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:
- Sierra Club
- Ranger Rick Magazine
- Bay Nature Magazine
- Anthropocene Magazine
- When Mountain Lions Are Neighbors: People and Wildlife Working It Out in California
- Humane Society
- National Wildlife Magazine
- International Fund for Animal Welfare
- GEO Magazine
- And many more…
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
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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."
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."
More Suggested Resources
- Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet: Community Level Strategies for Urban Coyote Management
- Urban Coyote Research Project: How to Avoid Conflict with Coyotes
- Humane Society of the United States Coyote Hazing Guide
- Coyote Friendly Communities by Project Coyote