Talking about conflict isn’t always easy. Emotions can be high – the sight of a large animal can be unnerving and cause instinctual fear reactions, and the loss of a family pet can be devastating for an entire community. Frequently, the emotional upheaval leads to a desire to find a problem – and a coyote can be an easy target.
Though the science showing the lack of effectiveness of lethal control to prevent conflict is growing, as is the evidence of successful non-lethal, co-existence strategies, there is still a lot of breakdown in communications about coyote conflict. From reporters who simply don’t know there’s a difference between a conflict and an attack, to residents whose heightened fear makes it difficult to see the full ecosystem in their backyard, finding ways to talk about conflict is a challenge all on its own.
Fortunately, we have advocates like Lesley Sampson, the founding executive director of Coyote Watch Canada. To discuss how to pose questions in an investigation into conflict, to considering the range of animals that could have made footprints in the snow, and why we need to see coyotes as an integral part of our communities, Lesley joined Defender Radio.