The coyote (Canis latrans) is a highly adaptable apex carnivore that provides a critical ecological function in urban ecosystems. Habituation of coyotes results in behavioural changes which can lead to human-wildlife conflict. Understanding human awareness, values and attitudes towards coyotes, and the potential for human-coyote conflict, is essential to managing for effective ecological function of urban protected areas. A highly charged debate over coyotes and urban park management often plays out in the media, especially after a public report of a negative encounter. We conducted a content analysis of 215 primary articles from the print media (1995 - 2008) that focused on coyotes in urban parks and green space. We identified the types (i.e., coyote versus human or pet) and frequency of interactions, we summarized wound descriptions for pets versus humans, and we compared the type and frequency of incidents by human demographic. We also detailed the relative positive versus negative content of articles, the common descriptors of coyotes, the dominant concerns or effects arising from the reported conflict, and the various management responses to the interaction. The paper presents preliminary results of the analysis within a human-wildlife conflict framework and provides recommendations for urban park management.
|Publisher||University of Calgary|
|Conference Title||Canadian Parks for Tomorrow: 40th Anniversary Conference|