Social Conflict and Human-Coyote Interactions in Suburban Denver




Draheim, Megan M.

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In 2009, Greenwood Village and Centennial, Colorado (two bordering suburban towns south of Denver), passed coyote management plans in response to community concerns over human-coyote interactions. Although both plans are similar in many respects, they differ in some key ways, including over definitions of what constitutes aggressive coyote behavior and under what circumstances lethal control can be used. Greenwood Village’s use of lethal control created controversy in the Denver metropolitan area and caused animal and wildlife advocates to get involved, while some wildlife groups have held up Centennial’s management plan as a model. Using a mixed methodology, grounded-theory approach, this study looks at the root causes of the differing approaches of the two towns through social, political, and geographical lenses. It also explores the ways the social conflict has been sustained by means of differing constructions of people, coyotes, and coyote-human interactions by the stakeholders involved in the conflict, as well as examining the variables that help predict whether a person is likely to support lethal control or not.



Coyote, Human-Wildlife Conflict, Canis Latrans, Human Dimensions, Human-Coyote Conflict, Urban Coyotes