host 2-and-a-half-hour training sessions to teach interested residents how to observe and record coyote behavior in areas throughout Adams County.
“Conflict is perceived differently by different people, and in some ways it is a two-way street,” Bonnell said. “Doing this will help us understand how different members of the public respond to coyotes, as well as how the coyotes respond to people and various hazing techniques.”
For those interested in becoming trained volunteers as a part of this study, contact Bonnell by phone at 303-859-8911 or email at email@example.com.
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