A diverse coalition of biologists, wildlife managers, public officials, and citizen scientists.
Coyotes are a fascinating and particularly adept species at colonizing urban environments - so much so that almost every major city in the United States and parts of Mexico and Canada have thriving populations. The purpose of our study is threefold: (1) To determine the physiological and behavioral traits underlying coyote success, (2) Assess patterns of human-coyote conflict to reduce confrontation, and (3) provide a central multimedia source for outreach and education of our burgeoning Denver coyote population.
Why "Wile E. Coyote"?
Well, coyotes in the media have traditionally been portrayed as shifty, dangerous, pests, dirty, or any combination thereof. Really, the coyote is a highly intelligent, adaptable, and hardy mesopredator that is as helpful (in fact) as they are perceived to be pests. With widespread development across North America, many of the large carnivores that previously had beneficial impacts on their ecosystems and ecological food webs have dropped in number. As a consequence, coyotes have become the key predator in urban, suburban, and exurban habitats. And as such, they eat prey items that are also considered pests and highly abundant in the Denver area: cottontail rabbits, rodents, and sometimes Canada Geese. Hence, the often serve as free pest control and the "REAL Wile E. Coyote" is often a key and adept player in our Denver Ecosystem, rather than a dope willing to keep buying from the ACME corportation. Nevertheless, reducing conflict and understanding both coyote AND human behavior is the key to deciphering this complex puzzle.
About the project
Find out more about the past, present, and future of the research, as well as the outstanding partners involved.
How to haze/S.A.S. Coyotes
A major part of reducing human-coyote conflict is providing a behavioral deterrent to coyotes whenever you encounter them. Learn more about how to do that safely and effectively.