Publication Date

March 2023

Coyotes (Canis latrans) play an important mesopredator role in urban habitats and provide valuable ecosystem services, but also risk factors to human safety. Because of rare, but high-profile instances of human-coyote conflict, urban coyotes are often perceived only as a nuisance, or even dangerous, to human populations and their domestic animals. This tension between urban wildlife and communities can result in policy and management decisions that are not effective or beneficial to either population. We believe that effective urban coyote management requires an understanding of the resident coyotes in a given city, as well as the human residents’ behavior, knowledge, and perceptions related to coyotes. This type of assessment can be done as a collaboration with researchers and city leaders to inform wildlife management and educational outreach. In this research note, we describe one such social-ecological research and outreach approach that has been implemented in two cities in Southern California: Long Beach and Culver City, CA. Components of these projects include: identifying coyote movement patterns through motion activated cameras; examining coyote diets through analysis of scat samples; gathering information about resident knowledge and behavior through public surveys; and developing formal and informal curricula to be used in public education and outreach programming. We will describe this process in detail, provide early findings, and highlight instances of particular success and difficulty in implementation. We will close with a discussion of implications for wildlife management and environmental stewardship in urban settings.