Group receives grant to address growing coyote problem

(Photos courtesy of Rosemary O'Brien)

NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — Coyotes appear to once again be a growing problem within many Rhode Island communities.

Following reports of aggressive coyotes showing up in large numbers on Aquidneck Island, the Narragansett Bay Coyote Study announced it’s received a grant from the Department of Environmental Management and the Rhode Island Natural History Survey.

The group says the grant will allow it to test experimental coyote management strategies and expand its study statewide, including to the Providence area.

Newport resident Rosemary O’Brien showed Eyewitness News photos of a coyote she said showed up Wednesday morning in the driveway of her Gibbs Avenue home.

At a meeting on the coyote problem Wednesday night at Newport City Hall, O’Brien said residents were told that the number of coyote packs on Aquidneck Island have spiked in the last 10 years.

“I think we need to consider some longer-term solutions to the coyote problem,” O’Brien said. “Certainly feeding them, intentionally or inadvertently has got to stop. That’s a huge part of the problem.”

The Narragansett Bay Coyote Study said it will also be launching a public outreach campaign, since residents play a big part in controlling coyotes.

The best way to prevent coyotes from coming into your neighborhood, according to the group, is to avoid leaving unsecured garbage outside and avoid feeding pets outside.