Urban Coyote Initiative

Cunning. Social. Careful. Resilient. Opportunistic. Faithful. Adaptive. Shy. Successful. Hated.



Coyotes are one of the most divisive species on the North American continent. No other wild animal sparks as much emotion in urban residents, running the gamut of loathing to love.

Controversial or not, they are here, and here for good. By eliminating natural predators and natural barriers of habitat, humans have literally paved the way for coyotes to explore new territories, including the prairies of suburban lawns and the forests of skyscrapers in cities.

The arrival of coyotes into the urban scene has undoubtedly changed the way we look at them. Coyotes have proven to us time and again that they will persist no matter what our opinions of them.

While there is a greater awareness of their presence, there is still rampant misunderstanding about their lives and behaviors. Photography has the power to shift fear to understanding, conflict to coexistence, which makes it an essential tool to build healthy, thriving urban ecosystems that benefit the lives of everyone.

By showing urban coyotes as they go about their daily lives, this project aimed to help eliminate the mystery and misconceptions in a visually compelling and scientifically accurate way.


Through photography and filmmaking, and working alongside scientists and communities, the Urban Coyote Initiative visual storytelling project, created and lead by wildlife conservation photography Jaymi Heimbuch, worked to help eliminate the mystery and misconceptions about this cosmopolitan canid.

This project was in effect from 2014 to 2020. 

Images From This Project Have Been Published In:

Highlights From This Project Include:

  • Recipient of a National Geographic Expeditions Council Grant for our field work in Chicago, Illinois
  • Creation of an in-depth website, UrbanCoyoteInitiative.com, which received over 2 million page views during the 4 years it was live
  • A social media following of over 5,900 Instagram followers and over 6,000 Facebook fans
  • Over 83% of our website traffic was to our informative articles, primarily “What to do if you encounter a coyote while walking your dog”, showing that our science-based safety messaging was in demand with audiences
  • The creation and sale of coyote safety and awareness flyers, magnets, downloadable PDF articles , and Coyote Coexistence Community Kits (for our Patreon supporters), allowing concerned citizens to educate and inform neighbors

Recommended Reading

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Coyotes Among Us: Secrets of the City’s Top Predator

by Stanley D. Gehrt Ph.D, Kerry Luft

"An eye-opening volume of photographs and research exploring one of North America’s most persistent—and misunderstood—predators."

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Coyote America

by Dan Flores

“The New York Times best-selling account of how coyotes – long the target of an extermination policy – spread to every corner of the United States” 

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Urban Carnivores: Ecology, Conflict, and Conservation

by Stanley D. Gehrt Ph.D, Seth P. D. Riley, Brian L. Cypher

"With over half of the world’s human population now living in cities, human-carnivore interaction in urban areas is a growing area of concern... This volume brings together leading international carnivore researchers to explore the unique biological and ecological issues associated with mammalian carnivores in urban landscapes."

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A coyote walks along a residential street at dusk with buildings and parked cars in the background.
Urban coyote standing on road
A coyote crosses the street in front of a man standing on a sidewalk in an urban setting during sunset.
A coyote stands in the middle of a city street at twilight as a car approaches.
A coyote peers through the foliage in a natural setting at dusk.
Two individuals in winter gear attending to a coyote on snowy ground.
A lone coyote walking along the side of a road.
Man carrying a goat wrapped in a blanket across a winter field.
A coyote cautiously advancing through a snowy landscape.
A man holding a directional antenna in a wooded park area.
A person walking a dog on a leash encounters a wild coyote on a grass-lined path.
A coyote stands on a deserted urban sidewalk, lined with trees and buildings in the background.
A coyote stands in the center of a residential street, with the background and foreground blurred.
A fox sits by the roadside as a man walks his dog in the background.
A coyote standing amidst shrubbery, with a focused gaze.
A coyote crossing a road in front of a car with headlights on in foggy conditions.
A man standing with a dog on a leash, both observing another dog near a signboard in a park setting.
Sunset light filters through a leaning tree above an urban road with buildings in the background.
A coyote stands in the glow of streetlights on a deserted urban street at night.
Sphynx cat on a city street with a leashed dog and its owner in the background.
A coyote standing beside a camera mounted on a tripod in a park with a memorial plaque in the background.
A coyote stands on a city street at sunset, with cars in the background.
A coyote crossing a road with double yellow lines.
A person in a bright green shirt using a smartphone, unaware of a coyote walking nearby in a wooded area.
A coyote wanders alone on an urban street.
A coyote crosses a deserted street with people in the distance.
A coyote crossing an urban street with cars in the background.
Urban coyote trotting down a street