ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – Over 30 coyote sightings have been reported to the Isle of Palms Police Department over the past several months and more are likely this winter.

The Isle of Palms Police Department first began tracking coyote sightings in 2013. The numbers have increased over the years, with 36 being reported since January.

Residents and visitors are concerned that there could be serious consequences if something isn’t done to curb the coyote population.

A regular beachgoer, Dorthy Rosales, fears that eventually, her family will have to stop heading out to the beach because of the coyote population.

“You know the whole point of moving to the area is to take your kid to the beach. We have a little guy with us, so it’s not just a safety concern for us but him,” said Rosales.

Sergeant Matthew Storen, who serves as the department’s public information officer, said the coyotes make their dens in dunes starting from Breach Inlet and going to the island’s northern end.

As winter months approach and fewer people are on the beaches, coyotes may be coming out more, so the police department wants people to be prepared.

“We wanted to remind our residents and the visitors that come out to the isle of palms that they may see a coyote, especially now in the fall or winter months, and if they do, to try and avoid the coyote, make as much noise as possible that usually scares the animal away,” said Sergeant Storen.

Officers are tracking coyote activity and staying alert. If you see a coyote, the Isle of Palms police department said to report it to their non-emergency number.