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Living in peace with a coyote means respecting the boundaries of the coyote.

Misunderstandings about coyotes are based on misunderstandings of their behavior. Credits: Shutterstock

on average, Coyotes across Canada “attack” (that is, bite or scratch) three people each year... By comparison, It is reported that 180 Canadians are struck by lightning each year... Importantly, 100% of coyote-related incidents are related to human feeding.


I have been studying coyotes and other wild canines for over 30 years. Coexistence with coyote is possible. My understanding comes from many places: taking care of orphaned coyote puppies, studying the development of coyote play and communication, helping to trap them into radio colors. Years of overseeing multiple papers, and more recently, monitoring multi-generational coyote families. I interact with the coyote at a very close distance and use my voice, body, and disgust conditioning conservatively, including using held objects to establish boundaries.

Distorted risk

Citizens are often asked how to protect themselves from “aggressive coyotes.” My research has shown that coyotes rarely show aggression, but human fear of coyotes is widespread and invalidates the scientific evidence. The use of risk narratives (including bold and offensive misguided words) by scientists and the media may be unintentional, but has proven effective in leveraging existing fears. this is”Social amplification of risk.. ”

Second, people normalize the idea that coyotes are more likely to attack, rather than a more appropriate story. Coyotes like to avoid people and are just trying to survive. When coyotes react, it protects themselves, their companions or puppies from real or perceived threats such as those who are chasing them, entering burrows, or poking burrows with sticks. Is to do. In a report where I confirmed where the dog was attacked, over 90% were untied and involved in the whole.

The coyote reaction stems from context and experience. They are diverse and rarely aggression. Urban habituation may have led to delayed or less dramatic coyotes response compared to non-urban coyotes, which often flee desperately from humans.

A coyote documentary based on a walrus article.

Live in the city

Conflicts with coyotes can be prevented, but if they do occur, it does so in the context of some human-centered factors. Coyote habituation is often the first identified cause. This means that coyotes become accustomed to human activity, learn to “adjust them”, and focus on more important things such as finding food.

In wildlife observational studies, scientists often strive to become accustomed to animals, allowing them to be clearly visible but “invisible” so that they can do what they are doing. Become. In the absence of imminent threats, coyotes sometimes learn to ignore humans.

But there is this myth Its unfamiliarity, coyotes should be afraid of people.. However, there is no evidence that the coyote’s natural state is desperately afraid of nearby humans.This way of thinking Colonial thinking that requires animals to submit to humans..

Familiarity can lead to accessibility problems, which can cause conflict when combined with food conditioning (coyote’s intentional or unintentional feeding). This happens when people are unable to keep food attractants such as dog food, bird seeds, fallen fruits, and compost free from the yard. Coyotes learn to depend on their food sources. This can increase the risk that coyotes will protect their food from people and pets.

The most devastating for coexistence is when people deliberately decide to feed the coyote.It is often Death sentence This is because coyotes may eventually demand food. Coyote demand behavior may include coyotes that get caught in a person’s clothing or limbs in an attempt to obtain food and can be misclassified as aggression or aggression. After a coyote bites a person, rehabilitation is less likely than the risk of escalation, and a coyote that exhibits this behavior can be killed.

Some studies on the coyote diet in Calgary, done in my lab, Showed less than 2% of samples containing pet debris.. Coyotes are not completely criticized. The city has a ban on free-range pets, which many ignore and kill pets with owls, eagles, bobcats, pet dogs, coyotes, and vehicles. Coyotes are often just cleaned and “Nature cleanup crew.. “

Living in peace with a coyote means respecting the boundaries of the coyote.

Coyote’s parents are very good at protecting puppies born in early April. Credits: Shutterstock

Encounter with a dog

Coyotes puppies are usually born around early April, known as the Denning season, and coyotes go into puppy protection mode. As a result, in most cases of domestic dog invasion can lead to a surge in conflict between the dog and the coyote.

Coyotes may warn you by standing first and staring at them. This increases to vocalizations, bluff charges, and attacks on dogs if the owner does not withdraw immediately.

Coyotes in non-urban situations may prefer certain burrow features (eg, south-facing slopes), but in fragmented green spaces scattered throughout the city, coyotes are witty. You may be forced to do so. Coyotes tend to move their puppies to places that appear to be safer.

Last year, on a research site, I observed hundreds of people a week. Many had dogs and passed the father’s or mother’s coyote, which had four puppies within 30 meters. The parent coyote was measured regularly and carefully avoided collisions. In the course of thousands of possible interactions that summer, there were six reports of “aggressive” or “bold” coyote interactions.In these rare cases, parents Coyote Escort, bluff charge, or vocalize and repel dog He was allowed to wander in a closed area — no attacks or injuries.

The University of Calgary campus Peaceful wildlife coexistence program based on surveillance and research, education, enforcement and mitigation.. Our program, with the help of support staff and faculty, allows Coyote and the surrounding community to secure the campus with the rapid deployment of signs and closures, the removal of attractants, and the measured use of humane aversion conditioning. We will continue to use it to ensure that it promotes the biodiversity and sustainability of urban ecosystems.


Eating human food may pose a problem for urban coyotes, studies show


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Living in peace with a coyote means respecting the boundaries of the coyote.

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