Two miles southwest of Snellville in Bristol County, Anna Story says about a half-dozen coyotes have come out of the woods near her home in the past couple of weeks.
“This is the first time that I’ve had coyotes right outside my house,” she said.
In recent years, coyotes have become a much more familiar presence in the United States. Numbers have spiked in cities, suburbs and rural areas, making the animal a major nuisance even in places where they’re a normal part of life.
Last month, Michigan’s Northwestern University released its first study of the number of coyotes in the Great Lakes region. They found their numbers have doubled since 2000, and they’re most common in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Ohio.
The animals live in diverse habitats and an increasing amount of the landscape is now covered with coyote habitat.
Scientists also found that the animals appear to be more mobile — as people are less likely to see them than they were 20 years ago.
Jennifer Lee with the Natural Resources Defense Council, which partnered with Northwestern for the study, says the findings underscore the need for federal wildlife programs to provide more funding for research.
“So that we can take better advantage of those resources,” she said.