Coexisting with Coyotes

a coyote amid green grass

Prolific among California’s diverse landscapes, coyotes play a vital role in regulating prey populations and maintaining ecosystem balance. Photo by Renee Grayson.

  • Coexisting with Coyotes

Like many of North America’s top apex predators — wolves, mountain lions, and bears — coyotes have faced a long history of persecution and extermination. Yet, unlike these nearly-disappeared species, coyote populations responded by tripling their range. Found across urban and rural landscapes, this resilient species plays a vital role in maintaining balance and enriching biodiversity in California’s ecosystems. While coyotes have demonstrated a remarkable ability to adapt to our human world, we still have a long way to go to coexist with coyotes. Nearly 500,000 coyotes are killed each year through hunting, wildlife killing contests, and other lethal control methods, despite decades of scientific research that shows killing coyotes doesn’t “work” to manage populations nor minimize conflict.

Founder and executive director of Project Coyote Camilla Fox joins Terra Verde host and producer Hannah Wilton to discuss the life cycle of coyotes (as we enter spring pup rearing season!) and sustainable solutions to coexist with our wild neighbors. Drawing on Project Coyote’s longtime work to protect North America’s wild carnivores, Fox offers her perspective on radicalizing compassion for our native “song dog” and respecting the inherent value of coyotes in California’s ecosystems.

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