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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Management of conflicts between urban coyotes and humans in Southern California


An apparent increase in coyote-human conflicts, notably attacks on humans, demonstrates that such incidents are not rare in California. The authors discuss coyote attacks on 53 humans, resulting in 21 instances of human injury, over the last decade. These illustrate repeated, predictable pre-attack coyote behavior patterns. Specific changes in human environments and in human behavior that have contributed to coyote attacks are discussed. Case histories of attacks reveal contributing factors and suggest appropriate corrective and preventive actions. Padded leghold traps have been the most effective and efficient tool in removing problem coyotes and changing the behavior of coyotes to fear humans and the urban environment. Long-term solutions will require changes in human behavior. Humans must come to view large mammalian predators as a potential hazard. Increased public education is needed to improve methods of landscape management, refuse disposal, care of pets, and recognition of the need for predator management.

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