in an effort to maintain a consistent and reliable report of coyote sightings on the island, The Isle of Palms Police Department is requesting residents to report coyote sightings and interactions to the Non-Emergency Number at (843) 886-6522
On May 22, 2018, City Council adopted the Isle of Palms Coyote Management Plan. The purpose of this plan is to educate citizens about how to be coyote smart and provide staff a management strategy and guidelines to address the City's coyote population. The plan was a collaborative effort between the Public Safety Committee, the Isle of Palms Police Department and the IOP Coyote Coalition.
Be Coyote Smart!
Residents and Visitors play an important role in the City's Coyote Management Plan.
Don't attract coyotes to human spaces with food!
- Don't leave pet food outside
- Make sure trash is secure
- Roll out trash on pickup day, not the night before. Smells can attract a curious coyote
- Protect compost piles and gardens
- Don't leave fruit from trees on the ground
- Reduce yard rodents by eliminating woodpiles, trimming bushes and bringing in bird feeders at night
Keep pets safe
- Keep cats indoors as much as possible
- Keep dogs leashed on neighborhood walks, especially if dogs are small
- Be careful when in areas with dense vegetation, including dunes and golf course
- Wait to unleash dogs on the beach until well past dunes
- Watch unleashed pets closely
- Be especially careful after twilight and into the night
- Don't let pets "play" with coyotes
Don't ignore coyotes
- Don't leave small children alone outside
- If a coyote approaches, lift small pets and children off the ground
- Make loud noises and wave your hands or objects
- Throw stones or other objects
- Spray with a hose - from a safe distance
Call 9-1-1 if you encounter an aggressive coyote. Otherwise, please report sightings to Isle of Palms Police Department's non-emergency number: (843) 886-6522.
Individual property owners on Isle of Palms may hire a trapper to trap coyotes on their own property. Residents may contact trappers listed on the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources' (SCDNR's) website. Once on the site, you will need to scroll through to Wildlife Control Operators and then once on the link to those wildlife management experts who serve Charleston County and who do coyote management. If they do not already have one, trappers will need an Isle of Palms Business License and may start that process by calling the Building, Planning and Zoning Department at (843) 886 9912. Trappers typically have a fee to place and routinely check traps and then an additional fee if an animal is trapped. According to SCDNR, poisons may not be used and clamp traps run the risk of trapping and possibly injuring a pet or alternate species.
In response to citizen concerns, in the spring of 2016, the City of Isle of Palms hired a coyote trapper and since that time, continues to trap on public property near areas where the public has reported coyote sightings. Citizen engagement in reporting (843 - 886 - 6522) any sightings to the City is important because it enables the strategic placement of the traps. To date, the City's contractor has trapped two (2) coyotes. The City has increased the number of traps deployed on public property. The City's trapper is now using soft leg traps, which do not injure fur-bearing animals. Five (5) traps have been deployed so far in three (3) different locations.
According to State Law trapped animals may not be relocated and, therefore, must be euthanized. Since it is unlawful to discharge firearms within the limits of the City of Isle of Palms, this action must take place outside of the City limits. Citizens are also encouraged to read SCDNR's guidance regarding hiring a wildlife management expert.
Hunting of coyotes is allowed by SCDNR in areas; however, DNR cautions one must check local ordinances regarding hunting. Hunting would not be allowed within the City of Isle of Palms because of the prohibition against discharging a firearm.
The City of Isle of Palms Code of Laws states as follows:
"Sec. 9-2-2. - Discharge of firearms.
It shall be unlawful for any person to publicly brandish a firearm, or to negligently or carelessly discharge any firearm within the City, except law enforcement officers in the exercise of their duties or authorized participants in a parade or ceremony."