"Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts"

- Daniel Patrick Moynihan 


The expectation is that if people are being responsible and doing nothing to habituate coyotes (e.g., provide food, water and harborage for them), we’ll all live happily ever after.  It’s Mother Nature, Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel right in our own backyards. More often than not, food sources are readily available (pets occasionally become food sources). Coyotes can then move into Urban and Suburban areas and begin to habituate before they are even noticed. When they are noticed people pay them little mind and few do anything to frighten the coyotes.

The problem with the coexistence model is that we train people to be comfortable around coyotes which increases the carrying capacity of coyotes to dangerous levels; a recipe for disaster.

An excessively habituated coyote population ended tragically in Glendale, California when three year old Kelly Keen was drug away from her home by a coyote. After this young girl was killed, 55 coyotes were trapped and shot in a half mile radius around the attack site. 

This is the reality of what can happen if we ignore common sense public safety measures in favor of coexistence. Coyotes need to be made unwelcome within city and suburban areas and any habituated coyotes or coyotes displaying aggressive behavior need to be removed. Coyote attacks on people and pets are common and the instances of these attacks have been on the rise

How many more children and pets are going to be attacked before we create a realistic comprehensive coyote management plan instead of a model of coexistence? 

Another myth perpetuated by animal rights groups like Project Coyote and the Humane Society of the U.S. is the idea that lethal removal of coyotes creates more coyotes. Simply put their ideas are unproven theory. 

Dr. Eric Gese, Professor (USDA National Wildlife Research Center, Predator Behavior and Ecology) was asked for comment on the infographic presented by Project Coyote and The Humane Society of the U.S. his reply was simply put “over simplified and unproven.” 

Practically every study examining coyote reproduction makes reference to a study by Longhurst and Connelly in 1975. Several articles and studies misquote the Longhurst Connelly study claiming lethal control creates more coyotes. Longhurst and Connelly's model predicts coyote populations can withstand high levels of control, and can recover quickly when control is terminated (Connolly and Longhurst 1975:19, 23), the proverbial “rebound effect.” However, there is not a “catapult effect”, as some want to believe. In fact, Connolly himself maintains that those who use the paper to oppose coyote management (i.e.,control) use it inappropriately and out of context. Connelly said “killing coyotes at rates below 75% may merely stimulate reproduction and aggravate the problem,” has “little or no relevance to selective removal of a few problem coyotes, and people who claim otherwise are just damaging their own credibility” (G. E. Connolly, pers. commun., April 2009). HERE

  • Coyote populations are predominantly controlled by available food water and suitable habitat. 
  • When Coyote packs observed in Yellowstone National Park were disrupted, beta animals replaced the lost alpha males. The disruption did not result in a coyote mating “free for all” as explained in the HSUS infographic. HERE The study by Project Coyote science adviser Robert Crabtree and Dr. Eric Gese that contradicts these claims can be found HERE
  • Project Coyote and HSUS blame lethal control for disrupting coyote populations when its clear their populations are in constant flux from natural forces and experience an already high natural mortality rate. 
  • The infographic does not account for loner "transient" females who also mate.

In a book edited by Project Coyote Science advisor Dr. Mark Bekoff“Coyote Biology, Behavior and Management” Guy E. Connoly points out.“Nearly all animal populations fluctuate irregularly within limits that are extremely restricted compared to what is theoretically possible. Population levels of several species of carnivores have been shown to fluctuate in response to variations in the abundance of their principal prey” (Lack, 1954: Keith 1974). “Therefore, it is not surprising that most studies of the factors limiting coyote populations have identified food as the predominant constraint.” (McLean 1934: Murie, 1940: Robinson, 1956: Gier, 1968: Clark, 1972: Wagner, 1972: Nellis and Keith, 1976)

Coexistence unnaturally increases coyote carrying capacity by allowing coyotes to come into cities and compete for abundant resources. This inevitably leads to more to habituated coyotes which is a major factor leading to coyote human conflict. HERE

​Contact us via email:  projectcoyotelies@gmail.com

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