August 31, 2010
Colorado Researchers, Wildlife Managers and City Officials Begin Urban Coyote Studies
FORT COLLINS, Colo., Aug. 31, 2010 - This year, researchers, wildlife managers and local government officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Colorado State University (CSU), the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) and numerous cities/counties/metropolitan districts in Colorado, have begun a series of studies to better address urban coyote management issues in the Denver area.
"Coyotes have learned to thrive in urban areas and will always be a part of our urban wildlife community," said Eliza Hunholz, Colorado DOW area wildlife manager in Denver. "The goal of this research effort is to help Denver Metro Area cities and counties develop urban coyote management plans that reduce negative interactions between coyotes and people."
A series of studies have been proposed that will investigate ecological, economic, and human dimension aspects of coyote management. Major themes of the research include a better understanding of when and where coyote-human conflicts occur; insights into the attitudes and beliefs of the public toward coyotes and coyote management; economic analyses of the costs of human-coyote conflicts and management; behavioral, ecological and population studies of urban coyotes and the effectiveness of nonlethal and lethal management methods, including educational efforts for reducing human-coyote conflicts.
"In 2009, cities and counties in the Denver Metro Area were surveyed regarding their coyote management needs and objectives. Our proposed studies focus on many of the key issues identified in those surveys," said Dr. Stewart Breck from APHIS' National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) who is leading the effort. "By forming a team of researchers and research partners, we're able to pool our expertise and resources, and maximize our ability to address many urban coyote management questions."
To date, more than $55,000 from six collaborators has been allocated to the research effort. Research was started in March and is focused on identifying and characterizing "hot spots" of conflict within the Denver Metro Area. The next step will build on this effort by surveying citizens about their perceptions and beliefs of coyotes. Both of these efforts will be used to enhance educational efforts and target resources for reducing conflict. Partners in the research include: Adams County, City of Aurora, City and County of Broomfield, City of Cherry Hills Village, City and County of Denver, City of Greenwood Village, City of Ken-Caryl Ranch, City of Lakewood, City of Louisville, City of Thornton, City of Westminster, Colorado DOW, CSU's Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, Douglas County, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and APHIS' NWRC.