The Edmonton Urban Coyote Project: Collaborative Research and Education for Coexistence with Wildlife

By: University of Alberta

The Edmonton Urban Coyote Project began in 2009 and is based in the lab of Dr. Colleen Cassady St. Clair at the University of Alberta. It addresses rising reports by people of conflict with coyotes that are occurring in Edmonton and other cities across North America. Colleen and her students work collaboratively with the City of Edmonton and Animal Damage Control to research both causes of and solutions for human-coyote conflict. The project also engages members of the public to observe coyotes, participate in our research projects, and support sustainable coexistence with coyotes and other urban wildlife.

This project aims to conduct research and provide information that will promote coexistence between people and wildlife. Successful coexistence will maximize the ecological benefits of coyotes in Edmonton, which include control of prey species, scavenging of carrion, dispersal of plant seeds, and functional ecosystems. Successful coexistence will also minimize the need for contentious lethal management of coyotes while maintaining security for people and their pets, and aesthetic enjoyment of nature.

The Edmonton Urban Coyote Project has used field and laboratory methods and over 10 000 reports by the public to understand conflict. With publications, collaboration with managers, and outreach, they promote coexistence by encouraging people to secure human food, protect and control pets, make coyotes wary of people, and learn about coyote parasites.

Photo credit: Dale Brochu