I Love Coyotes, but I Love My Cat Too: Community-Reported Emotional Responses to Canis latrans in the Portland Metropolitan Area

Start Date

3-11-2024 3:20 PM

End Date

3-11-2024 3:29 PM

Abstract

In an urban setting, coyote (Canis latrans) observations elicit a variety of reported emotional responses—including complex combinations, such as concern for humans and pets with love for nature and wildlife. The Portland Urban Coyote Project is a community science project that collects reported observations of coyotes in the Portland metropolitan area and provides outreach materials to the community. Since 2013, the project has collected over 16,000 reported observations of coyotes.

In 2021, the report form was updated to include the question "How did you feel about this observation?" with a 5-point Likert scale from very negative to very positive or unsure. An open-ended follow-up question asked for an explanation of the rating; we coded these responses into common themes.

Analysis of 3,245 sightings revealed that more people (43.1%) felt positive about observing a coyote than negative (33.5%) or neutral (23.5%). The most common theme (36.8%) across coyote observations was seeing coyotes as a threat to humans, pets, or other animals. The second most common theme (24.7%) was a love for nature, wildlife, or coyotes in particular. Most observations (85.4%) had one central theme; however, some observations (14.6%) demonstrated significant nuance with at least two major themes—sometimes with considerable tension between the themes. Feelings about coyote observations were generally the same from residents living in different areas of the Portland metro. We discuss how understanding these tensions, differences, and nuances helps inform wildlife management research and outreach materials.

Subjects

Environmental education, Environmental social sciences, Wildlife biology

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/41421

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License.

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Mar 11th, 3:20 PM Mar 11th, 3:29 PM

I Love Coyotes, but I Love My Cat Too: Community-Reported Emotional Responses to Canis latrans in the Portland Metropolitan Area

In an urban setting, coyote (Canis latrans) observations elicit a variety of reported emotional responses—including complex combinations, such as concern for humans and pets with love for nature and wildlife. The Portland Urban Coyote Project is a community science project that collects reported observations of coyotes in the Portland metropolitan area and provides outreach materials to the community. Since 2013, the project has collected over 16,000 reported observations of coyotes.

In 2021, the report form was updated to include the question "How did you feel about this observation?" with a 5-point Likert scale from very negative to very positive or unsure. An open-ended follow-up question asked for an explanation of the rating; we coded these responses into common themes.

Analysis of 3,245 sightings revealed that more people (43.1%) felt positive about observing a coyote than negative (33.5%) or neutral (23.5%). The most common theme (36.8%) across coyote observations was seeing coyotes as a threat to humans, pets, or other animals. The second most common theme (24.7%) was a love for nature, wildlife, or coyotes in particular. Most observations (85.4%) had one central theme; however, some observations (14.6%) demonstrated significant nuance with at least two major themes—sometimes with considerable tension between the themes. Feelings about coyote observations were generally the same from residents living in different areas of the Portland metro. We discuss how understanding these tensions, differences, and nuances helps inform wildlife management research and outreach materials.