Tag Archives: coyotes

The growing urban coyote problem and local management strategies

* This post is adapted from a longer article that can be accessed here.

Coyotes have been viewed as pests and a threat to livestock since American settlers first encountered them, and this hostility supported early government policies that usually focused on eradication. But despite decades of hunting, poisoning, and trapping programs, Canis latrans has proliferated and expanded its range, both geographically and ecologically. Once confined primarily to the plains and prairies of the West and Southwest, coyotes now inhabit urban, suburban and rural habitats throughout Alaska and the lower 48 states, as well as much of Canada and Mexico. In rural areas where larger predators such as wolves have been more successfully eradicated, coyotes have taken their place as apex predators, and in developed areas their intelligence and adaptability has allowed them to create new ecological niches in the urban and suburban landscape. “We consistently underestimate how adaptable coyotes are,” says Stanley Gehrt, one of the nation’s premier urban coyote biologists. “We’ve seen them sitting on the side of the highway. We think they’re listening and looking.”

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