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Open Access Publications from the University of California

How Misinformation Fosters Urban Human-Coyote Conflicts


The Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW) recently conducted an urban coyote symposium for city decisionmakers in the Denver metro area in response to a burgeoning coyote problem, including multiple attacks on humans. The symposium was well organized, but it conveyed typical messages about managing human-coyote conflicts that I contend are misconceptions and misinformation. They include: we’re encroaching on coyote habitat; coyotes that attack pets and people are abnormal; lethal control should only be used as a last resort; killing coyotes simply produces more coyotes; we should coexist with our “coyote neighbors”; hazing is the answer; and “it’s a people problem, not a coyote problem”. I dispute these concepts, and I contend that promoting the components of coexistence can actually foster human-coyote conflicts. In the process I also support the case for lethal control.

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