The presence of coyotes on urban landscapes is neither surprising nor necessarily cause for concern.
The presence of coyotes (Canis latrans) on urban and suburban landscapes is neither surprising nor necessarily cause for concern. Coyotes are highly adaptive members of the dog family and have demonstrated an ability to survive in the most urbanized environments in cities across North America. Most urban coyotes go about their lives without ever raising awareness of their presence among their human neighbors. Coyotes do, however, play an important role in maintaining healthy ecosystems. As a "top of the food chain" predator species, they play a valuable role in naturally controlling other species, such as rodents and Canada geese, that tend to proliferate in urban ecosystems.
Coyote management in urban ecosystems is sometimes driven by fear, misunderstanding, and sensational media coverage. Numerous myths about dangers associated with coyote activities have become established in the public’s mind as factual, and have been perpetuated as a result of repetition by media and the public at large. Ineffective or inappropriate coyote control activities often have not only failed to resolve existing conflicts, but may also have added additional unexpected hazards to the landscape.
The following links will take you to a variety of information about the animal Navajo sheepherders once referred to as “God’s dog.”
- Cougars, Coyotes and Media, Oh My: A Fact Based Look at Wildlife Related Human Mortalities by Bob Sallinger