Title

Environmental factors influencing the occurrence of coyotes and conflicts in urban areas

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Landscape and Urban Planning

Volume

157

Publisher

Elsevier

Publication Date

2017

First Page

259

Last Page

269

DOI

doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2016.05.022

Abstract

The increase of global urbanization can have effects on wildlife species, including carnivores such as coyotes (Canis latrans). As coyotes continue to settle in more urban areas, reports of human-coyote conflicts, such as attacks on humans or pets, may also increase. Understanding environmental variables that might influence whether or not coyotes and human-coyote conflicts will occur in certain urban areas may assist wildlife officials in creating management plans for urban wildlife. We conducted a survey of 105 urban areas in the United States requesting information on the occurrence of coyotes and human-coyote conflicts. We analyzed the responses with data on human population size, geographic region, land cover, housing density, and precipitation. Larger urban areas were more likely to contain both coyotes and human-coyote conflicts, and were also more likely to have greater numbers of conflicts. Urban areas in the western regions with larger amounts of high-intensity development and less forested and agricultural areas were more likely to have conflicts. Most urban areas considered the management of conflicts to be of low priority and emphasized education of citizens rather than removal of individual coyotes. Our results may assist urban wildlife managers in understanding the geographic and demographic factors correlated with the occurrence of coyotes and human-coyote conflicts. Practices such as education campaigns and landscape design incorporating wildlife habitat modifications (e.g., reducing dense cover) may reduce human-carnivore conflicts in urban ecosystems.