Coyotes have been making themselves at home in cities all over the country. They’ve been showing up in big cities like Chicago and Detroit, and in a lot of suburban areas.
But we don’t know a whole lot about Michigan’s urban coyotes.
A small research team from Wayne State University is trying to find out as much as they can.
But to do this... they have to act like urban coyotes... and become nocturnal. Bill Dodge is a PhD candidate at Wayne State. He heads up the research team.
“They’ve found in other studies that coyotes especially around humans become much more nocturnal than say, out West.”
Dodge invited me to tag along on their 6pm to midnight shift one Friday night a few weeks ago.
I met up with the group in a parking lot in northeast Oakland County.
Bill Dodge puts on a headset and pulls an antenna and a mess of cables out of his trunk.
“I’m getting a signal on him but it’s really weak...”
They’re tracking a radio collared coyote that they trapped last summer.
“We’ll go down the road a ways and take a listen to see if he’s closer.”
The team takes precautions to keep from being spotted by other people... as they cruise around these neighborhoods.
Holly Hadac volunteers with the coyote study. She’s also a retired sheriff’s deputy. She points out the red cellophane covering her car’s interior lights.
“My interior lights don’t go on when I start the car up. I’ve got all the lights in my car blocked out, and that way keeps me incognito with what I’m doing. So we keep our coyote safe so nobody knows where he is.”
“If someone doesn’t like coyotes, they might look for him.”
She says they’re worried someone might kill their research subject.