Animals 2013, 3(1), 1-18; doi:10.3390/ani3010001
Article

Attitudes of College Undergraduates Towards Coyotes (Canis latrans) in an Urban Landscape: Management and Public Outreach Implications

Received: 19 November 2012; in revised form: 1 January 2013 / Accepted: 4 January 2013 / Published: 10 January 2013
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Simple Summary: Understanding the public’s attitudes towards urban wildlife is an important step towards creating management plans, increasing knowledge and awareness about wildlife, and fostering coexistence between people and wildlife. Using undergraduate college students in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area (where coyotes are a recent arrival), this study examined attitudes towards coyotes and coyote management methods. Amongst other findings, we found differences in opinion between key demographic groups, and respondents grouped management methods into two categories: methods that modified human behavior, and methods that had a direct impact on coyotes. Our results have important implications for coyote management in urban areas.
Abstract: Understanding and assessing the public’s attitudes towards urban wildlife is an important step towards creating management plans, increasing knowledge and awareness, and fostering coexistence between people and wildlife. We conducted a survey of undergraduate college students in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area—where coyotes are recent arrivals—to determine existing attitudes towards coyotes and coyote management methods. Amongst other findings, we found that the more a person feared coyotes, the less likely they were to support their presence (p < 0.001), and the less likely they were to believe that pet owners should be directly responsible for protecting their pets (p < 0.001). Respondents demonstrated major gaps in their understanding of basic coyote biology and ecology. Respondents broke wildlife management practices into two categories: those that involved an action on coyotes (both lethal or non-lethal; referred to as “Coyote”), and those that restricted human behavior (referred to as “Human”); the “Human” methods were preferred. We found important differences between key demographic groups in terms of attitudes and management preferences. Our study suggests that wildlife professionals have unique opportunities in urban areas to prevent and reduce conflict before it escalates, in part by targeting tailored outreach messages to various demographic and social groups.
Keywords: Canis latrans; urban wildlife; attitudes towards wildlife; human-wildlife conflict; human-wildlife interactions
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MDPI and ACS Style

Draheim, M.M.; Patterson, K.W.; Rockwood, L.L.; Guagnano, G.A.; Parsons, E.C.M. Attitudes of College Undergraduates Towards Coyotes (Canis latrans) in an Urban Landscape: Management and Public Outreach Implications. Animals 2013, 3, 1-18.

AMA Style

Draheim MM, Patterson KW, Rockwood LL, Guagnano GA, Parsons ECM. Attitudes of College Undergraduates Towards Coyotes (Canis latrans) in an Urban Landscape: Management and Public Outreach Implications. Animals. 2013; 3(1):1-18.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Draheim, Megan M.; Patterson, Katheryn W.; Rockwood, Larry L.; Guagnano, Gregory A.; Parsons, E. C.M. 2013. "Attitudes of College Undergraduates Towards Coyotes (Canis latrans) in an Urban Landscape: Management and Public Outreach Implications." Animals 3, no. 1: 1-18.

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