Are you hearing more distant howls lately? There's a reason for that, and for an increase in coyote activity.  

In Reno, Lakeridge residents are keeping a more cautious eye now that there's been an increase of pet predators roaming their golf course and neighborhood. Laurie-Jo Pettyjohn of Lakeridge Lifestyles Magazine told us, "There are a dozen residents in the last two weeks that have made it very clear that they see bobcats and coyotes right in their backyards...right here, all along Lake Stanley."

Laurie-Jo herself lost her two kitties to coyotes: "I lost one about six years ago and most recently about four months ago. I have two cats at home now, but they stay inside."

She also shared with us some recent pictures of bobcats taken by residents at the Lakeridge Shores neighborhood. The next few weeks are mating season for them and coyotes...a time not to let your dog or cat out alone. Jessica Heitt, the Urban Wildlife Coordinator for the Nevada Department of Wildlife told us, "The mating season is going to run until the end of March into early April."

The coyotes are also crafty, and will invade backyards. Heitt says, "They can jump a 6-foot fence, and bobcats can easily climb fences…they're excellent climbers and they're both very, very smart and very well adapted to living in urban environments." She says male coyotes get out more during mating season, looking for partners. "Especially the males will tend to be more aggressive in competition for females.”

The heightened threat doesn't end after mating season. Once coyotes have their pups, the moms become voracious hunters for their new pups. And why do so many hunt the golf course? For the food. Lakeridge is full of marmots. Zachary Campbell with the Nevada Department of Wildlife tells us, "There is plenty of food here for the coyotes, and if the food's available the coyotes are going to be here… along with the bobcats."

So the long and short of it all is…those prairie wolves always pose a risk to your pets, and that threat is at a peak right now all through to May.